Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publication Date
7 December 2021

Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Response to Surface Warming in Simulations with Uniform Thermal Forcing

Print / PDF

The response of tropical cyclones (TCs) and their rainfall to increases in sea surface temperature (SST) is explored with the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5, in an idealized aquaplanet set-up with globally-uniform SSTs.

  • Anthropogenic climate change is increasing SSTs, and understanding how TC rainfall responds to SST increases is important to predict future changes in TC rainfall and associated hazards
  • This work develops a methodology to break down TC precipitation increases into thermodynamic and dynamic components, which can be applied to more realistic model simulations and observations
  • Idealized aquaplanet simulations are run with globally-uniform SSTs ranging from 295-305 K
  • As SST warms, the TC counts decrease while the average intensity and outer size of the storms increase
  • TC precipitation rates increase with SST, and for extreme precipitation, about 67% came from increases in atmospheric moisture while about 20% came from an increase in TC intensity
Point of Contact
Kevin Reed
Stony Brook University
Funding Program Area(s)