The present-day simulation and twenty-first-century projection of the climatology of extratropical transition in the North Atlantic

Maofeng Liu, Gabriel Andres Vecchi, James A. Smith, Hiroyuki Murakami

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48 Scopus citations


This study explores the simulations and twenty-first-century projections of extratropical transition (ET) of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic, with a newly developed global climate model: the Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution (FLOR) version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Coupled Model version 2.5 (CM2.5). FLOR exhibits good skill in simulating present-day ET properties (e.g., cyclone phase space parameters). A version of FLOR in which sea surface temperature (SST) biases are artificially corrected through flux-adjustment (FLOR-FA) shows much improved simulation of ET activity (e.g., annual ET number). This result is largely attributable to better simulation of basinwide TC activity, which is strongly dependent on larger-scale climate simulation. FLOR-FA is also used to explore changes of ET activity in the twenty-first century under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 scenario. A contrasting pattern is found in which regional TC density increases in the eastern North Atlantic and decreases in the western North Atlantic, probably due to changes in the TC genesis location. The increasing TC frequency in the eastern Atlantic is dominated by increased ET cases. The increased density of TCs undergoing ET in the eastern subtropics of the Atlantic shows two propagation paths: one moves northwest toward the northeast coast of the United States and the other moves northeast toward western Europe, implying increased TC-related risks in these regions. A more TC-favorable future climate, evident in the projected changes of SST and vertical wind shear, is hypothesized to favor the increased ET occurrence in the eastern North Atlantic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2739-2756
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Climate models
  • Climate prediction
  • Ensembles
  • Extratropical cyclones
  • North Atlantic Ocean
  • Tropical cyclones


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