Climate Dynamics

, Volume 51, Issue 7–8, pp 2807–2823 | Cite as

Physical processes controlling earlier and later onset of a typhoon season in the western North Pacific

  • Heng Zuo
  • Tim Li
  • Jia Liu
  • Melinda Peng


The interannual variability of typhoon onset date in western North Pacific (WNP) during 1979–2015 is investigated. The average date in the earlier (later) onset group is early April (late July). A diagnosis of the genesis potential index shows that the key factor affecting the earlier and later onset lies in the background moisture field. According to their evolution feature, the earlier onset cases are further divided into two sub-groups. In the first sub-group, positive specific humidity anomalies were confined in the western WNP and caused primarily by circulation anomalies associated with a La Niña in the equatorial eastern Pacific. In the second sub-group, positive specific humidity anomalies were confined in the eastern WNP and caused by anomalous convection associated with the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) in the tropical and subtropical eastern Pacific. In the later onset composite, negative specific humidity anomalies appear in the WNP, and were accompanied by an anomalous anticyclone in situ and a V-shape negative SSTA pattern in the western Pacific. In addition, the change of background vertical wind shear (VWS) also influences the TC onset date. A decrease (increase) in the VWS magnitude and an easterly (westerly) shear anomaly occur in the earlier (later) onset composite. Physically it is argued that both the magnitude of the VWS and the sign of anomalous zonal wind shear may affect TC formation in the WNP.


Earlier or later onset of a typhoon season Environmental moisture change Vertical wind shear 



This work was jointly supported by China National Key R&D Program 2017YFA0603802 and 2015CB453200, NSFC Grants 41630423, 41475084 and 41575043, NSF Grant AGS-1565653, ONR Grant N00014-16-12260, NRL Grant N00173-16-1-G906, Jiangsu Project BK20150062, Jiangsu Shuang-Chuang Team R2014SCT001, and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD). This work was supported in part by the scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC) under the Grant CSC N201708320288 and the Postgraduate Research and Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province KYCX17_0877. This is SOEST contribution number 10288, IPRC contribution number 1300, and ESMC number 199.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 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 TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center and Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Naval Research LaboratoryMontereyUSA

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