Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 9, pp 2148–2155 | Cite as

Interdecadal change of the linkage between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the tropical cyclone frequency over the western North Pacific

Research Paper


The relationship between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the tropical cyclone frequency over the western North Pacific (WNPTCF) in summer is investigated by use of observation data. It is found that their linkage appears to have an interdecadal change from weak connection to strong connection. During the period of 1948–1977, the NAO was insignificantly correlated to the WNPTCF. However, during the period of 1980–2009, they were significantly correlated with stronger (weaker) NAO corresponding to more (fewer) tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific. The possible reason for such a different relationship between the NAO and the WNPTCF during the former and latter periods is further analyzed from the perspective of large-scale atmospheric circulations. When the NAO was stronger than normal in the latter period, an anomalous cyclonic circulation prevailed in the lower troposphere of the western North Pacific and the monsoon trough was intensified, concurrent with the eastward-shifting western Pacific subtropical high as well as anomalous low-level convergence and high-level divergence over the western North Pacific. These conditions favor the genesis and development of tropical cyclones, and thus more tropical cyclones appeared over the western North Pacific. In contrast, in the former period, the impact of the NAO on the aforementioned atmospheric circulations became insignificant, thereby weakening its linkage to the WNPTCF. Further study shows that the change of the wave activity flux associated with the NAO during the former and latter periods may account for such an interdecadal shift of the NAO-WNPTCF relationship.


tropical cyclone frequency North Atlantic Oscillation interdecadal change wave activity flux atmospheric circulation 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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