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How important are post-tropical cyclones for European windstorm risk?

Sainsbury, E. M., Schiemann, R. K. H., Hodges, K. I., Shaffrey, L. C., Baker, A. J. and Bhatia, K. T. (2020) How important are post-tropical cyclones for European windstorm risk? Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (18). e2020GL089853. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2020GL089853

Abstract/Summary

Post-tropical cyclones (PTCs) extend many hazards associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) to the mid-latitudes. Despite recent high-impact cases affecting Europe such as Ophelia, little research has been done to characterize the risk of PTCs. Here we compare the climatologies and intensity distributions of mid-latitude cyclones (MLCs) and PTCs in the North Atlantic and Europe by tracking cyclones in the ERA5 reanalysis. Considering hurricane-season cyclones impacting Northern Europe, PTCs show a significantly higher mean maximum intensity than MLCs, but make only a small contribution to total windstorm risk. Our results show that a disproportionately large fraction of high-intensity cyclones impacting Europe during hurricane season are PTCs. The fraction of PTCs impacting N Europe with storm-force (>25ms-1) winds is approximately ten times higher than for MLCs. Less than 1% of cyclones impacting Northern Europe are identified to be PTCs. This rises to 8.8% when considering cyclones which impact with storm-force winds.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:92869
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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