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Increased wind risk from sting-jet windstorms with climate change


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Martinez-Alvarado, O., Gray, S. L., Hart, N. C.G., Clark, P. A., Hodges, K. I. and Roberts, M. J. (2018) Increased wind risk from sting-jet windstorms with climate change. Environmental Research Letters. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaae3a


Extra-tropical cyclones dominate autumn and winter weather over western Europe. The strongest cyclones, often termed windstorms, have a large socio-economic impact on landfall due to strong surface winds and coastal storm surges. Climate model integrations have predicted a future increase in the frequency of, and potential damage from, European windstorms and yet these integrations cannot properly represent localised jets, such as sting jets, that may significantly enhance damage. Here we present the first prediction of how the climatology of sting-jet-containing cyclones will change in a future warmer climate, considering the North Atlantic and Europe. A proven sting-jet precursor diagnostic is applied to 13-year present-day and future ($\sim$2100) climate integrations from the Met Office Unified Model in its Global Atmosphere 3.0 configuration. The present-day climate results are consistent with previously-published results from a reanalysis dataset (with around 32\% of cyclones exhibiting the sing-jet precursor), lending credibility to the analysis of the future-climate integration. The proportion of cyclones exhibiting the sting-jet precursor in the future-climate integration increases to 45\%. Furthermore, while the proportion of explosively-deepening storms increases only slightly in the future climate, the proportion of those storms with the sting-jet precursor increases by 60\%. The European resolved-wind risk associated with explosively-deepening storms containing a sting-jet precursor increases substantially in the future climate; in reality this wind risk is likely to be further enhanced by the release of localised moist instability, unresolved by typical climate models.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:75477
Uncontrolled Keywords:extra-tropical cyclones, meteorological bombs, sting jets, climate modelling, warmer climate, climatology, wind risk
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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