Jan 22, 2016

US regional tornado outbreaks and their links to spring ENSO phases and North Atlantic SST variability

Sang-Ki Lee, Andrew TWittenberg, David B Enfield, Scott J Weaver, Chunzai Wang and Robert Atlas
Environmental Research Letters
  • Investigates the spring probability patterns of US regional tornado outbreaks during 1950–2014
  • Shows that the four dominant springtime El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases (persistent versus early-terminating El Niño and resurgent versus transitioning La Niña) and the North Atlantic sea surface temperature tripole variability are linked to distinct and significant US regional patterns of outbreak probability
  • Finds that these changes in the probability of outbreaks are largely consistent with remotely forced regional changes in the large-scale atmospheric processes conducive to tornado outbreaks
  • Results indicate that the springtime ENSO phases and the North Atlantic SST tripole variability may provide seasonal predictability of US regional tornado outbreaks