• extratropical storms;
  • meteorology;
  • storms;
  • climate change;
  • general circulation models;
  • and climatology

ABSTRACT: Climate change due to enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide is projected to change the circulation of the atmosphere, increase its moisture content, warm the surface layers, and increase precipitation. Extratropical storms are the intermediate agent in mid-latitudes between changes in the circulation of the atmosphere and surface water resources. The climatology of extratropical storms for the period 1885–1996 is presented, and major changes in storminess are detected across much of North America. General Circulation Model (GCM) projections of storm frequency and storm track are found to have little in common with the observed pattern of storms and evidence no systematic changes in response to an enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.