May 3, 2018
Increasing Magnitude of Hurricane Rapid Intensification in the Central and Eastern Tropical Atlantic
Geophysical Research Letters
- Uses an analysis of observations and climate model output
- Demonstrates that:
- The magnitude of rapid intensification (RI), defined as an event where a hurricane increases in intensity by 25 knots or higher in 24 hr, increased in the central and eastern tropical Atlantic during the 30‐year satellite period of 1986–2015
- On the other hand, in the western tropical Atlantic, changes in RI magnitude are insignificant.
- Finds that conspiring changes in the large‐scale hurricane environment brought about by a positive shift in the phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the dominant mode of decadal climate variability in the Atlantic, are primarily responsible for these changes in RI
- Notes that while previous studies examined the frequency of RI, our study is the first to understand potential changes in RI magnitude.
- Results have substantial implications for the eastern Caribbean Islands, some of which were ravaged by several major hurricanes undergoing RI during the recently concluded 2017 Atlantic hurricane season