Near-future tropical cyclone predictions in the western North Pacific: fewer tropical storms but more typhoons
This study presents forecasts of near-future tropical cyclone (TC) activities over the western North Pacific (WNP) using a TC track-pattern-based prediction model in conjunction with long-term free-run simulations from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System. The prediction shows that the East Asian coastal area will be affected by fewer TC landfalls. However, the number of stronger TC landfalls may increase in the near future (2016–2030) compared to the present-day period (2002–2015). The potential candidates for modulating the near-future TC activity are three large-scale climate variability: El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the North Pacific sea surface temperature (NPSST) variation, and basin-wide warming of the Pacific. More frequent El Niño episodes in the near future may contribute to the activation of TC formations in the far-eastern tropical ocean, which generates a favorable influence on TC intensification due to longer distances and development periods over the ocean. NPSST variations have contrasting effects, i.e., they have unfavorable effects on TC genesis due to weak vorticity, while creating favorable conditions for TC intensification by providing more humid environments in the subtropics. The impact of overall Pacific warming on the changes in TC activities is low compared to that of the other two factors. Our results physically demonstrate the contributions of three WNP sea surface temperature variability on near-future TC activity, emphasizing the critical roles of ENSO and NPSST rather than the near-term warming effect.
KeywordsTropical cyclone Western North Pacific Near-future prediction El Niño–Southern Oscillation North Pacific Sea surface temperature Pacific warming
This study was funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment under the “Climate Change Correspondence Program”. The work on JCLC was supported by the Research Grants Council of the HKSAR Government Grant E-CityU101/16.
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