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Interdecadal Change of the South China Sea Summer Monsoon Onset

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  • 1 Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 2 Department of Meteorology and International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Abstract

A significant advance in the onset dates of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM) is detected around 1993/94: the epochal mean onset date is 30 May for 1979–93 and 14 May for 1994–2008. The relatively late onset during the first epoch is primarily determined by the northward seasonal march of the intertropical convergence zone, whereas the advanced onset during the second epoch is affected by the enhanced activity of northwestward-moving tropical disturbances from the equatorial western Pacific. During 1994–2008, the intraseasonal variability (ISV) over the western Pacific was enhanced during the period from mid-April to mid-May; further, the number of tropical cyclones (TCs), which passed through the South China Sea (SCS) and Philippine Sea during the same period, is about doubled compared with those occurring during 1979–93. This enhanced ISV and TC activity over the SCS and Philippine Sea are attributed to a significant increase in SST over the equatorial western Pacific from the 1980s to 2000s. Therefore, the advanced SCSSM onset is rooted in the decadal change of the SST over the equatorial western Pacific.

International Pacific Research Center Publication Number 827 and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Publication Number 8522.

Corresponding author address: Yoshiyuki Kajikawa, Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan. E-mail: ykaji@hyarc.nagoya-u.ac.jp

A comment/reply has been published regarding this article and can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00732.1 and http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0173.1

Abstract

A significant advance in the onset dates of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM) is detected around 1993/94: the epochal mean onset date is 30 May for 1979–93 and 14 May for 1994–2008. The relatively late onset during the first epoch is primarily determined by the northward seasonal march of the intertropical convergence zone, whereas the advanced onset during the second epoch is affected by the enhanced activity of northwestward-moving tropical disturbances from the equatorial western Pacific. During 1994–2008, the intraseasonal variability (ISV) over the western Pacific was enhanced during the period from mid-April to mid-May; further, the number of tropical cyclones (TCs), which passed through the South China Sea (SCS) and Philippine Sea during the same period, is about doubled compared with those occurring during 1979–93. This enhanced ISV and TC activity over the SCS and Philippine Sea are attributed to a significant increase in SST over the equatorial western Pacific from the 1980s to 2000s. Therefore, the advanced SCSSM onset is rooted in the decadal change of the SST over the equatorial western Pacific.

International Pacific Research Center Publication Number 827 and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Publication Number 8522.

Corresponding author address: Yoshiyuki Kajikawa, Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan. E-mail: ykaji@hyarc.nagoya-u.ac.jp

A comment/reply has been published regarding this article and can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00732.1 and http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0173.1

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