Monitoring and understanding changes in extremes: Extratropical storms, winds, and waves

TitleMonitoring and understanding changes in extremes: Extratropical storms, winds, and waves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsVose R.S, Applequist S., Bourassa M.KA, Pryor S.C, Barthelmie R.J, Blanton B., Bromirski PD, Brooks H.OE, DeGaetano A.T, Dole R.M, Easterling D.R, Jensen R.E, Karl T.R, Katz R.W, Klink K., Kruk M.C, Kunkel K.E, MacCracken M.C, Peterson T.SC, Shein K., Thomas B.R, Walsh J.E, Wang X.LL, Wehner M.F, Wuebbles D.J, Young R.S
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Volume95
Pagination377-386
Date Published2014/-3
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0003-0007
Accession NumberWOS:000335198200005
Keywordscirculation; climate controls; extratropical cyclone activity; global trends; reanalysis; united-states; us east-coast; variability; wave heights; wind-speed
Abstract

This scientific assessment examines changes in three climate extremesextratropical storms, winds, and waveswith an emphasis on U.S. coastal regions during the cold season. There is moderate evidence of an increase in both extratropical storm frequency and intensity during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, with suggestive evidence of geographic shifts resulting in slight upward trends in offshore/coastal regions. There is also suggestive evidence of an increase in extreme winds (at least annually) over parts of the ocean since the early to mid-1980s, but the evidence over the U.S. land surface is inconclusive. Finally, there is moderate evidence of an increase in extreme waves in winter along the Pacific coast since the 1950s, but along other U.S. shorelines any tendencies are of modest magnitude compared with historical variability. The data for extratropical cyclones are considered to be of relatively high quality for trend detection, whereas the data for extreme winds and waves are judged to be of intermediate quality. In terms of physical causes leading to multidecadal changes, the level of understanding for both extratropical storms and extreme winds is considered to be relatively low, while that for extreme waves is judged to be intermediate. Since the ability to measure these changes with some confidence is relatively recent, understanding is expected to improve in the future for a variety of reasons, including increased periods of record and the development of climate reanalysis projects.

DOI10.1175/bams-d-12-00162.1
Short TitleBull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc.
Integrated Research Themes: 
Student Publication: 
No