Impact of the Winter Regional Hadley Circulation over Western Pacific on the Frequency of Following Summer Tropical Cyclone Landfalling in China

Ruping Huang aGuangzhou Institute of Tropical and Marine Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Guangzhou, China

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Shangfeng Chen bCenter for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Wen Chen cYunnan Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disasters and Climate Resources in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Yunnan University, Kunming, China
dDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

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Renguang Wu eSchool of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

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Zhibiao Wang bCenter for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Peng Hu cYunnan Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disasters and Climate Resources in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Yunnan University, Kunming, China
dDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

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Liang Wu bCenter for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Lei Wang bCenter for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Jingliang Huangfu bCenter for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Abstract

The poleward migration of tropical cyclone (TC) activity in recent years has been linked to the expansion of the Hadley circulation (HC). Here, we investigate the impact of the winter regional HC over the western Pacific (WPHC) on the frequency of following summer landfalling TC (LTC) in China. Results show that interannual variation of the LTC frequency has a very close connection with the northern WPHC edge (WPHCE). After removing the El Niño–Southern Oscillation signal, there still exists a significant correlation between them. When the winter WPHCE shifts poleward, the associated lower-level southwesterly (easterly) wind anomalies over the subtropical western Pacific (tropical central-eastern Pacific) induce sea surface temperature (SST) warming (cooling) anomalies therein via suppressing (enhancing) upward surface heat flux. In turn, the SST warming (cooling) excites an anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation to its west via a Rossby wave response, thus maintaining the southwesterly (easterly) wind anomalies. In addition, the negative rainfall anomalies over the tropical central-eastern Pacific induced by negative SST anomalies can stimulate an anomalous intensive Walker circulation with anomalous upward motion around the tropical western Pacific. Through this positive air–sea interaction, the winter WPHCE signal would be preserved in the ocean and maintained to the succeeding summer, then favoring LTC genesis landward by decreasing the vertical wind shear and increasing the low-level vorticity and midlevel humidity. Meanwhile, anomalous midtropospheric easterly winds over the subtropics are favorable for steering more LTCs toward China’s coast. This study suggests that the winter WPHCE variation is a potential predictor for the prediction of the following summer LTC activity over China.

Significance Statement

Tropical cyclone (TC) is one of the most catastrophic high-impact weather events, which may cause great casualties and severe property losses over the coastal areas, particularly when it makes landfall. Previous research studies have related the poleward migration trend of TC locations to the Hadley circulation (HC) expansion. Compared to the long-term trend, the magnitude of the year-to-year change of the HC edge (HCE) is even larger, leading to a stronger impact on the TC activity. A recent study has suggested that the northern HCE over the western Pacific (WPHCE) in boreal winter exhibits a notable interannual variability. In this study, we reveal that the wintertime WPHCE has a very close connection with the landfalling TC (LTC) frequency over China in the following summer. After removing the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal, there still exists a significant positive correlation between them. Observational evidence and numerical model experiments consistently confirm that this time-lagged association is attributable to the air–sea interaction processes in the tropical Pacific. Thus, the results of this study could provide an additional predictor besides ENSO to improve understanding of the LTC activity in China.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Shangfeng Chen, chenshangfeng@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The poleward migration of tropical cyclone (TC) activity in recent years has been linked to the expansion of the Hadley circulation (HC). Here, we investigate the impact of the winter regional HC over the western Pacific (WPHC) on the frequency of following summer landfalling TC (LTC) in China. Results show that interannual variation of the LTC frequency has a very close connection with the northern WPHC edge (WPHCE). After removing the El Niño–Southern Oscillation signal, there still exists a significant correlation between them. When the winter WPHCE shifts poleward, the associated lower-level southwesterly (easterly) wind anomalies over the subtropical western Pacific (tropical central-eastern Pacific) induce sea surface temperature (SST) warming (cooling) anomalies therein via suppressing (enhancing) upward surface heat flux. In turn, the SST warming (cooling) excites an anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation to its west via a Rossby wave response, thus maintaining the southwesterly (easterly) wind anomalies. In addition, the negative rainfall anomalies over the tropical central-eastern Pacific induced by negative SST anomalies can stimulate an anomalous intensive Walker circulation with anomalous upward motion around the tropical western Pacific. Through this positive air–sea interaction, the winter WPHCE signal would be preserved in the ocean and maintained to the succeeding summer, then favoring LTC genesis landward by decreasing the vertical wind shear and increasing the low-level vorticity and midlevel humidity. Meanwhile, anomalous midtropospheric easterly winds over the subtropics are favorable for steering more LTCs toward China’s coast. This study suggests that the winter WPHCE variation is a potential predictor for the prediction of the following summer LTC activity over China.

Significance Statement

Tropical cyclone (TC) is one of the most catastrophic high-impact weather events, which may cause great casualties and severe property losses over the coastal areas, particularly when it makes landfall. Previous research studies have related the poleward migration trend of TC locations to the Hadley circulation (HC) expansion. Compared to the long-term trend, the magnitude of the year-to-year change of the HC edge (HCE) is even larger, leading to a stronger impact on the TC activity. A recent study has suggested that the northern HCE over the western Pacific (WPHCE) in boreal winter exhibits a notable interannual variability. In this study, we reveal that the wintertime WPHCE has a very close connection with the landfalling TC (LTC) frequency over China in the following summer. After removing the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal, there still exists a significant positive correlation between them. Observational evidence and numerical model experiments consistently confirm that this time-lagged association is attributable to the air–sea interaction processes in the tropical Pacific. Thus, the results of this study could provide an additional predictor besides ENSO to improve understanding of the LTC activity in China.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Shangfeng Chen, chenshangfeng@mail.iap.ac.cn
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