3A.6 Migration of the Lifetime Maximum Intensity of Tropical Cyclones: Relation to Maximum Wind Speeds

Monday, 16 April 2018: 2:45 PM
Masters E (Sawgrass Marriott)
Kelsey N. Ellis, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; and S. A. Tennille

The climatology of tropical cyclones is an immediate research need, specifically to better understand their long-term patterns and elucidate their future in a changing climate. One important pattern that has recently been detected is the poleward shift of the lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) of tropical cyclones. This study further assessed the recent (1977–2015) spatial changes in the LMI of tropical cyclones, specifically those of tropical storm strength or stronger in the North Atlantic and northern West Pacific basins. Analyses of moving decadal means suggested that LMI locations migrated south in the North Atlantic and north in the West Pacific. In addition to a linear trend, there is a cyclical migration of LMI that is especially apparent in the West Pacific. Relationships between LMI migration and intensity were explored, as well as LMI location relative to landfall. The southerly trend of LMI in the North Atlantic was most prevalent in the strongest storms, resulting in these storms reaching their LMI farther from land. The relationship between intensity and LMI migration in the West Pacific was not as clear, but the most intense storms have been reaching LMI closer to their eventual landfall location. This work adds to those emphasizing the importance of understanding the climatology of the most intense hurricanes and shows there are potential human impacts resulting from any migration of LMI.
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