Impact of Background Dynamic and Thermodynamic States on Distinctive Annual Cycle of Near-Equatorial Tropical Cyclogenesis over the Western North Pacific


  • In a sharp contrast to tropical cyclone (TC) genesis over the main development region of the western North Pacific (WNP), near-equatorial (0°–5°N) TCs exhibit a distinctive annual cycle, peaking in boreal winter and being inactive in boreal summer. The relative roles of dynamic and thermodynamic background states on near-equatorial TCs formation were investigated based on the observational diagnosis of the genesis potential index (GPI) and high-resolution model simulations. It is found that the background vorticity makes a major contribution to the distinctive annual cycle, while mean temperature and specific humidity fields are not critical. Numerical simulations further indicate that seasonal mean cyclonic vorticity in boreal winter has three effects on TC genesis near the equator. First, the environmental cyclonic vorticity interacts with TC vortex to promote a mid-level outflow, which strengthens boundary layer friction induced ascending motion and thus condensational heating. Second, it produces an equivalent Coriolis effect (via enhanced absolute vorticity), which strengthens positive feedback between primary and secondary circulation. Third, it helps to merge small-scale vortical hot towers (VHTs) into a mesoscale core through vorticity segregation process. However, background vorticity in boreal summer has an opposite effect on TC development near the equator.
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