Understanding and simulating the link between African easterly waves and Atlantic tropical cyclones using a regional climate model: the role of domain size and lateral boundary conditions
2012 (English)In: Climate Dynamics, ISSN 0930-7575, E-ISSN 1432-0894, Vol. 39, no 1-2, 113-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Using a suite of lateral boundary conditions, we investigate the impact of domain size and boundary conditions on the Atlantic tropical cyclone and african easterly Wave activity simulated by a regional climate model. Irrespective of boundary conditions, simulations closest to observed climatology are obtained using a domain covering both the entire tropical Atlantic and northern African region. There is a clear degradation when the high-resolution model domain is diminished to cover only part of the African continent or only the tropical Atlantic. This is found to be the result of biases in the boundary data, which for the smaller domains, have a large impact on TC activity. In this series of simulations, the large-scale Atlantic atmospheric environment appears to be the primary control on simulated TC activity. Weaker wave activity is usually accompanied by a shift in cyclogenesis location, from the MDR to the subtropics. All ERA40-driven integrations manage to capture the observed interannual variability and to reproduce most of the upward trend in tropical cyclone activity observed during that period. When driven by low-resolution global climate model (GCM) integrations, the regional climate model captures interannual variability (albeit with lower correlation coefficients) only if tropical cyclones form in sufficient numbers in the main development region. However, all GCM-driven integrations fail to capture the upward trend in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. In most integrations, variations in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity appear uncorrelated with variations in African easterly wave activity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 39, no 1-2, 113-135 p.
Tropical cyclone, African easterly wave, Regional climate model, Interannual variability, Lateral boundary conditions, Genesis potential index
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80397DOI: 10.1007/s00382-011-1160-8ISI: 000305745100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-80397DiVA: diva2:556379