AbstractPoleward trends in seasonal-mean latitudes of tropical cyclones (TCs) have been identified in direct observations from 1980 to present. Paleoclimate reconstructions also indicate poleward-equatorward migrations over centennial to millennial timescales. Hadley circulation (HC) is often both implicitly and explicitly invoked to provide dynamical linkages to these shifts, although no direct analysis of concurrent changes in the recent period has been presented. Here the observational TC record (1981-2016) and the ERA-Interim, JRA55 and MERRA2 reanalyses are studied to examine potential relationships between the two. A zonally-asymmetric HC is defined by employing Helmholtz theory for vector decomposition and this permits the derivation of novel HC diagnostics local to TC basins.Coherent variations in both long-term linear trends and detrended interannual variability are found. TC genesis and lifetime maximum intensity latitudes share trend sign and magnitude with shifts in local HC extent, with rates being ~0.25±0.1 °latitude decade-1. Both these lifecycle stages in hemispheric means and all Pacific TC basins, as well as poleward-extreme North Atlantic lysis latitudes, shared ~35% of their interannual variability with HC extent. Local HC intensity is linked only to eastern North Pacific TC latitudes, where strong local overturning corresponds to equatorward TC shifts. Examination of potential dynamical linkages implicates La Niña-like sea surface temperature gradients to poleward HC termini. This corresponds to increased tropical and reduced subtropical vertical wind shear everywhere except in the North Atlantic and western North Pacific, where the opposite is true. These results quantify a long-hypothesized link between TCs and the large-scale oceanic-atmospheric state.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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