Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters
Forecasting the intensity of landfalling hurricanes can be difficult when the storms’ intensity changes just before landfall. Using a coupled model and buoy observations, Gramer et al.  analyzed three 2020 landfalling Atlantic hurricanes (Sally, Hannah, and Eta) that intensified as they approached the coast. They showed that the hurricane winds blowing parallel to the coast caused the water levels to rise near the coast leading to coastal downwelling. This process brought warm surface water over the continental shelf, which further intensified the landfalling hurricanes. This is an important result, as it has a direct impact on forecasts of the hurricane intensity at landfall and should be incorporated in future versions of hurricane forecast models.
Citation: Gramer, L. J., Zhang, J. A., Alaka, G., Hazelton, A., & Gopalakrishnan, S. (2022). Coastal downwelling intensifies landfalling hurricanes. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2021GL096630. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL096630
—Suzana Camargo, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters