Effects of ENSO on Atlantic Hurricane Formation
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Hurricanes in the Atlantic can have devastating impacts on United States coastal populations and infrastructure. Further researching hurricane movements and tendencies in synoptic climatic events, like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), could benefit the safety of thousands of people every year as well as save millions of dollars. This paper analyzes the effects of ENSO on the length of time between tropical storm formation and landfall in the United States, as well as the number of landfalls per state per year. Almost 1,000,000 synthetic tropical cyclones were analyzed using a statistical stochastic program, which was programmed to return the time and coordinates between tropical storm formation and landfall. The time and distance for each hurricane during its respective episode of ENSO was averaged to get an idea of the time between formation and landfall during all 7 ENSO phases. Generally, the time between formation and landfall was found to be approximately 5 days regardless of ENSO intensity. La Niña has the longest distance between formation and landfall; however in comparison to the smallest distance (Strong El Niño) it is only a difference of about 300 km. This research combines our current understanding of the effects that ENSO has on Atlantic hurricanes with historically based synthetic data in order to potentially enhance warning preparations.
Collins, Coryn (2015). Effects of ENSO on Atlantic Hurricane Formation. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from