Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 65, Issue 3–4, pp 241–245 | Cite as

Relative timing of tropical storm lifetime maximum intensity and track recurvature

  • J. L. Evans
  • K. McKinley


An intriguing picture is emerging of coupled track and intensity links in tropical cyclones. Since recurvature represents a dramatic track shift, recurving tropical storms are isolated in this study and their time of maximum lifetime intensity is compared to their time of recurvature. Thirty-one percent of all western North Pacific tropical storms and 28% of all such storms in North Atlantic recurve. Seventeen years of track and intensity data for recurving tropical cyclones in these basins are examined here.

The overwhelming majority (≈80%) of western North Pacific tropical storms (including typhoons) reach their lifetime maximum intensity prior to recurvature. More than 45% of all recurving storms have coincident recurvature and lifetime maximum intensity, with weaker tropical storms clearly more likely to reach peak intensity at recurvature than strong systems.

Inspection of tropical storm intensity and track data for North Atlantic systems reveals few clear patterns. The most robust observation to be made here is that the majority of these systems reach their peak intensity prior to recurvature. Exclusion of landfalling extratropically transforming tropical cyclones from this sample greatly reduces the number of systems, making the significance of any results questionable.


Cyclone Tropical Cyclone Overwhelming Majority Relative Timing Track Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Evans
    • 1
  • K. McKinley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Meteorology and Earth System Science CenterThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkU.S.A.

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