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Systematic Variation of Summertime Tropical Cyclone Activity in the Western North Pacific in Relation to the Madden–Julian Oscillation

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  • 1 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2 Institute of Hydrological Sciences, National Central University, Jungli, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
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Abstract

The variability of observed tropical cyclone (TC) activity (i.e., genesis, track, and landfall) in the western North Pacific (WNP) is examined in relation to the various categories of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) during summer (June–September) for the period 1979–2004. The MJO categories are defined based on the empirical orthogonal function analysis of outgoing longwave radiation data.

The number of TCs increases when the MJO-related convection center is located in the WNP. The axis of a preferable genesis region systematically shifts like a seesaw in response to changes in the large-scale environments associated with both the eastward and northward propagation of the MJO and the intraseasonal variability of the WNP subtropical high. Furthermore, the authors show that the density of TC tracks in each MJO category depends on the systematic shift in the main genesis regions at first order. Also, the shift is affected by the prevailing large-scale steering flows in each MJO category. When the MJO-related convection center is found in the equatorial Indian Ocean (the tropical WNP), a dense area of tracks migrates eastward (westward). The effects of extreme ENSO events and the variations occurring during ENSO neutral years are also examined.

A statistical analysis of TC landfalls by MJO category is applied in seven selected subareas: the Philippines, Vietnam, South China, Taiwan, East China, Korea, and Japan. While a robust and significant modulation in the number of TC landfalls is observed in south China, Korea, and Japan, the modulation is marginal in the remaining four subareas.

Corresponding author address: Chang-Hoi Ho, Climate Physics Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Shillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea. Email: hoch@cpl.snu.ac.kr

Abstract

The variability of observed tropical cyclone (TC) activity (i.e., genesis, track, and landfall) in the western North Pacific (WNP) is examined in relation to the various categories of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) during summer (June–September) for the period 1979–2004. The MJO categories are defined based on the empirical orthogonal function analysis of outgoing longwave radiation data.

The number of TCs increases when the MJO-related convection center is located in the WNP. The axis of a preferable genesis region systematically shifts like a seesaw in response to changes in the large-scale environments associated with both the eastward and northward propagation of the MJO and the intraseasonal variability of the WNP subtropical high. Furthermore, the authors show that the density of TC tracks in each MJO category depends on the systematic shift in the main genesis regions at first order. Also, the shift is affected by the prevailing large-scale steering flows in each MJO category. When the MJO-related convection center is found in the equatorial Indian Ocean (the tropical WNP), a dense area of tracks migrates eastward (westward). The effects of extreme ENSO events and the variations occurring during ENSO neutral years are also examined.

A statistical analysis of TC landfalls by MJO category is applied in seven selected subareas: the Philippines, Vietnam, South China, Taiwan, East China, Korea, and Japan. While a robust and significant modulation in the number of TC landfalls is observed in south China, Korea, and Japan, the modulation is marginal in the remaining four subareas.

Corresponding author address: Chang-Hoi Ho, Climate Physics Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Shillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea. Email: hoch@cpl.snu.ac.kr

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