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Modulation of North Pacific and North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones by Tropical Transbasin Variability and ENSO during May–October

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  • 1 a 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, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • | 2 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
  • | 3 Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
  • | 4 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

This study highlights the distinct modulation of May–October tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific (WNP), eastern North Pacific (ENP), and North Atlantic (NATL) Ocean basins by tropical transbasin variability (TBV) and ENSO. The pure TBV significantly modulates total TC counts in all three basins, with more TCs in the WNP and ENP and fewer TCs in the NATL during warm TBV years and fewer TCs in the WNP and ENP and more TCs in the NATL during cold TBV years. By contrast, the pure ENSO signal shows no impact on total TC count over any of the three basins. These results are consistent with changes in large-scale factors associated with TBV and ENSO. Low-level relative vorticity (VOR) is an important driver of WNP TC genesis frequency, with broad agreement between the observed spatial distribution of TC genesis and TBV/ENSO-associated VOR anomalies. TBV significantly affects ENP TC frequency as a result of changes in basinwide vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures, whereas the modulation in TC frequency by ENSO is primarily caused by a north–south dipole modulation of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic factors. The pure TBV-related low-level VOR changes appear to be the most important factor modulating NATL TC frequency. Changes in large-scale factors compare well with the budget of synoptic-scale eddy kinetic energy. Possible physical processes associated with pure TBV and pure ENSO that modulate TC frequency are further discussed. This study contributes to the understanding of TC interannual variability and could thus be helpful for seasonal TC forecasting.

ORCID:0000-0002-1771-1461.

ORCID: 0000-0002-4295-4991.

© 2021 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 highlights the distinct modulation of May–October tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific (WNP), eastern North Pacific (ENP), and North Atlantic (NATL) Ocean basins by tropical transbasin variability (TBV) and ENSO. The pure TBV significantly modulates total TC counts in all three basins, with more TCs in the WNP and ENP and fewer TCs in the NATL during warm TBV years and fewer TCs in the WNP and ENP and more TCs in the NATL during cold TBV years. By contrast, the pure ENSO signal shows no impact on total TC count over any of the three basins. These results are consistent with changes in large-scale factors associated with TBV and ENSO. Low-level relative vorticity (VOR) is an important driver of WNP TC genesis frequency, with broad agreement between the observed spatial distribution of TC genesis and TBV/ENSO-associated VOR anomalies. TBV significantly affects ENP TC frequency as a result of changes in basinwide vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures, whereas the modulation in TC frequency by ENSO is primarily caused by a north–south dipole modulation of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic factors. The pure TBV-related low-level VOR changes appear to be the most important factor modulating NATL TC frequency. Changes in large-scale factors compare well with the budget of synoptic-scale eddy kinetic energy. Possible physical processes associated with pure TBV and pure ENSO that modulate TC frequency are further discussed. This study contributes to the understanding of TC interannual variability and could thus be helpful for seasonal TC forecasting.

ORCID:0000-0002-1771-1461.

ORCID: 0000-0002-4295-4991.

© 2021 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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