Extratropical cyclones over East Asia: climatology, seasonal cycle, and long-term trend

  • Jaeyeon Lee
  • Seok-Woo SonEmail author
  • Hyeong-Oh Cho
  • Junsu Kim
  • Dong-Hyun Cha
  • John R. Gyakum
  • Deliang Chen


Extratropical cyclones (ETCs) in East Asia are automatically detected and tracked by applying a Lagrangian tracking algorithm to the 850-hPa relative vorticity field. The ETC statistics, which are derived from ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset from 1979 to 2017, show that East Asian ETCs primarily form over Mongolia, East China, and the Kuroshio Current region with a maximum frequency of six to seven cyclones per month. Both Mongolia and East China ETCs are initiated on the leeward side of the mountains. While Mongolia ETCs downstream of the Altai–Sayan Mountains develop slowly, East China ETCs downstream of the Tibetan plateau develop rapidly as they travel across the warm ocean. Both of them show a maximum frequency and intensity in spring rather than in winter. In contrast, oceanic ETCs across the Kuroshio Current and the Kuroshio–Oyashio Extension, where sea surface temperature gradient is sharp, reach a maximum frequency in winter although their intensity is still maximum in spring. On the decadal timescale, both ETC frequency and intensity exhibit insignificant trends. Exceptions are springtime East China and summertime Mongolia ETCs whose frequencies have slightly decreased since 1979. This declining trend is consistent with the enhanced static stability in the region.


Extratropical cyclone (ETC) East Asia Lagrangian tracking algorithm Climatology Seasonal cycle Long-term trend 



We thank Jung Choi, Joon-Woo Roh, Joonsuk M. Kang, and Enoch Jo for their helpful comments. This study was funded by the National Research Foundatioin of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2018R1A5A1024958), Swedish Research Council VR (2014-1864), and the Numerical Modeling Center from the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program for the Next Generation Model Development Project through Grant 1365003079.

Supplementary material

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Advanced Modeling Infrastructure Team, Numerical Modeling CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.School of Urban and Environmental EngineeringUlsan National Institute of Science and TechnologyUlsanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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