Rotation-Blended CNNs on a New Open Dataset for Tropical Cyclone Image-to-intensity Regression
Boyo Chen (National Taiwan University); Buofu Chen (National Center of Atmospheric Research); Hsuan-Tien Lin (National Taiwan University)
Tropical cyclone (TC) is a type of severe weather systems that occur in tropical regions. Accurate estimation of TC intensity is crucial for disaster management. Moreover, the intensity estimation task is the key to understand and forecast the behavior of TCs better. Recently, the task has begun to attract attention from not only meteorologists but also data scientists. Nevertheless, it is hard to stimulate joint research between both types of scholars without a benchmark dataset to work on together. In this work, we release a such a benchmark dataset, which is a new open dataset collected from satellite remote sensing, for the TC-image-to-intensity estimation task. We also propose a novel model to solve this task based on the convolutional neural network (CNN). We discover that the usual CNN, which is mature for object recognition, requires several modifications when being used for the intensity estimation task. Furthermore, we combine the domain knowledge of meteorologists, such as the rotation-invariance of TCs, into our model design to reach better performance. Experimental results on the released benchmark dataset verify that the proposed model is among the most accurate models that can be used for TC intensity estimation, while being relatively more stable across all situations. The results demonstrate the potential of applying data science for meteorology study.