Huracán is a UK-US partnership to deliver a new, physically based understanding of tropical cyclone risk across the British Isles, Western Europe, and the Northeast United States in a changing climate. Huracán will run March 2023 to February 2027.
Huracán is a strategic collaboration between the UK and US with the overarching objective to deliver a new, physically based understanding of the risks posed to the British Isles/Western Europe (BIWE) and the Northeast United States (NEUS) by Cyclones of Tropical Origin (CTOs) in a changing climate.
What are CTOs and why should we care? Some tropical cyclones (TCs) migrating into the mid- latitudes retain the physical characteristics of a hurricane, while others structurally evolve into post- tropical cyclones (PTCs). Both types (which we collectively call CTOs) can be extremely intense and their hazards set them apart from typical extratropical cyclones (ETCs). Do recent CTO landfalls signal an emerging climate risk for BIWE and NEUS? Further, can we imagine a sequence of events leading to a CTO directly hitting New York or London, and what would be the consequences?
An outline of the project. The risk of CTOs is currently poorly quantified, owing to a fundamental lack of evidence; yet these events are high-impact and are expected to become more frequent in the future. Poor theoretical understanding impedes confident prediction. Huracán brings together world-leading expertise — from both sides of the Atlantic — to study, for the first time, the full life cycle of CTOs, a key requirement for scientific progress. Huracán will address fundamental knowledge gaps exploiting diverse observations, theoretical advances and hypothesis-driven analysis of a wealth of numerical simulations, to provide actionable information to decision-makers. Huracán will explore physically plausible scenarios, given the predictable components of future climate and the conditional dependence of cyclone processes on those components. Huracán will experiment with the simulation of CTO-specific impacts and investigate worst-case configurations of the physical climate system. This concerted effort will transform the assessment of CTO risks across the North Atlantic mid-latitudes.