Marine heatwave as a supercharger for the strongest typhoon in the East China Sea

Iam Fei Pun, Huang Hsiung Hsu, Il Ju Moon, I. I. Lin, Jin Yong Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Due to the cold water temperatures, the East China Sea (ECS) is usually unfavorable for typhoon development. Recently, in a rare event, Typhoon Bavi (2020) reached major typhoon status and became the strongest typhoon in the ECS in the past decade. Based on in situ observations and model simulations, we discover that this typhoon is fueled by a marine heatwave, which creates a very warm ocean condition with sea surface temperature (SST) exceeding 30 °C. Also, because of suppressed typhoon-induced SST cooling caused by the shallow water depth (41 m) and strong salinity stratification (river runoff) within the ECS, the SST beneath the typhoon remains relatively high and enhances the total heat flux for the typhoon. More interestingly, due to the fair weather ahead of the typhoon, we find that the rapid development of this marine heatwave is likely, in part, attributed to the typhoon itself. As the risks from typhoons and marine heatwaves are heightening under climate change, this study provides important insights into the interaction between typhoons and marine heatwaves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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