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Weiwei Li
,
Zhuo Wang
,
Gan Zhang
,
Melinda S. Peng
,
Stanley G. Benjamin
, and
Ming Zhao

Abstract

This study investigates the subseasonal variability of anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking (AWB) and its impacts on atmospheric circulations and tropical cyclones (TCs) over the North Atlantic in the warm season from 1985 to 2013. Significant anomalies in sea level pressure, tropospheric wind, and humidity fields are found over the tropical–subtropical Atlantic within 8 days of an AWB activity peak. Such anomalies may lead to suppressed TC activity on the subseasonal time scale, but a significant negative correlation between the subseasonal variability of AWB and Atlantic basinwide TC activity does not exist every year, likely due to the modulation of TCs by other factors. It is also found that AWB occurrence may be modulated by the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). In particular, AWB occurrence over the tropical–subtropical west Atlantic is reduced in phases 2 and 3 and enhanced in phases 6 and 7 based on the Real-Time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index. The impacts of AWB on the predictive skill of Atlantic TCs are examined using the Global Ensemble Forecasting System (GEFS) reforecasts with a forecast lead time up to 2 weeks. The hit rate of tropical cyclogenesis during active AWB episodes is lower than the long-term-mean hit rate, and the GEFS is less skillful in capturing the variations of weekly TC activity during the years of enhanced AWB activity. The lower predictability of TCs is consistent with the lower predictability of environmental variables (such as vertical wind shear, moisture, and low-level vorticity) under the extratropical influence.

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Yi-Ting Yang
,
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Eric A. Hendricks
,
Yi-Chin Liu
, and
Melinda S. Peng

Abstract

The typhoons with concentric eyewalls (CE) over the western North Pacific in different phases of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) between 1997 and 2012 are studied. They find a good correlation (0.72) between the annual CE typhoon number and the oceanic Niño index (ONI), with most of the CE typhoons occurring in the warm and neutral episodes. In the warm (neutral) episode, 55% (50%) of the typhoons possessed a CE structure. In contrast, only 25% of the typhoons possessed a CE structure in the cold episode. The CE formation frequency is also significantly different with 0.9 (0.2) CEs per month in the warm (cold) episode. There are more long-lived CE cases (CE structure maintained more than 20 h) and typhoons with multiple CE formations in the warm episodes. There are no typhoons with multiple CE formations in the cold episode. The warm episode CE typhoons generally have a larger size, stronger intensity, and smaller variation in convective activity and intensity. This may be due to the fact that the CE formation location is farther east in the warm episodes. Shifts in CE typhoon location with favorable conditions thus produce long-lived CE typhoons and multiple CE formations. The multiple CE formations may lead to expansion of the typhoon size.

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Ling-Feng Hsiao
,
Melinda S. Peng
,
Der-Song Chen
,
Kang-Ning Huang
, and
Tien-Chiang Yeh

Abstract

Tropical cyclone (TC) track predictions from the operational regional nonhydrostatic TC forecast system of the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau (CWB) are examined for their sensitivities to initial and lateral boundary conditions. Five experiments are designed and discussed, each using a combination of different initial and lateral boundary conditions coming either from the CWB or the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) global forecast system. Eight typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean with 51 cases in 2004 and 2005 are tested with the five designed experiments for the 3-day forecast. The average track forecasts are the best when both the initial and lateral boundary conditions are from the NCEP global forecast system. This reflects the generally superior performance of the NCEP global forecast system relative to that of the CWB. Using different lateral boundary conditions has a greater impact on the track than using different initial conditions. Diagnostics using piecewise inversion of potential vorticity perturbations are carried out to identify synoptic features surrounding the featured typhoon that impact the track the most in each experiment. For the two cases demonstrated with the largest track improvement using NCEP global fields, the diagnostics indicate that the prediction of the strength and extent of the subtropical high in the western Pacific plays the major role in affecting these storm tracks. Using the analysis and predictions of the CWB global forecast system as the initial and lateral boundary conditions produces an overintensified subtropical ridge in the regional TC forecast model. Because most of the typhoons studied are located in the southwestern peripheral of the western Pacific subtropical high, the stronger steering from the more intense and extended high system is the main cause of the poleward bias in the predicted typhoon tracks in the operational run, which uses the CWB global forecast fields. The study suggests that, when efforts are made to improve a regional TC forecast model, it is also critically important to improve the global forecast system that provides the lateral boundary and initial conditions to the regional system.

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Gan Zhang
,
Zhuo Wang
,
Timothy J. Dunkerton
,
Melinda S. Peng
, and
Gudrun Magnusdottir

Abstract

With warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Atlantic and cold SST anomalies in the east Pacific, the unusually quiet hurricane season in 2013 was a surprise to the hurricane community. The authors’ analyses suggest that the substantially suppressed Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity in August 2013 can be attributed to frequent breaking of midlatitude Rossby waves, which led to the equatorward intrusion of cold and dry extratropical air. The resultant mid- to upper-tropospheric dryness and strong vertical wind shear hindered TC development. Using the empirical orthogonal function analysis, the active Rossby wave breaking in August 2013 was found to be associated with a recurrent mode of the midlatitude jet stream over the North Atlantic, which represents the variability of the intensity and zonal extent of the jet. This mode is significantly correlated with Atlantic hurricane frequency. The correlation coefficient is comparable to the correlation of Atlantic hurricane frequency with the main development region (MDR) relative SST and higher than that with the Niño-3.4 index. This study highlights the extratropical impacts on Atlantic TC activity, which may have important implications for the seasonal predictability of Atlantic TCs.

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Zhuo Wang
,
Weiwei Li
,
Melinda S. Peng
,
Xianan Jiang
,
Ron McTaggart-Cowan
, and
Christopher A. Davis

Abstract

Practical predictability of tropical cyclogenesis over the North Atlantic is evaluated in different synoptic flow regimes using the NCEP Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) reforecasts with forecast lead time up to two weeks. Synoptic flow regimes are represented by tropical cyclogenesis pathways defined in a previous study based on the low-level baroclinicity and upper-level forcing of the genesis environmental state, including nonbaroclinic, low-level baroclinic, trough-induced, weak tropical transition (TT), and strong TT pathways. It is found that the strong TT and weak TT pathways have lower predictability than the other pathways, linked to the lower predictability of vertical wind shear and midlevel humidity in the genesis vicinity of a developing TT storm. Further analysis suggests that stronger extratropical influences contribute to lower genesis predictability. It is also shown that the regional and seasonal variations of the genesis predictive skill in the GEFS can be largely explained by the relative frequency of occurrence of each pathway and the predictability differences among pathways. Predictability of tropical cyclogenesis is further discussed using the concept of the genesis potential index.

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Yi-Ting Yang
,
Eric A. Hendricks
,
Hung-Chi Kuo
, and
Melinda S. Peng

Abstract

The authors report on western North Pacific Typhoon Soulik (2013), which had two anomalously long-lived concentric eyewall (CE) episodes, as identified from microwave satellite data, radar data, and total precipitable water data. The first period was 25 h long and occurred while Soulik was at category 4 intensity. The second period was 34 h long and occurred when Soulik was at category 2 intensity. A large moat and outer eyewall width were present in both CE periods, and there was a significant contraction of the inner eyewall radius from the first period to the second period. The typhoon intensity decrease was partially due to encountering unfavorable environmental conditions of low ocean heat content and dry air, even though inner eyewall contraction would generally support intensification. The T–Vmax diagram (where T is the brightness temperature and Vmax is the best track–estimated intensity) is used to analyze the time sequence of the intensity and convective activity. The convective activity (and thus the integrated kinetic energy) increased during the CE periods despite the weakening of intensity.

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Yi-Ting Yang
,
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Eric A. Hendricks
, and
Melinda S. Peng

Abstract

An objective method is developed to identify concentric eyewalls (CEs) for typhoons using passive microwave satellite imagery from 1997 to 2011 in the western North Pacific basin. Three CE types are identified: a CE with an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC; 37 cases), a CE with no replacement cycle (NRC; 17 cases), and a CE that is maintained for an extended period (CEM; 16 cases). The inner eyewall (outer eyewall) of the ERC (NRC) type dissipates within 20 h after CE formation. The CEM type has its CE structure maintained for more than 20 h (mean duration time is 31 h). Structural and intensity changes of CE typhoons are demonstrated using a T–Vmax diagram (where T is the brightness temperature and Vmax is the best-track estimated intensity) for a time sequence of the intensity and convective activity (CA) relationship. While the intensity of typhoons in the ERC and CEM cases weakens after CE formation, the CA is maintained or increases. In contrast, the CA weakens in the NRC cases. The NRC (CEM) cases typically have fast (slow) northward translational speeds and encounter large (small) vertical shear and low (high) sea surface temperatures. The CEM cases have a relatively high intensity (63 m s−1), and the moat size (61 km) and outer eyewall width (70 km) are approximately 50% larger than the other two categories. Both the internal dynamics and environmental conditions are important in the CEM cases, while the NRC cases are heavily influenced by the environment. The ERC cases may be dominated by the internal dynamics because of more uniform environmental conditions.

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Melinda S. Peng
,
Der-Song Chen
,
Simon W. Chang
,
C-P. Chang
, and
B-F. Jeng

Abstract

In an effort to improve the tropical cyclone track forecast, two preprocessing procedures are applied to an operational baroclinic forecast system at the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) in Taipei. The first replaces the environmental wind field near the storm by the previous 6-h.movement vector of the storm. The second incorporates a wavenumber-1 asymmetry constructed by matching the flow at the center of the asymmetry with the previous 6-h storm movement. Applying both processes to the 32 typhoon casts archived at the CWB in 1990 reduces the averaged 48-h forecast distance error from 474 to 351 km.

Multiexisting typhoons may have interactions among themselves that depend on relative intensity. Proper representation of the intensities in the initial bogus is important for the track forecast. Experiments with different initial bogus intensities are conducted on a case of dual typhoons-Nat and Mireille in 1991. The forecast using different bogus vortices according to the estimated intensities of each typhoon gives substantially smaller errors than that using identical bogus vortices. The impact of initial bogus vortex intensity on the track forecast for single typhoon cases is also illustrated.

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Munehiko Yamaguchi
,
David S. Nolan
,
Mohamed Iskandarani
,
Sharanya J. Majumdar
,
Melinda S. Peng
, and
Carolyn A. Reynolds

Abstract

In this study, singular vectors (SVs) are calculated for tropical cyclone (TC)–like vortices on an f plane and β plane using a barotropic model, and the structure and time evolution of the SVs are investigated. In the f-plane study, SVs are calculated for TC-like vortices that do and do not satisfy a necessary condition of barotropic instability of normal modes, in which the vorticity gradient changes sign. It is found that, in the case where the initial vortices do not meet the condition, 1) the SVs are tilted against the shear of the background angular velocity as found earlier by Nolan and Farrell, indicating the growth of SVs through the Orr mechanism; 2) the leading singular value increases with the maximum tangential wind speed V max and decreases with the radius of the maximum wind (RMW); and 3) the locations of SVs move outward with increasing RMW, V max, and the optimization time. In the case where the initial vortex allows for barotropic instability, the SV is initially tilted against the background shear and exhibits transient growth for a limited period. At a certain time during the initial growth, the SV “locks in” to a normal mode structure and remains in that structure so that it may grow exponentially with time.

In contrast to the SVs on an f plane, the azimuthal distribution of the SVs on a β plane becomes more asymmetric, and the extent of the asymmetry increases as the strength of the beta gyres increases. On the β plane, all first and second SVs calculated in this study have an azimuthal wavenumber-1 structure at the optimization time, regardless of whether the vorticity gradient of initial TC-like vortices changes sign and the TC-like vortices include the beta gyres at initial time. It is found that when the first and second SVs are used as ensemble initial perturbations, the linear combination of the initial first and second SVs can shift the vortex toward any direction at the optimization time. This is true even when SVs with a low horizontal resolution are used as initial perturbations, as in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) ensemble prediction system. Such wavenumber-1 perturbations could be useful for generating sufficient spread among the tropical cyclone tracks in ensemble forecasts.

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Bao-Fong Jeng
,
Hway-Jen Chen
,
Shwu-Ching Lin
,
Tzay-Ming Leou
,
Melinda S. Peng
,
Simon W. Chang
,
Wu-Ron Hsu
, and
C.-P. Chang

Abstract

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) in Taipei, Republic of China has entered the era of operational numerical weather prediction with the complete online operations of a Global Forecast System (GFS) and the Limited-Area Forecast Systems (LAFS). A brief description of the Regional Forecast System (RFS) and the Mesoscale Forecast System (MFS) of the LAFS are presented in this paper. The RFS has a horizontal resolution of 90 km, depends on the GFS for boundary values, and produces forecast up to 48 h over the eastern parts of Asia and the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The MFS has a resolution of 45 km, uses RFS analysis and forecast as initial and boundary conditions, and produces 24-h forecasts for Taiwan and its immediate vicinity. Model configurations, numerics, physical parameterizations, performance statistics, and two significant weather cases of the two forecast systems are discussed. Future improvements and new plans will also be given.

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