A 38-Year Climatology of Explosive Cyclones over the Northern Hemisphere


Explosive cyclones (ECs) over two basins in the Northern Hemisphere (20°–90°N) from January 1979 to December 2016 are investigated using ERA-Interim and Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) data. The classical definition of an EC is modified considering not only the rapid drop of the central sea level pressure of the cyclone, but also the strong wind speed at the height of 10 m in which maximum wind speeds greater than 17.2 m s−1 are included. According to the locations of the northern Atlantic and northern Pacific, the whole Northern Hemisphere is divided into the “A region” (20°–90°N, 90°W–90°E) and “P region” (20°–90°N, 90°E–90°W). Over both the A and P regions, the climatological features of ECs, such as their spatial distribution, intensity, seasonal variation, interannual variation, and moving tracks, are documented.

摘 要

本文利用 ERA-Interim 和 OISST 资料, 对 1979 年 1 月至 2016 年 12 月北半球 (20°–90°N) 两个大洋上的爆发性气旋进行了研究, 修正了经典的爆发性气旋定义, 不仅考虑气旋中心海表面气压的快速下降, 而且还考虑了海表面 10 m 高度上的最大风速, 即爆发性气旋的最大风速应大于 17.2 m s-1. 根据北大西洋和北太平洋的地理位置, 整个北半球可分为大西洋海盆 “A 区” (20°–90°N, 90°W–90°E) 和太平洋海盆 “P 区” (20°–90°N, 90°E–90°W) 两个区域. 对 A 区和 P 区的爆发性气旋的气候特征, 如空间分布、 强度、 季节变化、 年际变化和移动路径等特征进行了分析.

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All authors express their thanks to the National Natural Science Foundation of China for financial support (Grant Nos. 41775042 and 41275049). Special thanks are given to the ECMWF for providing the ERA-Interim data, and to NOAA for providing the OISST data. Yawen SUN expressed her thanks to Dr. Linhao ZHONG, Dr. Shuqin ZHANG, Mr. Lijia CHEN, and Mr. Kan XU for their kind help.

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Correspondence to Gang Fu.

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Article Highlights

• The definition of an explosive cyclone is modified considering both the rapid drop of central sea level pressure and the strong wind speed.

• The entire Northern Hemisphere is divided into the “A region” (20°–90°N, 90°W–90°E) and “P region” (20°–90°N, 90°E–90°W).

• Over both the A and P regions, the climatology of ECs, such as their spatial distribution, intensity, and seasonal and interannual variations, are documented.

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Fu, G., Sun, Y., Sun, J. et al. A 38-Year Climatology of Explosive Cyclones over the Northern Hemisphere. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 37, 143–159 (2020).

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Key words

  • explosive cyclone
  • Atlantic basin
  • Pacific basin
  • Northern Hemisphere
  • annual climatology
  • seasonal climatology
  • spatial distribution
  • moving track


  • 爆发性气旋
  • 大西洋海盆
  • 太平洋海盆
  • 北半球
  • 季节变化
  • 年际变化
  • 空间分布
  • 移动路径