Share This Article:

Track Patterns of Landfalling and Coastal Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic Basin, Their Relationship with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Potential Effect of Global Warming

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:1604KB) PP. 12-22
DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.23A002    3,395 Downloads   5,800 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Even though the degree of damage inflicted by North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) is highly dependent upon track location and proximity to land, the spatial characteristics of TCs are generally understudied. We investigated the spatial relationships between landfall locations and track patterns of all Cape Verde-type landfalling and coastal TCs that have affected the continental coastline of the western Atlantic Basin by region for the period 1851-2008. The degree of recurvature for these TCs increases progressively from the Central America/Caribbean coast (CA) through the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Florida peninsula (FLOR), and Atlantic (ATL) coasts. The date (month) of occurrence shows similar increases from the GOM through ATL. These patterns for landfall location, track pattern, and occurrence date generally follow the intra-seasonal movement and intensity variations of the Bermuda High (BH), as represented by increasing North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index values from CA through FLOR. Analysis suggests that the region of landfall is primarily controlled by two factors: the amplitude of track recurvature and the longitude at which recurvature begins to dominate track shape. Both of these important steering controls are predominantly influenced by the strength and position of the BH, with increasing strength and/or more northeasterly position of the BH progressively driving landfall from Central America through the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic seaboard out to the open sea. The paleorecord suggests that the latitudinal position of the BH exerts an important control over the location of hurricane landfall along the western North Atlantic on millennial time scales. This suggests that global warming may result in a northern shift in TC tracks and increased frequency of landfalls in northern locations.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

T. McCloskey, T. Bianchette and K. Liu, "Track Patterns of Landfalling and Coastal Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic Basin, Their Relationship with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Potential Effect of Global Warming," American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 2 No. 3A, 2013, pp. 12-22. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.23A002.

References

[1] R. A. Pielke Jr., J. Rubiera, C. Landsea, M. L. Fernandez and R. Klie, “Hurricane Vulnerability in Latin America and the Caribbean: Normalized Damage and Loss Potenals,” Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 101-114. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2003)4:3(101)
[2] R. A. Pielke Jr., J. Gratz, C. W. Landsea, D. Collins, M. A. Saunders and R. Musulin, “Normalized Hurricane Damages in the United States: 1900-2005,” Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2008, pp. 29-42. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2008)9:1(29)
[3] K. Emanuel, “Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones Over the Past 30 Years,” Nature, Vol. 436, 2005, pp. 686-688. doi:10.1038/nature03906
[4] K. Trenberth, “Uncertainty in Hurricanes and Global Warming,” Science, Vol. 308, No. 5729, 2005, pp. 1753-1754. doi:10.1126/science.1112551
[5] P. J. Webster, G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry and H. R. Chang, “Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment,” Science, Vol. 309, No. 5742, 2005, pp. 1844-1846. doi:10.1126/science.1116448
[6] M. A. Bender, T. R. Knutson, R. E. Tuleya, J. J. Sirutis, G. A. Vecchi, S. T. Garner and I. M. Held, “Modeled Impact of Anthropogenic Warming on the Frequency of Intense Atlantic Hurricanes,” Science, Vol. 327, No. 5964, 2010, pp. 454-458. doi:10.1126/science.1180568
[7] T. R. Knutson, J. L. McBride, J. Chan, K. Emanuel, G. Holland, C. Landsea, I. Held, J. P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava and M. Sugi, “Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change,” Nature Geoscience, Vol. 3, 2010, pp. 157-163. doi:10.1038/ngeo779
[8] J. B. Elsner, K. B. Liu and B. Kocher, “Spatial Variations in Major US Hurricane Activity: Statistics and a Physical Mechanism,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 13, No. 13, 2000, pp. 2293-2305. doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<2293:SVIMUS>2.0.CO;2
[9] E. D. Maloney and D. L. Hartmann, “Modulation of Hurricane Activity in the Gulf of Mexico by the Madden-Julian Oscillation,” Science, Vol. 287, No. 5460, 2000, pp. 2002-2004. doi:10.1126/science.287.5460.2002
[10] J. Larson, Y. P. Zhou and R. W. Higgins, “Characteristics of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones in the United States and Mexico: Climatology and Interannual Variability,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 18, No. 8, 2005, pp. 1247-1262. doi:10.1175/JCLI3317.1
[11] H. M. Kim, P. J. Webster and J. A. Curry, “Impact of Shifting Patterns of Pacific Ocean Warming on North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones,” Science, Vol. 325, No. 5936, 2009, pp. 77-80. doi:10.1126/science.1174062
[12] J. B. Elsner, “Tracking Hurricanes,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 84, No. 3, 2003, pp. 353-356. doi:10.1175/BAMS-84-3-353
[13] J. B. Elsner and K. B. Liu, “Examining the ENSO-Typhoon Hypothesis,” Climate Research, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2003, pp. 43-54. doi:10.3354/cr025043
[14] J. Nakamura, U. Lall, Y. Kushnir and S. J. Camargo, “Classifying North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Tracks by Mass Moments,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 22, No. 20, 2009, pp. 5481-5494. doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2828.1
[15] S. J. Camargo, A. W. Robertson, S. J. Gaffney, P. Smyth and M. Ghil, “Cluster Analysis of Typhoon Tracks. Part I: General Properties,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 20, No. 14, 2007, pp. 3635-3653. doi:10.1175/JCLI4188.1
[16] S. J. Camargo, A. W. Robertson, A. G. Barnston and M. Ghil, “Clustering of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Tracks: ENSO and MJO Effects,” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 9, No. 6, 2008, Article ID: Q06V05.
[17] J. P. Kossin, S. J. Camargo and M. Sitkowski, “Climate Modulation of North Atlantic Hurricane Tracks,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 23, No. 11, 2010, pp. 3057-3076. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3497.1
[18] S. J. Gaffney, A. W. Robertson, P. Smyth, S. J. Camargo and M. Ghil, “Probabilistic Clustering of Extratropical Cyclones Using Regression Mixture Models,” Climate Dynamics, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2007, pp. 423-440. doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0235-z
[19] A. J. Colbert and B. J. Soden, “Climatological Variations in North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Tracks,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2012, pp. 657-673. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00034.1
[20] K. D. Ash and C. J. Matyas, “The Influences of ENSO and the Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole on Tropical Cyclone Trajectories in the South Indian Ocean,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2012, pp. 41-56. doi:10.1002/joc.2249
[21] M. C. Bove, J. B. Elsner, C. W. Landsea, X. Niu and J. J. O’Brien, “Effects of El Nino on US Landfalling Hurricanes, Revisited,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 79, No. 1, 1998, pp. 2477-2482. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1998)079<2477:EOENOO>2.0.CO;2
[22] D. B. Enfield, A. M. Mestas-Nunez and P. J. Trimble, “The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Its Relationship to Rainfall and River Flows in the Continental US,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 28, No. 10, 2001, pp. 2077-2080. doi:10.1029/2000GL012745
[23] C. Wang and S. K. Lee, “Atlantic Warm Pool, Caribbean Low-Level Jet, and Their Potential Impact on Atlantic Hurricanes,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2007, Article ID: L02703. doi:10.1029/2006GL028579
[24] S. B. Goldenberg, C. W. Landsea, A. M. Mestas-Nunez, and W. M. Gray, “The Recent Increase in Atlantic Hurricane Activity: Causes and Implications,” Science, Vol. 293, No. 5529, 2001, pp. 474-479. doi:10.1126/science.1060040
[25] R. E. Davis, B. P. Hayden, D. A. Gay, W. L. Phillips and G. V. Jones, “The North Atlantic Subtropical Anticyclone,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1997, pp. 728-744. doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1997)010<0728:TNASA>2.0.CO;2
[26] H. S. Sahsamanoglou, “A Contribution to the Study of Action Centers in the North-Atlantic,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1990, pp. 247-261. doi:10.1002/joc.3370100303
[27] A. Kapala, H. Machel and H. Flohn, “Behaviour of the Centres of Action above the Atlantic since 1881. Part II: Associations with Regional Climate Anomalies,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1998, pp. 23-36. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199801)18:1<23::AID-JOC226>3.0.CO;2-7
[28] H. Machel, A. Kapala and H. Flohn, “Behaviour of the Centres of Action above the Atlantic since 1881. Part I: Characteristics of Seasonal and Interannual Variability,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1998, pp. 1-22. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199801)18:1<1::AID-JOC225>3.0.CO;2-A
[29] S. Hastenrath, “On General Circulation and Energy Budget in the Area of the Central American Seas,” Journal of Atmospheric Science, Vol. 23, No. 6, 1966, pp. 694-711. doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1966)023<0694:OGCAEB>2.0.CO;2
[30] G. T. Trewartha, “The Earth’s Problem Climates, Second Edition,” The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1981.
[31] J. B. Nyberg, A. Kuijpers, B. A. Malmgren and H. Kunzendorf, “Late Holocene Changes in Precipitation and Hydrology Recorded in Marine Sediments from the Northeastern Caribbean Sea,” Quaternary Research, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2001, pp. 87-102. doi:10.1006/qres.2001.2249
[32] D. H. Portis, J. E. Walsh, M. El Hamly and P. J. Lamb, “Seasonality of the North Atlantic Oscillation,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 14, No. 9, 2001, pp. 2069-2078. doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<2069:SOTNAO>2.0.CO;2
[33] J. W. Hurrell, “Decadal Trends in the North-Atlantic Oscillation—Regional Temperatures and Precipitation,” Science, Vol. 269, No. 5224, 1995, pp. 676-679. doi:10.1126/science.269.5224.676
[34] P. D. Jones, T. Jonsson and D. Wheeler, “Extension to the North Atlantic Oscillation Using Early Instrumental Pressure Observations From Gibraltar and South-West Iceland,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 17, No. 13, 1997, pp. 1433-1450. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(19971115)17:13<1433::AID-JOC203>3.0.CO;2-P
[35] H. H. Lamb, “Climate, Present, Past and Future.Volume 2, Climatic History and the Future,” Methuen and Co. Ltd., London, 1977.
[36] H. Flohn, “Ice-free Arctic and Glaciated Antarctic,” In: H. Flohn and R. Fantechi, Eds., The Climate of Europe: Past, Present and Future, D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, 1984, pp. 248-268.
[37] G. H. Haug, K. A. Hughen, D. M. Sigman, L. C. Peterson and U. Rohl, “Southward Migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone through the Holocene,” Science, Vol. 293, No. 5533 2001, pp. 1304-1308. doi:10.1126/science.1059725
[38] J. C. H. Chiang, M. Biasutti and D. S. Battisti, “Sensitivity of the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone to Last Glacial Maximum Boundary Conditions,” Paleoceanography, Vol. 18, 2003.
[39] A. Koutavas and J. Lynch-Stieglitz, “Variability of the Marine ITCZ over the Eastern Pacific during the Past 30,000 Years: Regional Perspective and Global Context,” In: H. F. Diaz and R. S. Bradley, Eds., The Hadley Circulation: Present, Past, and Future, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2004, pp. 347-369. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-2944-8_12
[40] J. C. H. Chiang and C. M. Bitz, “Influence of High Latitude Ice Cover on the Marine Intertropical Convergence Zone,” Climate Dynamics, Vol. 25, No. 5, 2005, pp. 477-496. doi:10.1007/s00382-005-0040-5
[41] A. J. Broccoli, K. A. Dahl and R. J. Stouffer, “Response of the ITCZ to Northern Hemisphere Cooling,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2006, Article ID: L01702. doi:10.1029/2005GL024546
[42] R. Seager, N. Graham, C. Herweijer, A. L. Gordon, Y. Kushnir and E. Cook, “Blueprints for Medieval Hydroclime,” Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 26, No. 19-21, 2007, pp. 2322-2336. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.04.020
[43] K. B. Liu and M. L. Fearn, “Lake-Sediment Record of Late Holocene Hurricane Activities from Coastal Alabama,” Geology, Vol. 21, No. 9, 1993, pp. 793-796. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1993)021<0793:LSROLH>2.3.CO;2
[44] K. B. Liu and M. L. Fearn, “Reconstruction of Prehistoric Landfall Frequencies of Catastrophic Hurricanes in Northwestern Florida from Lake Sediment Records,” Quaternary Research, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2000, pp. 238-245. doi:10.1006/qres.2000.2166
[45] J. P. Donnelly, S. S. Bryant, J. Butler, F. L. Dowling, N. Hausmann, P. Newby, B. Shuman, J. Stern, K. Westover and T. Webb III, “A 700 year Sedimentary Record of Intense Hurricane Landfalls in Southern New England,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 113, No. 6, 2001, pp. 714-727. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2001)113<0714:YSROIH>2.0.CO;2
[46] J. P. Donnelly, S. Roll, M. Wengren, J. Butler, R. Lederer and T. Webb III, “Sedimentary Evidence of Intense Hurricane Strikes from New Jersey,” Geology, Vol. 29, No. 7, 2001, pp. 615-618. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2001)029<0615:SEOIHS>2.0.CO;2
[47] J. P. Donnelly, J. Butler, S. Roll, M. Wengren and T. Webb III, “A Backbarrier Overwash Record of Intense Storms from Brigantine, New Jersey,” Marine Geology, Vol. 210, No. 1-4, 2004, pp. 107-121. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2004.05.005
[48] D. B. Scott, E. S. Collins, P.T. Gayes and E. Wright, “Records of Prehistoric Hurricanes on the South Carolina Coast Based on Micropaleontological and Sedimentological Evidence, With Comparison to Other Atlantic Coast Records,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 115, No. 9, 2003, pp. 1027-1039. doi:10.1130/B25011.1
[49] K. B. Liu, “Paleotempestology: Principles, Methods, and Examples from Gulf Coast Lake Sediments,” In: R. J. Murnane and K. B. Liu, Eds., Hurricanes and Typhoons: Past, Present and Future, Columbia University Press, New York, 2004, pp. 13-57.
[50] J. P. Donnelly and T. Webb III, “Back-barrier Sedimentary Records of Intense Hurricane Landfall in the Northeastern United States,” In: R. J. Murnane and K. B. Liu, Eds., Hurricanes and Typhoons: Past, Present and Future, Columbia University Press, New York, 2004, pp. 58-95.
[51] J. P. Donnelly and J. Woodruff, “Intense Hurricane Activity over the Past 5000 Years Controlled by El Nino and the West African Monsoon,” Nature, Vol. 447, 2007, pp. 465-468. doi:10.1038/nature05834
[52] M. E. Mann, J. D. Woodruff, J. P. Donnelly and Z. H. Zhang, “Atlantic Hurricanes and Climate over the Past 1500 Years,” Nature, Vol. 460, 2009, pp. 880-883. doi:10.1038/nature08219
[53] T. A. McCloskey and G. Keller, “5000 Year Sedimentary Record of Hurricane Strikes on the Central Coast of Belize,” Quaternary International, Vol. 195, No. 1-2, 2009, pp. 53-68. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2008.03.003
[54] B. Malaizé, P. Bertran, P. Carbonel, D. Bonnissent, K. Charlier, D. Galop, D. Imbert, N. Serrand, C. Stouvenot and C. Pujol, “Hurricanes and Climate in the Caribbean During the Past 3700 Years BP,” The Holocene, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2011, pp. 911-924. doi:10.1177/0959683611400198
[55] T. A. McCloskey and K. B. Liu, “A Sedimentary-Based History of Hurricane Strikes on the Southern Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua,” Quaternary Research, Vol. 78, No. 3, 2012, pp. 454-464. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2012.07.003
[56] T. A. McCloskey and K. B. Liu, “A 7000-Year Record of Paleohurricane Activity from a Coastal Wetland in Belize,” The Holocene, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2013, pp. 276-289. doi:10.1177/0959683612460782
[57] T. A. McCloskey and J. T. Knowles, “Migration of the Tropical Cyclone Zone throughout the Holocene,” In: J. B. Elsner and T. H. Jagger, Eds., Hurricanes and Climate Change, Springer, New York, 2009, pp. 169-188. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-09410-6_10
[58] J. N. Richey, R. Z. Poore, B. P. Flower and T. M. Quinn, “1400 yr Multiproxy Record of Climate Variability from the Northern Gulf of Mexico,” Geology, Vol. 35, No. 5, 2007, pp. 423-426. doi:10.1130/G23507A.1
[59] J. N. Richey, R. Z. Poore, B. P. Flower, T. M. Quinn and D. J. Hollander, “Regionally Coherent Little Ice Age Cooling in the Atlantic Warm Pool,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, No. 21, 2009, Article ID: L21703. doi:10.1029/2009GL040445
[60] G. A. Meehl, T. F. Stocker, W. D. Collins, P. Friedlingstein, A. T. Gaye, J. M. Gregory, A. Kitoh, R. Knutti, J. M. Murphy, A. Noda, S. C. B. Raper, I. G. Watterson, A. J. Weaver and Z. C. Zhao, “Global Climate Projections,” In: S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K. B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H. L. Miller, Eds., Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.