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Ocean precursors to the extreme Atlantic 2017 hurricane season

Hallam, Samantha; Marsh, Robert; Josey, Simon A.; Hyder, Pat; Moat, Ben ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8676-7779; Hirschi, Joël J.-M.. 2019 Ocean precursors to the extreme Atlantic 2017 hurricane season. Nature Communications, 10 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08496-4

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Abstract/Summary

Active Atlantic hurricane seasons are favoured by positive precursor sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the main development region (MDR, 10–20°N, 20–80°W). Here, we identify a different driving mechanism for these anomalies in 2017 (most costly season on record) compared to the recent active 2005 and 2010 seasons. In 2005 and 2010, a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is the primary driver of positive SSTA. However, in 2017, reduced wind-driven cold water upwelling and weaker surface net heat loss in the north-eastern MDR were the main drivers. Our results are the first to show that air-sea heat flux and wind stress related processes are important in generating precursor positive SSTAs and that these processes were active pre-determinants of the 2017 season severity. In contrast to other strong seasons, positive SSTA developed later in 2017 (between April and July rather than March) compounding the challenge of predicting Atlantic hurricane season severity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08496-4
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date made live: 26 Feb 2019 14:24 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/522353

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