AbstractPrevious studies have suggested that tropical cyclone (TC) seasons over the western North Pacific (WNP) in the decaying years of El Niño events are generally less active than normal. The two strongest El Niño events on record were 1997/1998 and 2015/2016, but TC activities over the WNP displayed a sharp contrast between the decaying years of the two events. In 1998, consistent with previous studies, the WNP witnessed an extremely quiet season with no TC genesis in the preseason (January to June) and with only 10 named TCs observed in the typhoon season (July to October), making 1998 the most inactive season in the basin on record. In 2016, no TC formed in the preseason, similar to 1998; however, the basin became remarkably active in the typhoon season with above-normal named TCs observed. Our analyses indicate that the absence of TCs in the preseason in both 1998 and 2016 and the less active typhoon season in 1998 were attributed to the strong western Pacific anomalous anticyclone associated with the super El Niño events. However, the pattern of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) in the Pacific in 2016 showed features distinct from that in 1998. During July-August, the extremely positive phase of the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) triggered an anomalous cyclonic circulation and negative vertical wind shear over the WNP, favorable for TC geneses, while during September-October, the combined effect of the equatorial western Pacific warming and the weak La Niña event enhanced TC geneses over the WNP.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 7, 2017
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