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AMS Science Preview: Sea-ice loss may accelerate; tornadoes and flying cars

The American Meteorological Society continuously publishes research on climate, weather, and water in its 12 journals. Many of these articles are available for early online access–they are peer-reviewed, but not yet in their final published form.

Credit: Fig. 1. Photograph of a thrown combine from the ground survey of the July 1, 2023, Didsbury, AB EF4 tornado” from Miller et al. (2024), “Estimating Wind Speeds in Tornadoes using Debris Trajectories of Large Compact Objects,” Monthly Weather Review.

The American Meteorological Society continuously publishes research on climate, weather, and water in its 12 journals. Many of these articles are available for early online access–they are peer-reviewed, but not yet in their final published form.

Below is a selection of articles published early online recently. Some articles are open-access; to view others, members of the media can contact [email protected] for press login credentials.


Large-Scale Climate Modes Drive Low-Frequency Regional Arctic Sea Ice Variability
Journal of Climate

Arctic sea ice loss may accelerate in the coming decade. This study examined the dominant natural climate patterns affecting Arctic summer sea ice, including the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and the Atlantic Multidecadal Observation. The results suggest that the phases of these dominant patterns favor enhanced loss of Arctic sea ice in the next ten years.

Extreme Temperatures, Birth Outcomes, and Social Inequalities: Evidence from South China
Weather, Climate, and Society

Exposure to extreme temperatures may lead to adverse birth outcomes in China. Low birth weight is correlated with long-term adverse health outcomes. Analysis of 1 million+ birth records from Dongguan, China shows that a 1% increase in days a pregnant person was exposed to extreme heat was associated with an average reduction in birth weight of 2.31 g and a 2% increase in odds of low birth weight. The link was stronger when birthing parents were migrants or less educated, and for vaginal births. Extreme cold was also associated with adverse outcomes, though slightly less severe.

Changes in the Typhoon Intensity under a Warming Climate: A Numerical Study of Typhoon Mangkhut
Journal of Climate

Ocean warming intensifies typhoon … somewhat. Researchers modeled Super Typhoon Mangkut (2019) under conditions of increased ocean warming, finding that warming increases the energy available to a developing typhoon. However, while typhoon intensity is likely to increase in the future, the study suggests that intensity will be moderated somewhat by future changes in atmospheric temperature and humidity.

Assessing NOAA Rip-Current Hazard Likelihood Predictions: Comparison with Lifeguard Observations and Parameterizations of Bathymetric and Transient Rip-Current Types
Weather and Forecasting

NOAA rip current forecasting model underpredicts transient rip currents. This study evaluated the performance of NOAA’s rip current forecast model with results from remote sensing and lifeguard observations at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point, California. They found that NOAA’s model did a good job predicting bathymetric rip currents (which occur when waves break on sandbars interspersed with channels), but was less able to predict transient rip currents, which are shorter in duration and are caused by breaking waves coming from multiple directions.

Long-Term Climate Impacts of Large Stratospheric Water Vapor Perturbations
Journal of Climate

2022 Hunga Tonga volcano may have worldwide effects for several more years. The massive atmospheric injection of water vapor from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) volcanic eruption continues to have regional atmospheric warming and cooling effects around the world, which may not peak until 2025–2029 in some areas, according to a new modeling study. Model simulations indicate winter temperature increases over North America, the Arctic, and central Eurasia, and cooler temperatures over Scandinavia and Australia during southern hemisphere winter. They also found precipitation anomalies in areas including Europe, the U.S. West Coast, and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.


Several recent papers have focused on tornadoes and their impacts.

A Comprehensive Analysis of the Spatial and Seasonal Shifts in Tornado Activity in the United States
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

Study confirms true eastward (and seasonal) shift in U.S. tornado dangers. Studies have suggested that the area of greatest tornado danger has moved eastward, away from the Great Plains and toward the Southeast and Midwest. This comprehensive study used data from 1951 to 2020 to confirm that tornado activity to the east has increased–all due to an increase in autumn and winter tornadoes–while western tornadoes have decreased by 25%. Jackson, MS, saw the greatest tornado increase; Cleburne, TX, saw the greatest decrease during the study period.

Estimating Wind Speeds in Tornadoes using Debris Trajectories of Large Compact Objects
Monthly Weather Review

Can flying cars and fridges help rank tornado winds? The EF scale only uses certain types of tornado damage to estimate wind speed, ignoring the harder-to-characterize evidence of cars and other large objects picked up by the storm. This study analyzed large debris from Canadian tornadoes using computer simulations. When solely estimating the wind speed needed to pick up and move the objects, their results agreed with general EF rankings of tornadoes; however, considering the actual flight path of the object led to a higher wind speed estimate than other ways of ranking the tornado.

Linking Survivor Stories to Forensic Engineering: How an Interscience Approach Reveals Opportunities for Reducing Tornado Vulnerability in Residential Structures
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Tornado survivors help researchers understand the aftermath. An interdisciplinary research team tested a new approach to assessing storm damage, and found that “survivors’ stories, photos/video and access to structural elements were invaluable for understanding how a tornado interacted with the residence.” Surveys found that most survivors took sheltering actions, but they were half as likely to reach a good sheltering place when a tornado struck at night. Half were able to describe important details (e.g., sequences of events) that helped researchers better characterize the storm and its impact.

The Tornado Archive: Compiling and Visualizing a Worldwide, Digitized Tornado Database
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

A global tornado archive. A new tornado database, the Tornado Archive, is the most comprehensive ever, combining over 100,000 tornado records from around the world–thus establishing a lower boundary for the number of documented tornadoes and improving our ability to study global tornado climatology. While information varies greatly across time and space, some trends are evident, including a decrease in tornadoes during the Dust Bowl, disproportionately large numbers of tornado fatalities in Bangladesh (8,325 recorded despite relatively low tornado frequency), and a strange uptick in Mediterranean tornadoes during the winter.

You can view all research published in AMS Journals at

About the American Meteorological Society

The American Meteorological Society advances the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society. Founded in 1919, AMS has a membership of around 12,000 professionals, students, and weather enthusiasts. AMS publishes 12 atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic science journals; hosts more than 12 conferences annually; and offers numerous programs and services. Visit us at

About AMS Journals

The American Meteorological Society continuously publishes research on climate, weather, and water in its 12 journals. Some AMS journals are open access. Media login credentials are available for subscription journals. Journals include the Bulletin of the American Meteorolocial Society, Weather, Climate, and Society, the Journal of Climate, and Monthly Weather Review.