Formation of the Philippine twin tropical cyclones during the 2008 summer monsoon onset

Tsing Chang Chen, Jenq Dar Tsay, Ming Cheng Yen, Esperanza O. Cayanan

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8 Scopus citations


Stretched from Indochina, across the South China Sea, to the Philippine Sea, a monsoon cyclonic shear flow was formed by easterlies of the cold surge-like flow in the north and monsoon westerlies in the south before the onset of the tropical Southeast Asian monsoon on 12 May 2008. On this date, two named tropical cyclones (Halong and Matmo) evolved with a 12-h lag from a closed vortex adjacent to the coast of central Vietnam and another closed vortex near Palawan Island (Philippines) within this shear flow. These two cyclones, named the twin Philippine tropical cyclones, moved almost on the same track, along the anomalous shear line (departure from the climatological one) across the Philippines, and turned northeastward to the ocean south of Japan. It was revealed from synoptic analysis that the cold surge-like flow was coupled with the midlatitude eastward-propagating short wave in northeast Asia, and part of the monsoon westerlies were fed by the cross-equatorial flow, the downstream flow of easterlies around the northern rim of the Southern Hemisphere subtropical high. The environment favorable for the formation of the twin cyclones was developed from the tropics-midlatitude interaction between synoptic systems in these two latitudinal zones. Formations of these cyclones were a result of drastic spinups of the two closed vortices (within the monsoon shear flow) following the surge of monsoon westerlies, which coincided with those of easterlies of the cold surge-like flow, and the cross-equatorial flow originating from easterlies between the Southern Hemisphere subtropical high and the Southern Hemisphere shear flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1341
Number of pages25
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Asia
  • Monsoon
  • South Pacific Ocean
  • Summer/warm season
  • Tropical Cyclones


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