Extratropical Impacts on Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity

Gan Zhang, Zhuo Wang, Timothy J. Dunkerton, Melinda S. Peng, Gudrun Magnusdottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Atlantic and cold SST anomalies in the east Pacific, the unusually quiet hurricane season in 2013 was a surprise to the hurricane community. The authors' analyses suggest that the substantially suppressed Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity in August 2013 can be attributed to frequent breaking of midlatitude Rossby waves, which led to the equatorward intrusion of cold and dry extratropical air. The resultant mid- to upper-tropospheric dryness and strong vertical wind shear hindered TC development. Using the empirical orthogonal function analysis, the active Rossby wave breaking in August 2013 was found to be associated with a recurrent mode of the midlatitude jet stream over the North Atlantic, which represents the variability of the intensity and zonal extent of the jet. This mode is significantly correlated with Atlantic hurricane frequency. The correlation coefficient is comparable to the correlation of Atlantic hurricane frequency with the main development region (MDR) relative SST and higher than that with the Niño-3.4 index. This study highlights the extratropical impacts on Atlantic TC activity, which may have important implications for the seasonal predictability of Atlantic TCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1418
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Atm/ocean structure/ phenomena
  • Circulation/ dynamics
  • Extratropics
  • Forecasting
  • Geographic location/entity
  • North Atlantic Ocean
  • Seasonal forecasting
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Wave breaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Extratropical Impacts on Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this