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The morphing of cyclones

Josh’s undergraduate dissertation published in leading Swedish journal

The morphing of cyclones

Tellus A, a renowned Swedish meteorology journal, has published a paper entitled "Objective determination of the extratropical transition of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere”, written by former UCL Geography undergraduate, Joshua Studholme, as his third-year dissertation.

Josh developed a new algorithm to decide when a hurricane has morphed into the type of storm we see over Britain. Hurricane Sandy caused so much damage around New York in 2012 partly because it was undergoing this metamorphosis. The process is hard to predict and the paper is an important step to improve weather forecasting techniques.

Josh performed the research under the supervision of Dr Chris Brierley at UCL and with Dr Kevin Hodges at the University of Reading. He is currently undertaking further research at the Russian Academy of Sciences and at Yale. The paper was initially submitted at the same time as his dissertation and has taken over a year to navigate the peer-review process.

Link to the paper:

Photo: Natural colour satellite images of 2012, North Atlantic hurricane Leslie as,

a) a tropical cyclone on 8 September, 2012

b) an extratropical cyclone on the 11 September.

Both images acquired by the NASA MODIS instrument, provided by NASA from


Four days of cyclone development

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