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Seasonal Forecasts of Major Hurricanes and Landfalling Tropical Cyclones using a High-Resolution GFDL Coupled Climate Model

Author(s): Murakami, Hiroyuki; Vecchi, Gabriel A; Villarini, Gabriele; Delworth, Thomas L; Gudgel, Richard; et al

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Abstract: Skillful seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclone (TC; wind speed ≥17.5 m s−1) activity is challenging, even more so when the focus is on major hurricanes (wind speed ≥49.4 m s−1), the most intense hurricanes (category 4 and 5; wind speed ≥58.1 m s–1), and landfalling TCs. This study shows that a 25-km-resolution global climate model [High-Resolution Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution (FLOR) model (HiFLOR)] developed at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) has improved skill in predicting the frequencies of major hurricanes and category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic as well as landfalling TCs over the United States and Caribbean islands a few months in advance, relative to its 50-km-resolution predecessor climate model (FLOR). HiFLOR also shows significant skill in predicting category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the western North Pacific and eastern North Pacific, while both models show comparable skills in predicting basin-total and landfalling TC frequency in the basins. The improved skillful forecasts of basin-total TCs, major hurricanes, and category 4 and 5 hurricane activity in the North Atlantic by HiFLOR are obtained mainly by improved representation of the TCs and their response to climate from the increased horizontal resolution rather than by improvements in large-scale parameters.
Publication Date: 15-Nov-2016
Citation: Murakami, Hiroyuki, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Gabriele Villarini, Thomas L. Delworth, Richard Gudgel, Seth Underwood, Xiaosong Yang, Wei Zhang, and Shian-Jiann Lin. "Seasonal forecasts of major hurricanes and landfalling tropical cyclones using a high-resolution GFDL coupled climate model." Journal of Climate 29, no. 22 (2016): 7977-7989. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0233.1.
DOI: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0233.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
EISSN: 1520-0442
Pages: 7977 - 7989
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Climate
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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