The observed TC data for the North Atlantic region (between 0° and 40°N, including the American and African coast) came from the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship v03r10 (IBTrACS) (23). This is an updated version of the Atlantic TC database used by Landsea et al. (3), and recent improvements have resulted in several storms being added to the earlier periods. Data were obtained for the full 1851–2016 period available (Fig. 1). For the subsequent analysis, we used the 37 years, from 1979 to 2015, to correspond with the available reanalysis data. There were 451 TCs over the 37-year period; that is, 12.2 per year on average, with an SD of 4.8. On the basis of the analysis by Landsea et al. (3), the analysis was repeated with only long-lived storms existing for more than 2.0 days, due to the likely omission of short-lived storms in the earlier part of the record. There were, on average, 9.0 long-lived TCs per year and an SD of 3.9.

The reanalysis products have assimilated the observational data, including ground-based and satellite measurements, and therefore served as the best estimate of observed data. We used two different reanalyses: the NCEP-DOE AMIPII (NCEP) (19) and the ERA-Interim (ERA) (18) datasets for 1979–2015. Monthly data were obtained on a 2.5° × 2.5° grid and were interpolated to 5° × 5° for comparing with model output.

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