The Southeastern U.S. experiences periodic droughts along with landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs) from the Atlantic, andit is currently thought that these TCs might help alleviate droughts in this region. However, SST anomalies influence the likelihood of drought conditions and TCs differently. Understanding this relationship between drought and climate phenomena like TCs is important for agricultural and water resource planning purposes.
A paper titled “Reconciling droughts and landfalling tropical cyclones in the Southeastern United States”, supported by CPO’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program, was recently published online in Climate Dynamics. This study by Vasubandhu Misra (Florida State University) and Satish Bastola (Georgia Institute of Technology) aimed to assess a prevailing perception that landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs) help mitigate droughts in the Southeastern U.S. This study evaluated the effects of 71 landfalling TCs from 1948-2006 on droughts in 28 small watersheds throughout the Southeastern U.S., for monthly drought anomalies concurring with the Atlantic tropical cyclone season from June through November. Overall, they found that the role of precipitation from landfalling TCs in alleviating summer and fall droughts in the Southeastern U.S. is minimal.
To access the paper, go to: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-015-2645-7