25 Sep 2023
 | 25 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

tobac v1.5: Introducing Fast 3D Tracking, Splits and Mergers, and Other Enhancements for Identifying and Analysing Meteorological Phenomena

G. Alexander Sokolowsky, Sean W. Freeman, William K. Jones, Julia Kukulies, Fabian Senf, Peter J. Marinescu, Max Heikenfeld, Kelcy N. Brunner, Eric C. Bruning, Scott M. Collis, Robert C. Jackson, Gabrielle R. Leung, Nils Pfeifer, Bhupendra A. Raut, Stephen M. Saleeby, Philip Stier, and Susan C. van den Heever

Abstract. There is a continuously increasing need for reliable feature detection and tracking tools based on objective analysis principles for use with meteorological data. Many tools have been developed over the previous two decades that attempt to address this need, but most have limitations on the type of data they can be used with; computational and/or memory expenses that make them unwieldy with larger datasets; or require some form of data reduction prior to use that limits the tool’s utility. The Tracking and Object-Based Analysis of Clouds (tobac) Python package is a modular, open-source tool that improves on the overall generality and utility of past tools. A number of scientific improvements (three spatial dimensions, splits and mergers of features, an internal spectral filtering tool) and procedural enhancements (increased computational efficiency, internal regridding of data, and treatments for periodic boundary conditions) have been included in tobac as a part of the tobac v1.5 update. These improvements have made tobac one of the most robust, powerful, and flexible identification and tracking tools in our field to date and expand its potential use in other fields. Future plans for tobac v2 are also discussed.

G. Alexander Sokolowsky et al.

Status: open (until 04 Dec 2023)

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G. Alexander Sokolowsky et al.

G. Alexander Sokolowsky et al.


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Short summary
Building on previous analysis tools developed for atmospheric science, the original release of the Tracking and Object-Based Analysis (tobac) Python package, v1.2, was open-source, modular, and insensitive to the type of gridded input data. Here, we present the latest version of tobac, v1.5, which substantially improves scientific capabilities and computational efficiency from the previous version. These enhancements permit new uses for tobac in atmospheric science and potentially other fields.