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  • Author or Editor: Melinda S. Peng x
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Gan Zhang
,
Zhuo Wang
,
Melinda S. Peng
, and
Gudrun Magnusdottir

Abstract

This study investigates the characteristics of extratropical Rossby wave breaking (RWB) during the Atlantic hurricane season and its impacts on Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity. It was found that RWB perturbs the wind and moisture fields throughout the troposphere in the vicinity of a breaking wave. When RWB occurs more frequently over the North Atlantic, the Atlantic main development region (MDR) is subject to stronger vertical wind shear and reduced tropospheric moisture; the basinwide TC counts are reduced, and TCs are generally less intense, have a shorter lifetime, and are less likely to make landfalls. A significant negative correlation was found between Atlantic TC activity and RWB occurrence during 1979–2013. The correlation is comparable to that with the MDR SST index and stronger than that with the Niño-3.4 index. Further analyses suggest that the variability of RWB occurrence in the western Atlantic is largely independent of that in the eastern Atlantic. The RWB occurrence in the western basin is more closely tied to the environmental variability of the tropical North Atlantic and is more likely to hinder TC intensification or reduce the TC lifetime because of its proximity to the central portion of TC tracks. Consequently, the basinwide TC counts and the accumulated cyclone energy have a strong correlation with western-basin RWB occurrence but only a moderate correlation with eastern-basin RWB occurrence. The results highlight the extratropical impacts on Atlantic TC activity and regional climate via RWB and provide new insights into the variability and predictability of TC activity.

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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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