9 Climatology and Predictability of Mid-Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Landfalls in High-Atmospheric-Resolution Seasonal Prediction System

Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Julia V. Manganello, George Mason Univ./COLA, Fairfax, VA; and B. Cash and E. T. Swenson

Handout (9.3 MB)

Tropical cyclone (TC) landfalls over the Mid-Atlantic region (Virginia, Chesapeake Bay, Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey coastlines), which include the so-called “Sandy-type”, or westward curving, tracks, are one of the most infrequent landfalls along the U.S. East Coast. However, when these events do occur, the resulting economic and societal consequences could be devastating. A recent example is Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which is considered the third largest hurricane loss on record (Swiss Re 2014) and the second-costliest cyclone to hit the United States since 1900 with the greatest number of U.S. TC related direct fatalities in the northeast since 1972 (Blake et al. 2013). We have utilized multi-model ensemble seasonal forecasts conducted with a high-atmospheric-resolution coupled prediction system (Project Minerva) as “extensions” of the observational record to compile the statistics of these rare but potentially highly destructive events. We show that Minerva retrospective forecasts exhibit skill in reproducing climatological characteristics of the Mid-Atlantic TC landfalls particularly at the highest atmospheric horizontal spectral resolution of T1279. The forecasts are further used to identify regional and large-scale environmental conditions associated with these anomalous TC tracks to better quantify their predictability and its limits.
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