AbstractRecent studies have reaffirmed a global threshold sea surface temperature (SST) of 26°C for tropical cyclone (TC) genesis. However, it is well understood that other thermodynamic variables influence TC genesis and that high SST in isolation is not a sufficient criterion for genesis. Here, a basin-by-basin analysis of the SST distributions in the five most active ocean basins is performed, which shows that there is no global SST threshold for TC genesis. The distributions of genesis SST show substantial variations between basins. Furthermore, analysis of the conditional probability of genesis for a given TC season main development region SST suggests that the SST bounds for TC genesis are largely determined by the climatological bounds of the basin and that the SST values within this environmental range have similar probabilities of genesis. The distribution of relative SST (the difference between local and tropical mean) and tropical cyclone potential intensity at TC genesis are more distinct from those of the TC season environment, consistent with their utility in TC genesis indices.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 11, 2017
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