Large-scale environmental controls on the seasonal statistics of rapidly intensifying North Atlantic tropical cyclones

Ching Ho Justin Ng, Gabriel A. Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study is concerned with the connections between the large-scale environment and the seasonal occurrence of rapid intensification (RI) of North Atlantic tropical cyclones. Physically-motivated statistical analysis using observations and reanalysis products suggests that for tropical cyclones over the open tropical North Atlantic, the interannual variability of the probability of storms undergoing RI is influenced by seasonal large-scale atmospheric and oceanic variables, but not so for storms over the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean Sea. We suggest that this differentiated response is due to the former region exhibiting a strong negative correlation between the seasonal anomalies of vertical wind shear and potential intensity. Differences in the mean climatology and subseasonal variations of the large-scale environment in these regions appear to play an insignificant role in the distinctive seasonal environmental controls on RI. We suggest that the interannual correlation of vertical wind shear and potential intensity is an indicator of seasonal predictability of tropical cyclone activity (including RI) across the tropics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3907-3925
Number of pages19
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume54
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • North Atlantic
  • Rapid intensification
  • Seasonal predictability
  • Tropical cyclone

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