Hurricane annual cycle controlled by both seeds and genesis probability

Wenchang Yang, Tsung Lin Hsieh, Gabriel A. Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding tropical cyclone (TC) climatology is a problem of profound societal significance and deep scientific interest. The annual cycle is the biggest radiatively forced signal in TC variability, presenting a key test of our understanding and modeling of TC activity. TCs over the North Atlantic (NA) basin, which are usually called hurricanes, have a sharp peak in the annual cycle, with more than half concentrated in only 3 mo (August to October), yet existing theories of TC genesis often predict a much smoother cycle. Here we apply a framework originally developed to study TC response to climate change in which TC genesis is determined by both the number of pre-TC synoptic disturbances (TC “seeds”) and the probability of TC genesis from the seeds. The combination of seeds and probability predicts a more consistent hurricane annual cycle, reproducing the compact season, as well as the abrupt increase from July to August in the NA across observations and climate models. The seeds-probability TC genesis framework also successfully captures TC annual cycles in different basins. The concise representation of the climate sensitivity of TCs from the annual cycle to climate change indicates that the framework captures the essential elements of the TC climate connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2108397118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number41
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 12 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Keywords

  • Annual cycle
  • Hurricane
  • TC seeds
  • Tropical cyclone

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