Improved simulation of 19th-and 20th-century North Atlantic hurricane frequency after correcting historical sea surface temperatures

Duo Chan, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Wenchang Yang, Peter Huybers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Confidence in dynamical and statistical hurricane prediction is rooted in the skillful reproduction of hurricane frequency using sea surface temperature (SST) patterns, but an ensemble of high-resolution atmospheric simulation extending to the 1880s indicates model-data disagreements that exceed those expected from documented uncertainties. We apply recently developed corrections for biases in historical SSTs that lead to revisions in tropical to subtropical SST gradients by ±0.1 C. Revised atmospheric simulations have 20% adjustments in the decadal variations of hurricane frequency and become more consistent with observations. The improved simulation skill from revised SST estimates not only supports the utility of high-resolution atmospheric models for hurricane projections but also highlights the need for accurate estimates of past and future patterns of SST changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabg6931
JournalScience Advances
Volume7
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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