Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-38
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-38
11 Jan 2024
 | 11 Jan 2024

Large-scale perspective on the extreme near-surface winds in the central North Atlantic

Aleksa Stanković, Gabriele Messori, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Rodrigo Caballero

Abstract. This study investigates the role of large-scale atmospheric processes in the development of cyclones causing extreme surface winds over the central North Atlantic basin (30° to 60° N, 10° to 50° W), focusing on the extended winter period (October–March) from 1950 until 2020 and using the ERA5 reanalysis product. Extreme surface wind events are identified as footprints of spatio-temporally contiguous 10 m wind exceedances over the local 98th percentile. Cyclones that cause the top 1 % most intense wind footprints (‘top extremes’) are identified and selected for further analysis. These are compared to a set of cyclones yielding wind footprints with exceedances marginally above the 98th percentile (‘moderate extremes’). Cyclones leading to top extremes are, from their time of cyclogenesis, characterized by the presence of pre-existing downstream cyclones, a strong polar jet, and positive upper-level potential vorticity anomalies to the north. All these features are absent or much weaker in the case of moderate extremes, suggesting that they play a key role in the top extreme’ explosive development and in the generation of spatially-extended wind footprints. Furthermore, analysis of the pressure tendency equation over the cyclones’ evolution reveals that, although the leading contributions to surface pressure decrease vary from cyclone to cyclone, top extremes have on average a greater diabatic contribution than moderate extremes.

Aleksa Stanković, Gabriele Messori, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Rodrigo Caballero

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-38', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-38', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Feb 2024
Aleksa Stanković, Gabriele Messori, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Rodrigo Caballero
Aleksa Stanković, Gabriele Messori, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Rodrigo Caballero

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Short summary
The article studies extreme winds near the surface over the North Atlantic ocean. These winds are caused by storms that pass through this region. The strongest storms that have occurred in the winters from 1950–2020 are studied in detail and compared to weaker, but still strong storms. The analysis shows that the storms associated with the strongest winds are preceded by another, older storm that traveled through the same region and made the conditions suitable for development of extreme winds.