J5.4 A Statistical Analysis on Atlantic Hurricanes; Is the Worst Yet to Come?

Friday, 12 June 2015: 9:30 AM
304 (Raleigh Convention Center)
Athena Masson, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON, Canada

Each summer, North America welcomes not only the warm temperatures and long summer days but also the start of Hurricane Season. Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. However, each season is different with regards to the frequency and intensity of hurricanes forming in the North Atlantic Ocean. This research identifies if there has been a shift in the frequency of hurricanes developing, the possibility of hurricanes becoming more powerful, and determining if there is an increase in the amount of landfalling Atlantic Hurricanes. North America has been experiencing an increase in landfalling hurricanes since 1980. Additionally, areas such as New England, Atlantic Canada, and even countries as far as Portugal and the United Kingdom are showing an increase in hurricane activity. This increase in landfalling hurricanes has put human lives and property at risk. However, is this increase part of a cyclical cycle or is it due to climate change? The focus of this research was to quantify hurricanes and landfalling hurricanes in the North Atlantic from 1980 to 2010, to determine if there has been a shift in the past 30 years. Using statistical analysis, this study looks at factors that may contribute to the increase in hurricane activity such as the El NiƱo Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Finally, by utilizing the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) this research looks at ways to forecast future Hurricane Seasons to identify if hurricanes will continue to become more of a threat both in number and in strength. Will North America be prepared for the future Hurricane Seasons?
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