Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publication Date
29 November 2023

A storyline analysis of Hurricane Irma’s precipitation under various levels of climate warming



Understanding how extreme weather, such as tropical cyclones, will change with future climate warming is an interesting computational challenge. Here, the hindcast approach is used to create different storylines of a particular tropical cyclone, Hurricane Irma (2017). Using the community atmosphere model, we explore how Irma’s precipitation would change under various levels of climate warming. Analysis is focused on a 48 h period where the simulated hurricane tracks reasonably represent Irma’s observed track. Under future scenarios of 2 K, 3 K, and 4 K global average surface temperature increase above pre-industrial levels, the mean 3-hourly rainfall rates in the simulated storms increase by 3–7% K−1 compared to present. This change increases in magnitude for the 95th and 99th percentile 3-hourly rates, which intensify by 10–13% K−1 and 17–21% K−1, respectively. Over Florida, the simulated mean rainfall accumulations increase by 16–26% K−1, with local maxima increasing by 18–43% K−1. All percent changes increase monotonically with warming level.

Huprikar, Annika S, Alyssa M M Stansfield, and Kevin A Reed. 2023. “A Storyline Analysis Of Hurricane Irma’s Precipitation Under Various Levels Of Climate Warming”. Environmental Research Letters 19 (1). IOP Publishing: 014004. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ad0c89.
Funding Program Area(s)