Last updated January 16, 2019

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. Fewer studies have directly
  • 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.
  • Tests the hypothesis that cyclone intensity would be enhanced through increased lower-tropospheric diabatic potential vorticity generation
  • Finds that precipitation increases at a rate slightly less than that dictated by the Clausius–Clapeyron relation with warming
  • Finds increases in cyclone intensity are seen in the form of minimum sea level pressure decreases and a strengthened 10-m wind field
  • Finds that 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