Synoptic development of the Hanoi heavy rainfall event of 30-31 October 2008: Multiple-scale processes

Tsing Chang Chen, Ming Cheng Yen, Jenq Dar Tsay, Nguyen Thi Tan Thanh, Jordan Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The 30-31 October 2008 Hanoi, Vietnam, heavy rainfall-flood (HRF) event occurred unusually farther north than other Vietnam events. The cause of this event is explored with multiple-scale processes in the context of the midlatitude-tropical interaction. In the midlatitudes, the cold surge linked to the Hanoi event can be traced westward to the leeside cyclogenesis between the Altai Mountains and Tianshan. This cyclone developed into a Bering Sea explosive cyclone later, simultaneously with the occurrence of the Hanoi HRF event. In the tropics, a cold surge vortex formed on 26 October, south of the Philippines, through the interaction of an easterly disturbance, an already existing small surface vortex in the Celebes Sea, and the eastern Asian cold surge flow. This cold surge vortex developed into a cyclone, juxtaposed with the surface high of the cold surge flow, and established a strong moist southeasterly flow from the South China Sea to Hanoi, which helped maintain the HRF event. Spectral analysis of the zonal winds north and south of the Hanoi HRF cyclone and rainfall at Hanoi reveal the existence of three monsoon modes: 30-60, 12-24, and 5 days. The cold surge vortex developed into an HRF cyclone in conjunction with the in-phase constructive interference of the three monsoon modes, while the Hanoi HRF event was hydrologically maintained by the northwestward flux of water vapor into Hanoi by these monsoon modes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1240
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Asia
  • Flood events


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