Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp 1403–1418 | Cite as

Development of waves under explosive cyclones in the Northwestern Pacific

  • Yuki Kita
  • Takuji Waseda
  • Adrean Webb
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 15th International Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting in Liverpool, UK, September 10-15, 2017


The development of ocean waves under explosive cyclones (ECs) is investigated in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean using a hindcast wave simulation around Japan during the period 1994 through 2014. A composite analysis of the ocean wave fields under ECs is used to investigate how the spatial patterns of the spectral wave parameters develop over time. Using dual criteria of a drop in sea level pressure below 980 hPa at the center of a cyclone and a decrease of at least 12 hPa over a 12-h period, ECs are identified in atmospheric reanalysis data. Two areas under an EC were identified with narrow directional spectra: the cold side of a warm front and the right-hand side of an EC (relative to the propagating direction). Because ECs are associated with atmospheric fronts, ocean waves develop very differently under ECs than they do under tropical cyclones. Moreover, ECs evolve very rapidly such that the development of the ocean wave field lags behind the peak wind speed by hours. In a case study of an EC that occurred in January 2013, the wave spectrum indicates that a warm front played a critical role in generating distinct ocean wave systems in the warm and cold zones along the warm front. Both the warm and cold zones have narrow directional and frequency spectra. In contrast, the ocean wave field in the third quadrant (rear left area relative to the propagation direction) of the EC is composed of swell and wind sea systems propagating in different directions.


Explosive cyclone Ocean surface wave Wave hindcast Northwest Pacific GPS wave sensor Air-sea interaction 



We wish to thank Swadhin K. Behera, Akira Yoshida, and Ryota Wada for their kind support and thoughtful advice during the process of this research.

Funding information

This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant 16H01846. The NKEO observation was conducted during the Hot Spot in Climate System, sponsored by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research in Innovative Areas, 2010–2014. This work was also supported by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow for Young Scientists.


  1. Allen JT, Pezza AB, Black MT (2010) Explosive cyclogenesis: a global climatology comparing multiple reanalyses. J Clim 23:6468–6484. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ardhuin F, Rogers E, Babanin AV, Filipot JF, Magne R, Roland A, van der Westhuysen A, Queffeulou P, Lefevre JM, Aouf L, Collard F (2010) Semiempirical dissipation source functions for ocean waves. Part I: definition, calibration, and validation. J Phys Oceanogr 40:1917–1941. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Babanin AV, Makin VK (2008) Effects of wind trend and gustiness on the sea drag: Lake George study. J Geophys Res Ocean 113:1–18. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Babanin AV, Onorato M, Qiao F (2012) Surface waves and wave-coupled effects in lower atmosphere and upper ocean. J Geophys Res Ocean 117:1–10. Google Scholar
  5. Bell RJ, Gray SL, Jones OP (2017) North Atlantic storm driving of extreme wave heights in the North Sea. J Geophys Res Ocean 122:3253–3268. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bitner-Gregersen EM, Fernandez L, Lefèvre JM, Monbaliu J, Toffoli A (2014) The North Sea Andrea storm and numerical simulations. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 14(6):1407–1415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blair A, Ginis I, Hara T, Ulhorn E (2017) Impact of Langmuir turbulence on upper ocean response to Hurricane Edouard: model and observations. J Geophys Res Ocean 122:1–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Catto JL (2016) Extratropical cyclone classification and its use in climate studies. Rev Geophys 54:486–520. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cavaleri L, Benetazzo A, Barbariol F, Bidlot J-R, Janssen PAEM (2017) The Draupner event: the large wave and the emerging view. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 98(4):729–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen S-J, Kuo Y, Zhang P-Z, Bai Q-F (1992) Climatology of explosive cyclones off the east Asian coast. Mon Weather Rev 120:3029–3035.<3029:COECOT>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen SS, Zhao W, Donelan MA, Tolman HL (2013) Directional wind–wave coupling in fully coupled atmosphere–wave–ocean models: results from CBLAST-Hurricane. J Atmos Sci 70:3198–3215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Donelan MA, Dobson FW, Smith SD, Anderson RJ (1993) On the dependence of sea surface roughness on wave development. J Phys Oceanogr 23:2143–2149.<2143:OTDOSS>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fedele F, Brennan J, Ponce de León S, Dudley J, Dias F (2016) Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability. Sci Rep 6(1):27715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ginis I (2002) Tropical cyclone-ocean interactions. Atmos Interact Adv Fluid Mech Ser 33:83–114Google Scholar
  15. Goda Y (1970) A synthesis of breaker indices. In: Proc. Japan Soc. Civil Engineers. pp 227–230Google Scholar
  16. Gomara I, Pinto JG, Woollings T et al (2014) Rossby wave-breaking analysis of explosive cyclones in the Euro-Atlantic sector. Q J R Meteorol Soc 140:738–753. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guedes Soares C, Cherneva Z, Antao EM (2004) Abnormal waves during Hurricane Camille. J Geophys Res C Ocean 109:1–7. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hanafin JA, Quilfen Y, Ardhuin F, Sienkiewicz J, Queffeulou P, Obrebski M, Chapron B, Reul N, Collard F, Corman D, de Azevedo EB, Vandemark D, Stutzmann E (2012) Phenomenal sea states and swell from a North Atlantic storm in February 2011: a comprehensive analysis. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93:1825–1832. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hasselmann S, Hasselmann K, Allender JH, Barnett TP (1985) Computations and parameterizations of the nonlinear energy transfer in a gravity-wave spectrum. Part II: parameterizations of the nonlinear energy transfer for application in wave models. J Phys Oceanogr 15:1378–1391.<1378:CAPOTN>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hayasaki M, Kawamura R (2012) Cyclone activities in heavy rainfall episodes in Japan during spring season. Sola 8:45–48. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hirata H, Kawamura R, Kato M, Shinoda T (2015) Influential role of moisture supply from the Kuroshio/Kuroshio Extension in the rapid development of an extratropical cyclone. Mon Weather Rev 143:4126–4144. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hodges KI (1994) A general method for tracking analysis and its application to meteorological data. Mon Weather Rev 122:2573–2586.<2573:AGMFTA>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoskins BJ, Hodges KI (2002) New perspectives on the Northern Hemisphere winter storm tracks. J Atmos Sci 59:1041–1061.<1041:NPOTNH>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Iwao K, Inatsu M, Kimoto M (2012) Recent changes in explosively developing extratropical cyclones over the winter northwestern Pacific. J Clim 25:7282–7296. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Janssen PAEM (2003) Nonlinear four-wave interactions and freak waves. J Phys Oceanogr 33:863–884.<863:NFIAFW>2.0.CO;2
  26. Janssen PAEM, Bouws E (1986) On the minimum width of a gravity wave spectrum. In: KNMI-OO Memorandum OO-86-01Google Scholar
  27. Keyser D, Reeder MJ, Reed RJ (1988) A generalization of Petterssen’s frontogenesis function and its relation to the forcing of vertical motion. Mon Weather Rev 116:762–781.<0762:AGOPFF>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. King DB, Shemdin OH (1978) Radar observation of hurricane wave directions. In: Coastal engineering 1978. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, pp 209–226Google Scholar
  29. Kuwano-Yoshida A, Enomoto T (2013) Predictability of explosive cyclogenesis over the northwestern Pacific region using ensemble reanalysis. Mon Weather Rev 141:3769–3785. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lim E-P, Simmonds I (2002) Explosive cyclone development in the southern hemisphere and a comparison with Northern Hemisphere events. Mon Weather Rev 130:2188–2209.<2188:ECDITS>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu Q, Babanin A, Fan Y, Zieger S, Guan C, Moon IJ (2017) Numerical simulations of ocean surface waves under hurricane conditions: assessment of existing model performance. Ocean Model 118:73–93. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moon I-J, Ginis I, Hara T, Tolman HL, Wright CW, Walsh EJ (2003) Numerical simulation of sea surface directional wave spectra under hurricane wind forcing. J Phys Oceanogr 33:1680–1706. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moon I-J, Ginis I, Hara T (2008) Impact of the reduced drag coefficient on ocean wave modeling under hurricane conditions. Mon Weather Rev 136:1217–1223. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mori N (2012) Freak waves under typhoon conditions. J Geophys Res Ocean 117:1–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mori N, Janssen PAEM (2006) On kurtosis and occurrence probability of freak waves. J Phys Oceanogr 36(7):1471–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. NOAA (1978) Smooth log, North Atlantic weather, September and October 1978. Mon Weather Log 23:104Google Scholar
  37. Onorato M, Osborne AR, Serio M, Cavaleri L, Brandini C, Stansberg CT (2004) Observation of strongly non-Gaussian statistics for random sea surface gravity waves in wave flume experiments. Phys Rev E 70(6):067302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Osborne AR, Ponce de León S (2017) Properties of rogue waves and the shape of the ocean wave power spectrum. In: Volume 3A: structures, safety and reliability. ASME, p V03AT02A013Google Scholar
  39. Ponce de León S, Guedes Soares C (2014) Extreme wave parameters under North Atlantic extratropical cyclones. Ocean Model 81:78–88. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Powell MD, Vickery PJ, Reinhold TA (2003) Reduced drag coefficient for high wind speeds in tropical cyclones. Nature 422:279–283. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rascle N, Ardhuin F (2013) A global wave parameter database for geophysical applications. Part 2: model validation with improved source term parameterization. Ocean Model 70:174–188. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reichl BG, Ginis I, Hara T, Thomas B, Kukulka T, Wang D (2016) Impact of sea-state-dependent Langmuir turbulence on the ocean response to a tropical cyclone. Mon Weather Rev 144:4569–4590. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. da Rocha RP, Sugahara S, da Silveira RB (2004) Sea waves generated by extratropical cyclones in the South Atlantic Ocean: hindcast and validation against altimeter data. Weather Forecast 19:398–411.<0398:SWGBEC>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rogers WE, Van Vledder GP (2013) Frequency width in predictions of windsea spectra and the role of the nonlinear solver. Ocean Model 70:52–61. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rudeva I, Gulev SK (2007) Climatology of cyclone size characteristics and their changes during the cyclone life cycle. Mon Weather Rev 135:2568–2587. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Saha S, Moorthi S, Pan HL, Wu X, Wang J, Nadiga S, Tripp P, Kistler R, Woollen J, Behringer D, Liu H, Stokes D, Grumbine R, Gayno G, Wang J, Hou YT, Chuang HY, Juang HMH, Sela J, Iredell M, Treadon R, Kleist D, van Delst P, Keyser D, Derber J, Ek M, Meng J, Wei H, Yang R, Lord S, van den Dool H, Kumar A, Wang W, Long C, Chelliah M, Xue Y, Huang B, Schemm JK, Ebisuzaki W, Lin R, Xie P, Chen M, Zhou S, Higgins W, Zou CZ, Liu Q, Chen Y, Han Y, Cucurull L, Reynolds RW, Rutledge G, Goldberg M (2010) The NCEP climate forecast system reanalysis. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 91:1015–1057. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sanders F, Gyakum JR (1980) Synoptic-dynamic climatology of the “bomb”. Mon Weather Rev 108:1589–1606.<1589:SDCOT>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schultz DM, Keyser D, Bosart LF (1998) The effect of large-scale flow on low-level frontal structure and evolution in midlatitude cyclones. Mon Weather Rev 126:1767–1791.<1767:TEOLSF>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schultz DM, Sienkiewicz JM (2013) Using frontogenesis to identify sting jets in extratropical cyclones. Weather Forecast 28:603–613. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Simmonds I, Murray RJ (1999) Southern extratropical cyclone behavior in ECMWF analyses during the FROST special observing periods. Weather Forecast 14:878–891.<0878:SECBIE>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sinclair MR (1994) An objective cyclone climatology for the Southern Hemisphere. Mon Weather Rev 122:2239–2256.<2239:AOCCFT>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Slater TP, Schultz DM, Vaughan G (2015) Acceleration of near-surface strong winds in a dry, idealised extratropical cyclone. Q J R Meteorol Soc 141:1004–1016. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suzuki N, Toba Y, Komori S (2010) Examination of drag coefficient with special reference to the windsea Reynolds number: conditions with counter and mixed swell. J Oceanogr 66:731–739. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tamura H, Waseda T, Miyazawa Y (2009) Freakish sea state and swell-windsea coupling: numerical study of the Suwa-Maru incident. Geophys Res Lett 36:2–6. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ting CH, Babanin AV, Chalikov D, Hsu TW (2012) Dependence of drag coefficient on the directional spreading of ocean waves. J Geophys Res Ocean 117:1–7. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Toba Y (1972) Local balance in the air-sea boundary processes. J Oceanogr 28:109–120. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Toba Y, Iida N, Kawamura H, Ebuchi N, Jones ISF (1990) Wave dependence of sea surface wind stress. J Phys Oceanogr 20:705–721.<0705:WDOSSW>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Toffoli A, Loffredo L, Le Roy P et al (2012) On the variability of sea drag in finite water depth. J Geophys Res Ocean 117:1–10. Google Scholar
  59. Tolman HL (2011) The impact of nonlinear interaction parameterizations on practical wind wave models. 12th Int Work Wave Hindcasting ForecastGoogle Scholar
  60. Trulsen K, Borge JCN, Gramstad O, Aouf L, Lefèvre J-M (2015) Crossing sea state and rogue wave probability during the Prestige accident. J Geophys Res Oceans 120(10):7113–7136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tolman HL, Group WID (2014) User manual and system documentation of WAVEWATCH III Version 4.18Google Scholar
  62. Waseda T, Hallerstig M, Ozaki K, Tomita H (2011) Enhanced freak wave occurrence with narrow directional spectrum in the North Sea. Geophys Res Lett 38:1–6. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Waseda T, Tamura H, Kinoshita T (2012) Freakish sea index and sea states during ship accidents. J Mar Sci Technol 17:305–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Waseda T, In K, Kiyomatsu K et al (2014a) Predicting freakish sea state with an operational third-generation wave model. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 14:945–957. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Waseda T, Sinchi M, Kiyomatsu K, Nishida T, Takahashi S, Asaumi S, Kawai Y, Tamura H, Miyazawa Y (2014b) Deep water observations of extreme waves with moored and free GPS buoys. Ocean Dyn 64:1269–1280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Waseda T, Webb A, Kiyomatsu K, Fujimoto W, Miyazasa Y, Sergey V, Horiuchi K, Fujiwara T, Taniguchi T, Matsuda K, Yoshikawa J (2016) Marine energy resource assessment at reconnaissance to feasibility study stages. Journal of the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers 23(0):189–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Webb A, Waseda T, Fujimoto W, et al (2016) A high-resolution, wave and current resource assessment of Japan: The Web GIS Dataset. In: AWTEC 2016Google Scholar
  68. Yoshida A, Asuma Y (2004) Structures and environment of explosively developing extratropical cyclones in the northwestern Pacific region. Mon Weather Rev 132:1121–1142.<1121:SAEOED>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yoshiike S, Kawamura R (2009) Influence of wintertime large-scale circulation on the explosively developing cyclones over the western North Pacific and their downstream effects. J Geophys Res 114:1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Young IR (1999) On the measurement of directional wave spectra. Appl Ocean Res 21:295–309. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Young IR (1988) Parametric hurricane wave prediction model. J Waterw Port Coast Ocean Eng 114:637–652. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhang W, Perrie W, Li W (2006) Impacts of waves and sea spray on midlatitude storm structure and intensity. Mon Weather Rev 134:2418–2442. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang Y, Perrie W (2001) Feedback mechanisms for the atmosphere and ocean surface. Bound-Layer Meteorol 100:321–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean Technology Policy and Environment, Graduate School of Frontier ScienceThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  2. 2.Coastal Engineering Laboratory, Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityUjiJapan

Personalised recommendations