Ryan Eusebi ’22
Investigating the Effects of Warmest Tropical Waters on Hurricane Frequencies
Certificate(s): Applied and Computational Mathematics, Statistics and Machine Learning
My goal was to build a statistical hurricane model that could predict seasonal hurricane counts in the North Atlantic based on a number of indices. Prior research has shown that these seasonal frequencies can be explained very well using Atlantic Main Development Region sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and tropical average SSTs. I wanted to find out if the statistical model can be improved using the warmest 30% of SSTs in the tropics instead. After training the statistical model on hundreds of model runs in a variety of different climate scenarios, I found that using those warmer temperatures is in fact more accurate than using the tropical average. I also found that carbon dioxide plays an important factor in hurricane frequencies independent of temperature change. I applied the statistical model to a variety of model forecasts for SST and carbon dioxide for the next century. The ensemble average showed a general decrease in hurricane frequencies beyond 2030. Throughout the summer, I gained a lot of experience in the climate sciences and in data analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and it confirmed my desire to pursue an education and career in atmospheric sciences beyond Princeton.
Climate and Environmental Science
Vecchi Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University
Gabriel Vecchi, Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Wenchang Yang, Associate Research Scholar, Geosciences