Selected Observations About Tropical Cyclones

I recently looked briefly at both Atlantic, and North East Pacific hurdat data laid over  a selected period ( June through October for the Pacific, August through October for the Atlantic from 1949 through 2016 ) of the ERSSTv4 Sea Surface Temperature data.

Below are the simple analyses of the Atlantic and North Eastern Pacific basins. The tropical cyclone activity in the two basins have some similarities and some distinct differences.

Similarities

In both basins:

  • Major Hurricanes form more equatorward than less intense tropical cyclones
  • Major Hurricanes form slightly more Eastward than less intense tropical cyclones
  • Major Hurricanes move more Westwardly than less intense tropical cyclones
  • Major Hurricanes intensify more days than less intense tropical cyclones
  • Major Hurricanes intensify over a longer path than do less intense tropical cyclones

Differences

One important difference between the Pacific and Atlantic is as follows:

Atlantic tropical cyclones tend to intensify ‘up the temperature gradient’, experiencing mean sea surface temperatures at peak wind speed which are greater than those of the formation sea surface temperatures.

Northeast Pacific tropical cyclones, on the other hand, tend to intensify ‘down the temperature gradient’,  reaching peak wind speeds at sea surface temperatures lower than the sea surface temperatures at which they formed.

 

Atlantic

NorthEastern Pacific

 

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