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The Pacific Meridional Mode and the Occurrence of Tropical Cyclones in the Western North Pacific

Author(s): Zhang, Wei; Vecchi, Gabriel A; Murakami, Hiroyuki; Villarini, Gabriele; Jia, Liwei

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Abstract: This study investigates the association between the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) and tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the western North Pacific (WNP). It is found that the positive PMM phase favors the occurrence of TCs in the WNP while the negative PMM phase inhibits the occurrence of TCs there. Observed relationships are consistent with those from a long-term preindustrial control experiment (1000 yr) of a high-resolution TC-resolving Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution (FLOR) coupled climate model. The diagnostic relationship between the PMM and TCs in observations and the model is further supported by sensitivity experiments with FLOR. The modulation of TC genesis by the PMM is primarily through the anomalous zonal vertical wind shear (ZVWS) changes in the WNP, especially in the southeastern WNP. The anomalous ZVWS can be attributed to the responses of the atmosphere to the anomalous warming in the northwestern part of the PMM pattern during the positive PMM phase, which resembles a classic Matsuno–Gill pattern. Such influences on TC genesis are strengthened by a cyclonic flow over the WNP. The significant relationship between TCs and the PMM identified here may provide a useful reference for seasonal forecasting of TCs and interpreting changes in TC activity in the WNP.
Publication Date: 1-Jan-2016
Citation: Zhang, Wei, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Hiroyuki Murakami, Gabriele Villarini, and Liwei Jia. "The Pacific meridional mode and the occurrence of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific." Journal of Climate 29, no. 1 (2016): 381-398. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0282.1.
DOI: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0282.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
EISSN: 1520-0442
Pages: 381 - 398
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Climate
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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