Friday, February 25, 2011

3rd International Summit on Hurricanes and Climate Change

Over the past several years the topic of hurricanes and climate change has received considerable attention by scientists, the insurance industry, and the media. Building on the successful 1st and 2nd Summits, I am organizing the 3rd Summit to be held June 27-July 2, 2011 in Rhodes, Greece. The purpose is to bring together leading academics and researchers on various sides of the debate and from all around the world to discuss new research and express opinions about what is happening and what might happen in the future with regard to regional and global hurricane (tropical cyclone) activity. The goals are to address what research is needed to advance the science of hurricane climate and to provide a venue for encouraging a lively, spirited, and sustained exchange of ideas. Please consider joining us.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Spatial grids for hurricane climate research

We demonstrate a new framework for studying hurricane climatology. The framework consists of a spatial tessellation of the hurricane basin using equal-area hexagons. The hexagons are efficient in covering hurricane tracks and provide a scaffolding to combine attribute data from tropical cyclones with spatial climate data. The framework's utility is demonstrated using examples from recent hurricane seasons. Seasons that have similar tracks are quantitatively assessed and grouped. Regional cyclone frequency and intensity variations are mapped. A geographically-weighted regression of cyclone intensity on frequency and SST (results shown here) emphasizes the importance of a warm ocean in the intensification of cyclones over regions where the heat content is greatest. The largest differences between model predictions and observations occur near the coast. The framework would be ideally suited for comparing tropical cyclones generated from different numerical simulations (see U.S. CLIVAR hurricane working group). The hexagons have equal area and are plotted on a map using the Lambert conformal conic projection with standard parallels of 23 and 38 degrees.