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Science. 2009 Jul 3;325(5936):77-80. doi: 10.1126/science.1174062.

Impact of shifting patterns of Pacific Ocean warming on North Atlantic tropical cyclones.

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  • 1School of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, 311 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.

Abstract

Two distinctly different forms of tropical Pacific Ocean warming are shown to have substantially different impacts on the frequency and tracks of North Atlantic tropical cyclones. The eastern Pacific warming (EPW) is identical to that of the conventional El NiƱo, whereas the central Pacific warming (CPW) has maximum temperature anomalies located near the dateline. In contrast to EPW events, CPW episodes are associated with a greater-than-average frequency and increasing landfall potential along the Gulf of Mexico coast and Central America. Differences are shown to be associated with the modulation of vertical wind shear in the main development region forced by differential teleconnection patterns emanating from the Pacific. The CPW is more predictable than the EPW, potentially increasing the predictability of cyclones on seasonal time scales.

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PMID:
19574388
[PubMed]
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