North atlantic tropical cyclones and U.S. flooding

Gabriele Villarini, Radoslaw Goska, James A. Smith, Gabriel Andres Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) are responsible for major flooding over large areas of the continental United States. The study focused on flooding over the continental United States associated with North Atlantic TCs during the period 1981-2011. Analyses were based on USGS discharge measurements and provided a characterization of the U.S. regions that are more affected by this natural hazard. Our findings indicate that TCs are responsible for large flooding over the eastern United States, from Florida to Vermont and Maine. Overall, the results of this study highlight a broad impact of TCs through inland flooding. This is in contrast with storm surge and wind damage arising from TCs, which are rather localized phenomena affecting limited areas that are concentrated near the landfall location. Most of the TC flood peaks tend to occur during the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which is also associated with some of the largest flood peak magnitudes. Depending on the phase of El NinÂo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), different areas of the study region are more affected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1381-1388
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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