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Seasonality of interbasin SST contributions to Atlantic tropical cyclone activity
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  • Robert West,
  • Hosmay Lopez,
  • Sang-Ki Lee,
  • Andrew Mercer,
  • Dongmin Kim,
  • Gregory Foltz,
  • Karthik Balaguru
Robert West
Northern Gulf Institute

Corresponding Author:robert.west@noaa.gov

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Hosmay Lopez
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Sang-Ki Lee
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Andrew Mercer
Mississippi State University
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Dongmin Kim
Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies/University of Miami
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Gregory Foltz
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Karthik Balaguru
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DOE)
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Recent studies have demonstrated that the difference in sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) between the tropical Atlantic main development region (MDR) and the tropical Pacific (Niño 3) modulates Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. This study further explores the seasonality of Pacific and Atlantic contributions to Atlantic hurricane activity. Our analysis shows that while MDR and Niño 3 SSTAs are equally important for late-season (September-November) activity, early-season (June-August) activity is largely modulated by MDR SSTAs. This reflects the increased (reduced) variance of MDR (Niño 3) SSTAs in the early-season due to their phase locking to the seasonal cycle. Further analysis yields skillful forecasts using an MDR-Niño 3 interbasin index derived from hindcasts of the North American Multi-Model Ensemble with May initial conditions. However, the prediction skill for MDR SSTAs is lower than that of Niño 3 SSTAs, suggesting that increasing the prediction skill for MDR SSTAs is key to improving seasonal outlooks.
28 Feb 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 4. 10.1029/2021GL096712