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Naoko Kitabatake

Abstract

Extratropical transition (ET) in the western North Pacific during 2001–02 is examined in terms of frontal evolution and its environment using a gridded global analysis dataset produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency. According to the best-track data created by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo-Typhoon Center, 23 out of 52 (44%) tropical cyclones (TCs) completed ET during these two years. These ET cases are classified into three categories in terms of the lower-tropospheric equivalent potential temperature distributions, characteristics of the TCs, and their environments. Eight TCs (35% of all ET cases) had temporary warm secluded frontal patterns and then occluded patterns at the completion of ET, which is defined as a seclusion–occlusion (SO) type. This occurs downstream of an intense upper-tropospheric trough interacting with a TC, which is then likely to move northward while keeping its tropical characteristics and have a large impact on relatively high latitudes including all the Japan islands. Three TCs (13%) were apparently absorbed into vigorous preexisting fronts in the southwest of midlatitude cyclones; this situation is defined as a cold advection (CA) type. A TC of the CA type is likely to lose its tropical characteristics rapidly in strong cold advection that is equatorward of a relatively straight upper-tropospheric jet stream. The other 12 TCs (52%) were organized into an open-wave frontal cyclone, which is defined as an open-wave (OW) type. This has characteristics of both SO and CA and is more related to the midlatitude baroclinic zone compared with the SO type.

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Wataru Yanase, Hiroshi Niino, Kevin Hodges, and Naoko Kitabatake

Abstract

Objective cyclone tracking applied to a 30-yr reanalysis dataset shows that cyclone development in the summer and autumn seasons is active in the tropics and extratropics and inactive in the subtropics. To understand this geographically bimodal distribution of cyclone development associated with tropical and extratropical cyclones quantitatively, the direct relationship between cyclone types and their environments are assessed by using a parameter space of environmental variables [environmental parameter space (EPS)]. The number of cyclones is analyzed in terms of two different factors: the environmental conditions favorable for cyclone development and the area size that satisfies the favorable condition. The EPS analysis is mainly conducted for two representative environmental parameters that are commonly used for cyclone analysis: potential intensity for tropical cyclones and baroclinicity for extratropical cyclones. The geographically bimodal distribution is attributed to the high sensitivity of the cyclone development to the change in the environmental fields from tropics to extratropics. In addition, the bimodal distribution is partly attributed to the rapid change in the environmental fields from tropics to extratropics. The EPS analysis also shows that other environmental parameters, including relative humidity and vertical velocity, may enhance the contrast between the tropics (extratropics) and subtropics, whereas they are not essential for determining cyclone types. The relationship between cyclones and their environments is found to be similar between the hemispheres in the EPS, although the geographical distribution, particularly the longitudinal uniformity, is markedly different between the hemispheres.

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Julia H. Keller, Christian M. Grams, Michael Riemer, Heather M. Archambault, Lance Bosart, James D. Doyle, Jenni L. Evans, Thomas J. Galarneau Jr., Kyle Griffin, Patrick A. Harr, Naoko Kitabatake, Ron McTaggart-Cowan, Florian Pantillon, Julian F. Quinting, Carolyn A. Reynolds, Elizabeth A. Ritchie, Ryan D. Torn, and Fuqing Zhang

Abstract

The extratropical transition (ET) of tropical cyclones often has an important impact on the nature and predictability of the midlatitude flow. This review synthesizes the current understanding of the dynamical and physical processes that govern this impact and highlights the relationship of downstream development during ET to high-impact weather, with a focus on downstream regions. It updates a previous review from 2003 and identifies new and emerging challenges and future research needs. First, the mechanisms through which the transitioning cyclone impacts the midlatitude flow in its immediate vicinity are discussed. This “direct impact” manifests in the formation of a jet streak and the amplification of a ridge directly downstream of the cyclone. This initial flow modification triggers or amplifies a midlatitude Rossby wave packet, which disperses the impact of ET into downstream regions (downstream impact) and may contribute to the formation of high-impact weather. Details are provided concerning the impact of ET on forecast uncertainty in downstream regions and on the impact of observations on forecast skill. The sources and characteristics of the following key features and processes that may determine the manifestation of the impact of ET on the midlatitude flow are discussed: the upper-tropospheric divergent outflow, mainly associated with latent heat release in the troposphere below, and the phasing between the transitioning cyclone and the midlatitude wave pattern. Improving the representation of diabatic processes during ET in models and a climatological assessment of the ET’s impact on downstream high-impact weather are examples for future research directions.

Open access
Clark Evans, Kimberly M. Wood, Sim D. Aberson, Heather M. Archambault, Shawn M. Milrad, Lance F. Bosart, Kristen L. Corbosiero, Christopher A. Davis, João R. Dias Pinto, James Doyle, Chris Fogarty, Thomas J. Galarneau Jr., Christian M. Grams, Kyle S. Griffin, John Gyakum, Robert E. Hart, Naoko Kitabatake, Hilke S. Lentink, Ron McTaggart-Cowan, William Perrie, Julian F. D. Quinting, Carolyn A. Reynolds, Michael Riemer, Elizabeth A. Ritchie, Yujuan Sun, and Fuqing Zhang

Abstract

Extratropical transition (ET) is the process by which a tropical cyclone, upon encountering a baroclinic environment and reduced sea surface temperature at higher latitudes, transforms into an extratropical cyclone. This process is influenced by, and influences, phenomena from the tropics to the midlatitudes and from the meso- to the planetary scales to extents that vary between individual events. Motivated in part by recent high-impact and/or extensively observed events such as North Atlantic Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and western North Pacific Typhoon Sinlaku in 2008, this review details advances in understanding and predicting ET since the publication of an earlier review in 2003. Methods for diagnosing ET in reanalysis, observational, and model-forecast datasets are discussed. New climatologies for the eastern North Pacific and southwest Indian Oceans are presented alongside updates to western North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean climatologies. Advances in understanding and, in some cases, modeling the direct impacts of ET-related wind, waves, and precipitation are noted. Improved understanding of structural evolution throughout the transformation stage of ET fostered in large part by novel aircraft observations collected in several recent ET events is highlighted. Predictive skill for operational and numerical model ET-related forecasts is discussed along with environmental factors influencing posttransition cyclone structure and evolution. Operational ET forecast and analysis practices and challenges are detailed. In particular, some challenges of effective hazard communication for the evolving threats posed by a tropical cyclone during and after transition are introduced. This review concludes with recommendations for future work to further improve understanding, forecasts, and hazard communication.

Open access