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How well do high-resolution Global Climate Models (GCMs) simulate tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal?

Akhter, S., Holloway, C. E. ORCID:, Hodges, K. and Vanniere, B. ORCID: (2023) How well do high-resolution Global Climate Models (GCMs) simulate tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal? Climate Dynamics, 61 (7-8). pp. 3581-3604. ISSN 1432-0894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-023-06745-3


Using six HighResMIP multi-ensemble GCMs (both the atmosphere-only and coupled versions) at 25km resolution, the Tropical Cyclone (TC) activity over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) is examined in the present (1950- 2014) climate. We use the Genesis Potential Index (GPI) to study the large-scale environmental conditions associated with the TC frequency in the models. Although the models struggle to reproduce the observed frequency and intensity of TCs, most models can capture the bimodal characteristics of the seasonal cycle of cyclones over the BoB (with fewer TCs during the pre-monsoon [April-May] than the post-monsoon [October- November] season). We find that GPI can capture the seasonal variation of the TC frequency over the BoB in both the observations and models. After calibrating the maximum sustained windspeeds in the models with IBTrACS, we find that like the observations the proportion of strong cyclones is also higher in the pre-monsoon than the post-monsoon. However, the inter-seasonal contrast of the proportion of strong cyclones between the pre- monsoon and post-monsoon seasons is reduced in almost all the models compared to the observations. The windshear term in GPI contributes the most to the model biases in all models during the post-monsoon season. This bias is caused by weakening of upper-level (200 hPa) easterlies in analysed models. During the pre-monsoon season, the environmental term in GPI dominating the model biases varies from model to model. When comparing the atmosphere-only and coupled versions of the models, a reduction of 0.5°C in the sea surface temperature (SST) and a lowering of TC frequency occur in almost all the coupled models compared to their atmosphere-only counterparts.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:111151


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