Predictability of Atlantic tropical cyclones in the GFDL HiRAM model

Zhuo Wang, Gan Zhang, Melinda S. Peng, Jan Huey Chen, Shian Jiann Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The hindcasts of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) High-Resolution Atmospheric Model (HiRAM), which skillfully predicted the interannual variability of Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) frequency, were analyzed to investigate what key circulation systems a model must capture in order to skillfully predict TCs. The HiRAM reproduced the leading empirical orthogonal function mode (M1) of the interannual variability of the Atlantic Hadley circulation and its impacts on environmental conditions. M1 represents the variability of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) intensity and width, and the predictability of Atlantic TCs can be explained by the lag correlation between M1 and SST in preceding months. Although the ITCZ displacement was not well predicted by the HiRAM hindcasts, it does not affect the prediction of the basin-wide hurricane count. The analyses suggest that the leading mode of the variability of the regional Hadley circulation can serve as a useful metric to evaluate the performance of global models in TC seasonal prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2547-2554
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 16 2015


  • predictability of Atlantic tropical cyclones
  • regional Hadley circulation
  • seasonal prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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