Climate Dynamics

, Volume 51, Issue 1–2, pp 719–732 | Cite as

Cause of interdecadal change of tropical cyclone controlling parameter in the western North Pacific

  • Feng Hu
  • Tim LiEmail author
  • Jia Liu
  • Melinda Peng


The interdecadal change of tropical cyclone (TC) controlling parameter in the western North Pacific (WNP) was investigated using observational data. Through the diagnosis of the relative role of each term of the TC genesis potential index (GPI), it was found that the dominant factor controlling interannual TC genesis frequency was specific humidity in 1950–1976, maximum potential intensity or sea surface temperature (SST) in 1977–1998, and relative vorticity in 1999–2014. The change of environmental specific humidity during 1950–1976 was primarily attributed to the advection of the mean moisture by anomalous low-level wind in ENSO developing summer. The change of SST during 1977–1998 was primarily affected by a V-shape SST pattern in western Pacific in ENSO decaying summer. The change of environment relative vorticity during 1999–2014 was primarily controlled by a strong cyclonic flow anomaly associated with CP-type El Niño. The change of dominant environmental controlling parameter is ultimately caused by the change of ENSO behavior. Compared to the first interdecadal period, a stronger EP-type ENSO variability in  1977–1998 leads to a stronger circulation and SST response in ENSO decaying phase. The occurrence of more frequent CP type El Niño in  1999–2014 was possibly attributed to both suppressed convection and low-level divergence over the central equatorial Pacific and a warming trend in the tropics.


Interdecadal change of TC interannual frequency Large-scale factors Mean state change 



This work was jointly supported by China National Key R&D Program 2017YFA0603802 and 2015CB453200, NSFC Grants 41630423/41475084, NSF Grant AGS-1565653, NRL Grant N00173-16-1-G906, Jiangsu Project BK20150062 and R2014SCT001, and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD). This is SOEST contribution number  10253, IPRC contribution number  1291 and ESMC number  190.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change (ILCEC)/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Meteorology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, International Pacific Research CenterUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Naval Research LabMontereyUSA

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