The Relationship Between The Madden-Julian Oscillation and Gulf Coast Tropical Cyclone Tornado Clusters

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Richard W. Dixon, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; and T. Moore and C. G. Townsend

Handout (723.7 kB)

Tropical cyclones (TCs) such as tropical depressions, tropical storms, hurricanes, and their extratropical remnant stages frequently produce tornadoes (TCTORs). These tornadoes are often in clusters and are responsible for considerable property damage and mortality. Recent work has centered on identifying the synoptic-scale features associated with these events.

This study is the first to attempt to link the synoptic-scale to the intraseasonal-scale by examining the impact of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) on the occurrence of tornado clusters produced by Gulf Coast land-falling tropical cyclones. Results indicate a contributing but not controlling link between MJO phase and TCTOR occurrence. This work aligns with previous work done on TCs and tornadoes as individual events, but indicates additional research is needed on conditions during MJO phase transitions and the interaction with interannual climate variability on the production of TCTORs.