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Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is used to measure and compare the activity of individual hurricanes and entire tropical cyclone seasons. It is calculated as an integral of the squares of hurricane speeds. My question is whether a similar parameter can be used to estimate the activity of any kind of cyclone or storm system (tropical or extra-tropical cyclones, fronts...).

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    $\begingroup$ Awesome question. Was thinking perhaps it's because non tropical lows are typically not symmetric in structure. But after looking at Wikipedia, I'm really surprised to see it suggests that size is not included in ACE at all?? I'd also have likewise guessed that the much less consistent radial variation in ETCs would've made use challenging. But I guess my thinking now is that perhaps its because ACE is already a wild oversimplification of energy... and would be even moreso in an ETC. Wonder if there's better metrics that could be used, given all the scatterometers, recons, and obs networks. $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Aug 16 '16 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe it has to do with the fact that most of the ACE is summed during a period of time when the cyclone is over water, where there is not as much friction and "topography" is flat. It's a simple model for a simple environment. $\endgroup$ – jgadoury Sep 13 '16 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ I think it is funny that you call the ocean a "simple environment" considering that it provides energy to the cyclone systems! The coupling between atmosphere and ocean during a cyclone is anything but simple. $\endgroup$ – arkaia Sep 13 '16 at 19:40

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