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What would happen to Superstorm Sandy under the influence of a substantially warmer Atlantic Ocean?

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Abstract

Based on ensemble numerical simulations, we find that possible responses of Sandy-like superstorms under the influence of a substantially warmer Atlantic Ocean bifurcate into two groups. In the first group, storms are similar to present-day Sandy from genesis to extratropical transition, except they are much stronger, with peak Power Destructive Index (PDI) increased by 50–80%, heavy rain by 30–50%, and maximum storm size (MSS) approximately doubled. In the second group, storms amplify substantially over the interior of the Atlantic warm pool, with peak PDI increased by 100–160%, heavy rain by 70–180%, and MSS more than tripled compared to present-day Superstorm Sandy. These storms when exiting the warm pool, recurve northeastward out to sea, subsequently interact with the developing midlatitude storm by mutual counterclockwise rotation around each other and eventually amplify into a severe Northeastern coastal storm, making landfall over the extreme northeastern regions from Maine to Nova Scotia.