Interannual variation of the tropical cyclone activity over the western North Pacific

Tsing Chang Chen, Shih Yu Wang, Ming Cheng Yen

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97 Scopus citations

Abstract

An effort was made to search for relationships between interannual variations of population, lifetime, genesis locations, and intensity of named typhoons and numbered tropical depressions in the western North Pacific during the 1979-2002 period. To support this research task, climatological relationships of tropical cyclone characteristics were also investigated for these cyclones. Major findings of this study are summarized as follows: 1) Climatology: Measured by the intensity scale of the Japan Meteorological Agency, three groups of tropical cyclones were identified in terms of population versus intensity: Group 1 [tropical depression (TD) + typhoon (TY)], Group 2 (strong + very strong TY), and Group 3 (catastrophic TY). This group division coincides with that formed in terms of lifetime of tropical cyclones versus intensity. Weak cyclones (Group 1) have a larger population than strong cyclones (Group 3), while the former group has shorter lifetime than the latter group. For genesis locations, the monsoon trough is established as a favorable region of tropical cyclone genesis because it provides an environment of large vorticity. Therefore, the northward latitudinal displacement of the maximum genesis frequency in the three groups of tropical cyclones follows that of the monsoon trough. 2) Interannual variation: Any mechanism that can modulate the location and intensity of the monsoon trough affects the genesis location and frequency of tropical cyclones. In response to tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies, a short wave train consisting of east-west oriented cells emanates from the Tropics and progresses along the western North Pacific rim. Population of the Group-1 tropical cyclones varies interannually in phase with the oscillation of the anomalous circulation cell northeast of Taiwan and south of Japan in this short wave train, while that of Group 3 fluctuates coherently with the tropical cell of this short wave train. Because these two anomalous circulation cells exhibit opposite polarity, the out-of-phase interannual oscillation between these two cells results in the opposite interannual variation of genesis frequency between tropical cyclones of Groups 1 and 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5709-5720
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume19
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006

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