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An overview of the extratropical storm tracks in CMIP6 historical simulations

Priestley, M. D. K., Ackerley, D., Catto, J. L., Hodges, K. I., McDonald, R. E. and Lee, R. W. ORCID: (2020) An overview of the extratropical storm tracks in CMIP6 historical simulations. Journal of Climate, 33 (15). pp. 6315-6343. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0928.1


The representation of the winter and summer extratropical storm tracks in both hemispheres is evaluated in detail for the available models in the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The state of the storm tracks from 1979-2014 is compared to that in ERA5 using a Lagrangian objective cyclone tracking algorithm. It is found that the main biases present in the previous generation of models (CMIP5) still persist, albeit to a lesser extent. The equatorward bias around the SH is much reduced and there appears to be some improvement in mean biases with the higher resolution models, such as the zonal tilt of the North Atlantic storm track. Low resolution models have a tendency to under-estimate the frequency of high intensity cyclones with all models simulating a peak intensity that is too low for cyclones in the SH. Explosively developing cyclones are under-estimated across all ocean basins and in both hemispheres. In particular the models struggle to capture the rapid deepening required for these cyclones. For all measures, the CMIP6 models exhibit an overall improvement compared to the previous generation of CMIP5 models. In the NH most improvements can be attributed to increased horizontal resolution, whereas in the SH the impact of resolution is less apparent and any improvements are likely a result of improved model physics.

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:89951
Publisher:American Meteorological Society


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