Climatic Change

, Volume 113, Issue 3–4, pp 583–598 | Cite as

Tropical cyclones in the Lesser Antilles: descriptive statistics and historical variability in cyclone energy, 1638–2009

Article

Abstract

The history of tropical cyclone activity in the Lesser Antilles since 1638 is described using a recently created data set first described in Chenoweth and Divine (Geochem Geophys Geosyst 9: Q08013, 2008). We examine through descriptive statistics the seasonality of tropical cyclones in the Lesser Antilles for tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes since 1690 and for hurricanes only since 1638. In addition, the maximum estimated wind speed (expressed in knots) (Vmax2) for each tropical cyclone passing through 61.5°W is used to produce “Lesser Antilles accumulated Cyclone Energy” (LACE) for each year along the 61.5°W meridian. LACE is positively correlated with basin-wide Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) since 1899 with the highest correlations from 10 to 25°N. There is no evidence of long-term trend in LACE, which is in accord with previously-documented absence of long-term trends in the numbers of tropical cyclones passing through the Lesser Antilles. There is pronounced ~50–70 year variability in LACE from 18 to 25°N most likely associated with multi-decadal variations in the North Atlantic sea surface temperature. The LACE variations at the shorter time scales of ~3 to 8 years are coherent with correspondent fluctuations in ENSO with its effect more pronounced at lower latitudes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarElkridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Norwegian Polar InstituteTromsøNorway

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