Friday, November 16, 2012

The Spatial Pattern of the Sun-Hurricane Connection

We define the spatial response of hurricanes to extremes in the solar cycle. Using an equal-area hexagon tessellation, regional hurricane counts are examined during the period 1851–2010. The response features fewer hurricanes across the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and along the eastern seaboard of the United States when sunspots are numerous. In contrast fewer hurricanes are observed in the central North Atlantic when sunspots are few. The sun-hurricane connection is as important as the El NiƱo Southern Oscillation in statistically explaining regional hurricane occurrences.  Read more.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and climate change

While the SSTs did not cause Sandy to curve into New Jersey, they quite likely caused Sandy to be stronger. Our new research shows that the limiting intensity of hurricanes (how strong hurricanes can get as a statistical limit) relates to SST at about 8 m/s/C.  With SSTs in the path of Sandy that were 2-3 C warmer than is typical, we would predict a strong hurricane to be twice as strong on average.  Read more.