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Interannual and Decadal Variability of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones in the Southeast Coastal States of the United States


doi: 10.1007/s00376-002-0007-y

  • The interannual variability of the At lantic tropical cyclone (TC) frequency is well known. Separately,recent studies have also suggested that a much longer, multidecadal (40-60 year) trend might be emerging from the recent increase in Atlantic TC activity. However, the overall structure of the intrinsic frequencies (or temporal modes) of Atlantic TC activity is not yet known. The focus of this study is to systematically analyze the intrinsic frequencies of Atlantic TC activity using hurricane and tropical storm landfall data collected along the southeast coast (SEC) of the United States. Based on an Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) analysis of the frequency of landfall TCs along the SEC from 1887-1999, we have found that Atlantic TC activity has four primary, temporal modes. The interannual and multidecadal modes reported in the published literature are two such modes. After identifying all primary modes, the relative importance of each mode and its physical cause can be analyzed. For example, the most energetic mode is the interannual mode (2-7 year period). This mode is known to be associated with the 2-7 year El Nino / La Ni na cycle. The average number of annual landfalling TCs along the SEC decreased by 24% during El Nino years, but did not show significant increase during weak and moderate La Nina years. However, intense La Nina years were generally associated with more than average landfalling TCs along the SEC. The effects of El Nino and La Nina also became more significant when only hurricanes were considered. The significance of the effects of El Nino and La Nina on landfalling TCs and hurricanes in different US southeast coastal states showed significant differences.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 July 2002
Manuscript revised: 10 July 2002
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Interannual and Decadal Variability of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones in the Southeast Coastal States of the United States

  • 1. Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State University Box 8208 Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208 U.S.A,Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State University Box 8208 Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208 U.S.A,Now at the Institute of Physical Oceanography, the Ocean University of Qingdao, Qingdao, 266003

Abstract: The interannual variability of the At lantic tropical cyclone (TC) frequency is well known. Separately,recent studies have also suggested that a much longer, multidecadal (40-60 year) trend might be emerging from the recent increase in Atlantic TC activity. However, the overall structure of the intrinsic frequencies (or temporal modes) of Atlantic TC activity is not yet known. The focus of this study is to systematically analyze the intrinsic frequencies of Atlantic TC activity using hurricane and tropical storm landfall data collected along the southeast coast (SEC) of the United States. Based on an Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) analysis of the frequency of landfall TCs along the SEC from 1887-1999, we have found that Atlantic TC activity has four primary, temporal modes. The interannual and multidecadal modes reported in the published literature are two such modes. After identifying all primary modes, the relative importance of each mode and its physical cause can be analyzed. For example, the most energetic mode is the interannual mode (2-7 year period). This mode is known to be associated with the 2-7 year El Nino / La Ni na cycle. The average number of annual landfalling TCs along the SEC decreased by 24% during El Nino years, but did not show significant increase during weak and moderate La Nina years. However, intense La Nina years were generally associated with more than average landfalling TCs along the SEC. The effects of El Nino and La Nina also became more significant when only hurricanes were considered. The significance of the effects of El Nino and La Nina on landfalling TCs and hurricanes in different US southeast coastal states showed significant differences.

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