|Title||Climatology and ENSO-related variability of North American extratropical cyclone activity|
|Publication Type||Manual Entry|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Eichler, T., and W. Higgins|
|Journal of Climate|
The climatology and interannual variability of North American extratropical cyclones are examined using 6-hourly sea level pressure data from the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis for the period 1950-2002 and ECMWF 40-yr Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data from 1971 to 2000. The climatology includes an evaluation of the seasonal frequency and intensity of storms as well as an analysis of extreme event intensity. ENSO variability is evaluated by ENSO phase with emphasis on boreal winter. Results show an enhanced East Coast storm track during El Nino as well as an equatorward shift in storm tracks in the North Pacific for storms generated from both the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis and ERA-40 datasets. Observed precipitation close to a storm's center is used to determine which phase of the ENSO cycle is associated with the most productive storms and where they occur. During El Nino winters, a precipitation maximum is located east of the Appalachians and is associated with an enhanced East Coast storm track. During La Nina winters, the precipitation maximum shifts to the Ohio Valley and is associated with an enhanced Great Lakes storm track. Along the U.S. west coast, there is a precipitation maximum in the Pacific Northwest during La Nina winters, which is due to a storm track west of Washington State.