Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

First Advisor

Jorge E Gonzalez

Second Advisor

Thomas Smith

Third Advisor

Jimmy Booth


sea surface temperature, MDR, Caribbean, Main Developing Region, Tropical Cyclone, Hurricane, Vertical Wind Shear, SST, VWS


Sea surface temperatures and vertical wind shear are essential to tropical cyclone formation. TCs need warm SSTs and low shear for genesis. Increasing SSTs and VWS changes influence storm development. This work analyzes SST and VWS trends for the Caribbean, surrounding region, and the Atlantic hurricane main developing region from 1982 to 2020. Storm intensity increases significantly during this period. Annual and seasonal trends show regional SSTs in the MDR are warming annually (0.0219°C yr-1) and per season (0.0280°C yr-1). Simultaneously, VWS decreases during the late rainfall season at 0.0556m/s yr-1 in the MDR and 0.0167m/s yr-1 in the Caribbean and surrounding area, and the Atlantic Warm Pool is expanding at 0.51km2 per decade. Increased upper atmospheric winds are driving VWS changes. Correlations of large-area averages do not show significant relationships between TC intensity, frequency, and SSTs/VWS during the LRS. Observed changes appear to be associated with regional warming SSTs impacting TC changes.

Available for download on Thursday, May 18, 2023