Characteristics of model tropical cyclone climatology and the large-scale environment

Suzana J. Camargo, Claudia F. Giulivi, Adam H. Sobel, Allison A. Wing, Daehyun Kim, Yumin Moon, Jeffrey D.O. Strong, Anthony D. Del Genio, Maxwell Kelley, Hiroyuki Murakami, Kevin A. Reed, Enrico Scoccimarro, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Michael F. Wehner, Colin Zarzycki, Ming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Here we explore the relationship between the global climatological characteristics of tropical cyclones (TCs) in climate models and the modeled large-scale environment across a large number of models. We consider the climatology of TCs in 30 climatemodels with awide range of horizontal resolutions. We examine if there is a systematic relationship between the climatological diagnostics for the TC activity [number of tropical cyclones (NTC) and accumulated cyclone energy (ACE)] by hemisphere in the models and the environmental fields usually associated with TC activity, when examined across a large number ofmodels. For low-resolution models, there is no association between a conducive environment and TC activity, when integrated over space (tropical hemisphere) and time (all years of the simulation). As the model resolution increases, for a couple of variables, in particular verticalwind shear, there is a statistically significant relationship in between the models' TC characteristics and the environmental characteristics, but in most cases the relationship is either nonexistent or the opposite of what is expected based on observations. It is important to stress that these results do not imply that there is no relationship between individual models' environmental fields and their TC activity by basin with respect to intraseasonal or interannual variability or due to climate change. However, it is clear that when examined across many models, the models'mean state does not have a consistent relationship with the models' mean TC activity. Therefore, other processes associated with the model physics, dynamical core, and resolution determine the climatological TC activity in climate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4463-4487
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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