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An analysis of tropical cyclones impacting the Southeast United States from a regional reanalysis


Extreme events (low probability–high impact events) such as tropical cyclones can result in loss of life, substantial socio-economic impacts and disrupt the natural environment. Atmospheric reanalysis products provide a means for understanding these events and their impacts. This paper examines the near-surface winds and precipitation from 42 observed land-falling tropical cyclones between 1979 and 2000 in a new high-resolution (10 km) reanalysis for the Southeast United States. It is shown that the near-surface wind speeds in the tropical cyclones are underestimated by almost half compared to the observed best-track data. The regional reanalysis resolves the pattern of coastal precipitation associated with the tropical cyclones; however, the average storm maximum precipitation is too high resulting in large storm-related precipitation farther inland than observed. Possible reasons for the deficiencies are discussed.

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This research was supported by grants from the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Correspondence to Timothy LaRow.

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LaRow, T. An analysis of tropical cyclones impacting the Southeast United States from a regional reanalysis. Reg Environ Change 13 (Suppl 1), 35–43 (2013).

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  • Dynamical downscaling
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Regional reanalysis