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ENSO Impact on Hurricane Landfall Probabilities for the Caribbean

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  • 1 Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
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Abstract

The warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, and several studies have evaluated the influence of ENSO on hurricane landfalls in the United States. The present analysis focuses on hurricane landfall probabilities in relation to ENSO for landmasses surrounding the Caribbean Sea. La Niña events are found to be associated with an increased probability of hurricane landfalls in the Caribbean as a whole. Regional variations in the impact of ENSO on hurricane landfall probabilities in the Caribbean are identified, including a lack of an El Niño decrease in probability (relative to neutral years) in the east and west Caribbean.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Shawn R. Smith, Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840. Email: smith@coaps.fsu.edu

Abstract

The warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, and several studies have evaluated the influence of ENSO on hurricane landfalls in the United States. The present analysis focuses on hurricane landfall probabilities in relation to ENSO for landmasses surrounding the Caribbean Sea. La Niña events are found to be associated with an increased probability of hurricane landfalls in the Caribbean as a whole. Regional variations in the impact of ENSO on hurricane landfall probabilities in the Caribbean are identified, including a lack of an El Niño decrease in probability (relative to neutral years) in the east and west Caribbean.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Shawn R. Smith, Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840. Email: smith@coaps.fsu.edu

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