J. Climate, submitted 12/09.

Revisiting the influence of the quasi-biennial oscillation on tropical cyclone activity

Suzana J. Camargo
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY

Adam H. Sobel
Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY.


The statistical relationship between the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) and tropical cyclone (TC) activity is explored, with a focus on the North Atlantic. Although there is a statistically significant relationship between the QBO and TCs in the Atlantic from the 1950s-1980s, as found by previous studies, that relationship is no longer present in later years. Several possibilities for this change are explored, including: interaction with El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), volcanoes, QBO decadal variability and interactions with solar forcing. None provides a completely satisfying explanation. In the other basins, the relationship is weaker than in the Atlantic, even in the early record.