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Evaluation of Seasonal Genesis Parameters

PI: Louis-Philippe Caron
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
The cyclone of 1970 in Bangladesh, with 300,000 death (Landsea, 2000) and hurricane Katrina, with damages estimated as high as 200 billion dollars (Anthes, 2006), are two powerful and dramatic examples of the destructiveness of tropical cyclones (TC). Hence, whether or not TC formation will be affected due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases is of great concern, especially given the increasingly large coastal population (Emanuel, 2005).

Due to the difficulty of simulating TCs directly with models, mainly because of coarse resolution and parameterization, it is interesting to look for alternate methods to estimate future TC activity. One such method is by looking at diagnostic relationships between large scale parameters and TC formation. One example of this being the seasonal genesis parameters (SGP) as proposed by Gray (1975), which allows for a geographical repartitioning of the seasonal frequency of TC formation, given current climate condition. The six parameters are divided between dynamical factors (coriolis, low level vorticity and vertical wind shear) and thermodynamic factors (moist static stability, mid-tropospheric moisture and upper ocean temperature). The SGP is a reasonably accurate method of identifying seasons and geographic location where TC activity may be high or low.
  • Caron L.-P. and C.G. Jones, 2008: Analysing present, past and future tropical cyclone activity as inferred from an ensemble of Coupled Global Climate Models. Tellus, 60A, 80-96. Abstract. Edit.

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