Christopher G. Marciano, Gary M. Lackmann, and Walter A. Robinson

American Meteorological Society

Published date January 21, 2015

Changes in U.S. East Coast Cyclone Dynamics with Climate Change

  • Previous studies investigating the impacts of climate change on extratropical cyclones have primarily focused on changes in the frequency, intensity, and distribution of these events.
  • In contrast, this study investigates changes in the storm-scale dynamics of individual cyclones.
  • Precipitation associated with these events is projected to increase with warming owing to increased atmospheric water vapor content.
  • Precipitation increases at a rate slightly less than that dictated by the Clausius–Clapeyron relation with warming.
  • Increases in cyclone intensity are seen in the form of minimum sea level pressure decreases and a strengthened 10-m wind field.
  • Amplification of the low-level jet occurs because of the enhancement of latent heating.
  • Storm-relative potential vorticity diagnostics indicate a strengthening of diabatic potential vorticity near the cyclone center, thus supporting the hypothesis that enhanced latent heat release is responsible for this regional increase in future cyclone intensity.