Recent Strengthening of the Relationship between the Western North Pacific Monsoon and Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity during the Boreal Summer

Haikun Zhao Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education, and Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change, and Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disaster, and Pacific Typhoon Research Center, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Shaohua Chen Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Philip J. Klotzbach Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Abstract

This study examines the association between the western North Pacific (WNP) summer monsoon (WNPSM) and WNP tropical cyclone (TC) frequency during June–August from 1979 to 2016. The interannual relationship between the WNPSM and the total number of WNP TCs has strengthened since 1998. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of TCs forming within the WNP monsoon trough (WNPMT)—hereafter called ITCs, for internal or inside TCs—since 1998. These two important features are found to be closely associated with the climate regime shift that occurred around 1998. During 1998–2016, the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) tended to be in a cold phase, with an increasing occurrence of central Pacific–type El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, whereas the 1979–97 period tended to be characterized by a warm phase of the PDO and east Pacific–type ENSO events. During 1998–2016, the tropical Pacific was characterized by enhanced easterlies, which led to a westward-retreated WNPMT that caused a significant decrease in ITCs over the WNP basin. However, there was little change in TCs outside of the WNPMT region (hereafter called OTCs) compared to that before 1998. A significant in-phase (out-of-phase) relationship between the WNPSM and the number of ITCs (OTCs) is observed before 1998, thus greatly weakening the WNPSM–TC relationship. The recent enhanced relationship between the WNPSM and TCs is mainly due to a strong in-phase relationship between the WNPSM and ITCs. The interannual change in ITCs is mainly controlled by WNPSM changes since 1998, while OTC changes are mainly modulated by changes in the tropical upper-tropospheric trough.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Dr. Haikun Zhao, zhk2004y@gmail.com

Abstract

This study examines the association between the western North Pacific (WNP) summer monsoon (WNPSM) and WNP tropical cyclone (TC) frequency during June–August from 1979 to 2016. The interannual relationship between the WNPSM and the total number of WNP TCs has strengthened since 1998. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of TCs forming within the WNP monsoon trough (WNPMT)—hereafter called ITCs, for internal or inside TCs—since 1998. These two important features are found to be closely associated with the climate regime shift that occurred around 1998. During 1998–2016, the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) tended to be in a cold phase, with an increasing occurrence of central Pacific–type El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, whereas the 1979–97 period tended to be characterized by a warm phase of the PDO and east Pacific–type ENSO events. During 1998–2016, the tropical Pacific was characterized by enhanced easterlies, which led to a westward-retreated WNPMT that caused a significant decrease in ITCs over the WNP basin. However, there was little change in TCs outside of the WNPMT region (hereafter called OTCs) compared to that before 1998. A significant in-phase (out-of-phase) relationship between the WNPSM and the number of ITCs (OTCs) is observed before 1998, thus greatly weakening the WNPSM–TC relationship. The recent enhanced relationship between the WNPSM and TCs is mainly due to a strong in-phase relationship between the WNPSM and ITCs. The interannual change in ITCs is mainly controlled by WNPSM changes since 1998, while OTC changes are mainly modulated by changes in the tropical upper-tropospheric trough.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Dr. Haikun Zhao, zhk2004y@gmail.com
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