Tropical Cyclone Track Characteristics as a Function of Large-Scale Circulation Anomalies

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
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Abstract

Factors that contribute to intraseasonal variability in western North Pacific tropical cyclone track types are investigated. It is hypothesized that the 700-mb large-scale circulation can affect tropical cyclone track characteristics by enhancing or excluding genesis in certain regions, and concurrently prohibiting or favoring recurving versus straight tracks. A track-type climatology indicates that genesis location alone may explain some of the variability in track type. Although some genesis regions have no preference for straight-moving or recurving tracks, a formation north of 20°N or east of 150°E and north of 10°N favors a recurvature track. These recurving storms are classified as recurving-north, and recurving storms that form in regions with nearly equal probability of straight or recurving tracks are classified as recurving south.

A compositing technique is used to define anomalous 700-mb large-scale circulations that exist during the formation of tropical cyclones that subsequently follow either a straight track or one of the two types of recurring tracks. Anomalous circulations associated with extended periods that do not contain any tropical cyclones are also identified. Physically and statistically different anomalous large-scale circulation patterns exist at the time of genesis for storms following each track type and for inactive periods. The large-scale anomalies describe variations in the positions and intensities of the monsoon trough and subtropical ridge. During genesis of straight-moving and recurving-south storms, anomalous large-scale horizontal cyclonic shear exists throughout the South China Sea and Philippine Sm During straight-moving storms, cyclonic shear increases because of anomalous easterlies along the southern boundary of an enhanced subtropical ridge. During recurving-south storms, anomalous equatorial westerlies and cross-equatorial flow from the Southern Hemisphere act to increase the cyclonic shear.

The track-type climatology is used to predict the subsequent track type based only on genesis location. In a second scheme, the distributions of anomalous 700-mb zonal wind components in 5°latitude bands averaged between 100° and 140°E are used to predict the most likely track type. The large-scale 700-mb anomalies at genesis time determine the subsequent track type in a majority of cases. The skill of this simple scheme exceeds that from the climatological probability of track type.

Abstract

Factors that contribute to intraseasonal variability in western North Pacific tropical cyclone track types are investigated. It is hypothesized that the 700-mb large-scale circulation can affect tropical cyclone track characteristics by enhancing or excluding genesis in certain regions, and concurrently prohibiting or favoring recurving versus straight tracks. A track-type climatology indicates that genesis location alone may explain some of the variability in track type. Although some genesis regions have no preference for straight-moving or recurving tracks, a formation north of 20°N or east of 150°E and north of 10°N favors a recurvature track. These recurving storms are classified as recurving-north, and recurving storms that form in regions with nearly equal probability of straight or recurving tracks are classified as recurving south.

A compositing technique is used to define anomalous 700-mb large-scale circulations that exist during the formation of tropical cyclones that subsequently follow either a straight track or one of the two types of recurring tracks. Anomalous circulations associated with extended periods that do not contain any tropical cyclones are also identified. Physically and statistically different anomalous large-scale circulation patterns exist at the time of genesis for storms following each track type and for inactive periods. The large-scale anomalies describe variations in the positions and intensities of the monsoon trough and subtropical ridge. During genesis of straight-moving and recurving-south storms, anomalous large-scale horizontal cyclonic shear exists throughout the South China Sea and Philippine Sm During straight-moving storms, cyclonic shear increases because of anomalous easterlies along the southern boundary of an enhanced subtropical ridge. During recurving-south storms, anomalous equatorial westerlies and cross-equatorial flow from the Southern Hemisphere act to increase the cyclonic shear.

The track-type climatology is used to predict the subsequent track type based only on genesis location. In a second scheme, the distributions of anomalous 700-mb zonal wind components in 5°latitude bands averaged between 100° and 140°E are used to predict the most likely track type. The large-scale 700-mb anomalies at genesis time determine the subsequent track type in a majority of cases. The skill of this simple scheme exceeds that from the climatological probability of track type.

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