Local and Remote Drivers of Cyclones in Baffin Bay & Davis Strait

Authors: Bradley Barger*, Texas A&M University, Oliver Frauenfeld, Texas A&M University
Topics: Physical Geography, Polar Regions
Keywords: Cyclones, North Atlantic, Arctic, Sea Ice, Teleconnections, Baffin Bay, Davis Strait, Labrador Sea
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Marshall East, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Cyclones are a primary mode of energy transport in the Arctic. Connected to the planetary atmospheric flow and influenced by local and remote fluctuations in pressure and temperature, cyclones range in strength, duration, and location throughout the year. In the North Atlantic region, the mechanisms that cause cyclogenesis, deepening, and cyclolysis are well documented. However, the effects of local and remote drivers on cyclone frequency and migration need to be further investigated. Previous studies have shown that North Atlantic cyclones are impacted by Greenland and bifurcate at its southern tip. However, no studies have investigated what happens to the portions of the bifurcated cyclones once they enter the Davis Strait. This project analyzes the effects of sea ice cover and major atmospheric teleconnections on cyclone frequency and migration in the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait region of the Arctic from 1980-2015. Monthly sea ice data were provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center; monthly teleconnection indices were provided by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center and National Centers for Environmental Information; and daily cyclone data were obtained from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA. Analysis of sea ice data and teleconnection indices suggest that cyclones and sea ice extent respond to fluctuations in certain teleconnection patterns, while other teleconnections cause little to no effect. In addition, the cyclone frequency observed in the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait region are highly variable at different timescales. In the future, local cyclone trends could possibly be used to indicate climate change in this region.

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