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Ryan E. Truchelut, Robert E. Hart, and Briana Luthman

Abstract

Prior to the satellite era, limited synoptic observation networks led to an indefinite number of tropical cyclones (TCs) remaining undetected. This period of decreased confidence in the TC climatological record includes the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. While prior studies found that this undersampling exists, disagreement regarding its magnitude has caused difficulties in interpreting multidecadal changes in TC activity. Previous research also demonstrated that reanalyses can be used to extend TC climatology, utilizing the NOAA/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Twentieth-Century Reanalysis to manually identify previously unknown Atlantic Ocean basin potential TCs. This study expands the spatiotemporal scope of the earlier work by presenting a filtering algorithm that dramatically improves the efficiency with which candidate events are identified in the reanalysis. This algorithm was applied to all tropical basins for the years 1871–1979, resulting in the first quantitative and objective global TC candidate event counts for the decades prior to formal recordkeeping. Observational verification performed on a subset of these events indicates that the algorithm identifies potential missing TCs at a success rate approximating that of earlier work with a significant decrease in the amount of time required. Extrapolating these proportions to all of the candidate events identified suggests that this method may help to locate hundreds of previously unknown TCs worldwide for future study and cataloging. As such, the dataset produced by this research is a source of independent guidance for use in ongoing and future TC climatology revision efforts to produce a more complete historical record more quickly than with current methods.

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Philip J. Klotzbach, Kimberly M. Wood, Michael M. Bell, Eric S. Blake, Steven G. Bowen, Louis-Philippe Caron, Jennifer M. Collins, Ethan J. Gibney, Carl J. Schreck III, and Ryan E. Truchelut

Abstract

The active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, and 7 major hurricanes (Category 3+ on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). Though the season was active overall, the final two months (October–November) raised 2020 into the upper echelon of Atlantic hurricane activity for integrated metrics such as Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE). This study focuses on October–November 2020, when 7 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes formed and produced ACE of 74 * 104 kt2. Since 1950, October–November 2020 ranks tied for 3rd for named storms, 1st for hurricanes and major hurricanes, and 2nd for ACE. Six named storms also underwent rapid intensification (≥30 kt intensification in ≤24 hr) in October–November 2020—the most on record.

This manuscript includes a climatological analysis of October–November tropical cyclones (TCs) and their primary formation regions. In 2020, anomalously low wind shear in the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, likely driven by a moderate intensity La Niña event and anomalously high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Caribbean provided dynamic and thermodynamic conditions that were much more conducive than normal for late-season TC formation and rapid intensification. This study also highlights October–November 2020 landfalls, including Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in Louisiana and in Mexico and Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Nicaragua. The active late season in the Caribbean would have been anticipated by a statistical model using the July–September-averaged ENSO Longitude Index and Atlantic warm pool SSTs as predictors.

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Philip J. Klotzbach, Kimberly M. Wood, Michael M. Bell, Eric S. Blake, Steven G. Bowen, Louis-Philippe Caron, Jennifer M. Collins, Ethan J. Gibney, Carl J. Schreck III, and Ryan E. Truchelut

Abstract

The active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, and 7 major hurricanes (category 3+ on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). Though the season was active overall, the final two months (October–November) raised 2020 into the upper echelon of Atlantic hurricane activity for integrated metrics such as accumulated cyclone energy (ACE). This study focuses on October–November 2020, when 7 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes formed and produced ACE of 74 × 104 kt2 (1 kt ≈ 0.51 m s−1). Since 1950, October–November 2020 ranks tied for third for named storms, first for hurricanes and major hurricanes, and second for ACE. Six named storms also underwent rapid intensification (≥30 kt intensification in ≤24 h) in October–November 2020—the most on record. This manuscript includes a climatological analysis of October–November tropical cyclones (TCs) and their primary formation regions. In 2020, anomalously low wind shear in the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, likely driven by a moderate-intensity La Niña event and anomalously high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Caribbean, provided dynamic and thermodynamic conditions that were much more conducive than normal for late-season TC formation and rapid intensification. This study also highlights October–November 2020 landfalls, including Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in Louisiana and in Mexico and Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Nicaragua. The active late season in the Caribbean would have been anticipated by a statistical model using the July–September-averaged ENSO longitude index and Atlantic warm pool SSTs as predictors.

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Stephen Baxter, Gerald D Bell, Eric S Blake, Francis G Bringas, Suzana J Camargo, Lin Chen, Caio A. S Coelho, Ricardo Domingues, Stanley B Goldenberg, Gustavo Goni, Nicolas Fauchereau, Michael S Halpert, Qiong He, Philip J Klotzbach, John A Knaff, Michelle L'Heureux, Chris W Landsea, I.-I Lin, Andrew M Lorrey, Jing-Jia Luo, Andrew D Magee, Richard J Pasch, Petra R Pearce, Alexandre B Pezza, Matthew Rosencrans, Blair C Trewin, Ryan E Truchelut, Bin Wang, H Wang, Kimberly M Wood, and John-Mark Woolley
Free access
Howard J. Diamond, Carl J. Schreck III, Emily J. Becker, Gerald D. Bell, Eric S. Blake, Stephanie Bond, Francis G. Bringas, Suzana J. Camargo, Lin Chen, Caio A. S. Coelho, Ricardo Domingues, Stanley B. Goldenberg, Gustavo Goni, Nicolas Fauchereau, Michael S. Halpert, Qiong He, Philip J. Klotzbach, John A. Knaff, Michelle L'Heureux, Chris W. Landsea, I.-I. Lin, Andrew M. Lorrey, Jing-Jia Luo, Kyle MacRitchie, Andrew D. Magee, Ben Noll, Richard J. Pasch, Alexandre B. Pezza, Matthew Rosencrans, Michael K. Tippet, Blair C. Trewin, Ryan E. Truchelut, Bin Wang, Hui Wang, Kimberly M. Wood, John-Mark Woolley, and Steven H. Young
Free access
Howard J. Diamond, Carl J. Schreck III, Adam Allgood, Emily J. Becker, Eric S. Blake, Francis G. Bringas, Suzana J. Camargo, Lin Chen, Caio A. S. Coelho, Nicolas Fauchereau, Stanley B. Goldenberg, Gustavo Goni, Michael S. Halpert, Qiong He, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Philip J. Klotzbach, John A. Knaff, Arun Kumar, Chris W. Landsea, Michelle L’Heureux, I.-I. Lin, Andrew M. Lorrey, Jing-Jia Luo, Andrew D. Magee, Richard J. Pasch, Alexandre B. Pezza, Matthew Rosencrans, Blair C. Trewin, Ryan E. Truchelut, Bin Wang, Hui Wang, Kimberly M. Wood, and John-Mark Woolley
Free access