Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 3–4, pp 2103–2118 | Cite as

Meridional oscillation in genesis location of tropical cyclones in the postmonsoon Bay of Bengal

  • Kaigui Fan
  • Xidong WangEmail author
  • Gregory R. Foltz
  • Karthik Balaguru


It is found that the average genesis location of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the postmonsoon (October–December) Bay of Bengal (BoB) shows a notable meridional oscillation during 1980–2015. During years when the average genesis location shifts northward (north-years), the average maximum sustained wind speed, the average landfall wind speed and the number of category 4–5 TCs are all larger than those during years when the average genesis location displaces southward (south-years). Genesis potential index analysis shows that changes in relative humidity and vertical wind shear are mainly responsible for the meridional oscillation of the average genesis location of TCs. The changes in relative humidity and wind shear are closely related to changes in atmospheric circulation. Composite analysis reveals that sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies over the equatorial Pacific Ocean show a La Niña-like pattern (El Niño-like pattern) during north-years (south-years) of TC genesis locations. The SST anomalies over the equatorial Pacific Ocean induce a strengthened (weakened) Walker circulation during north-years (south-years) of TC genesis locations, influencing the atmospheric circulation over the tropical Indian Ocean. In addition, a stationary Rossby wave train from the North Pacific to the Iranian Plateau (east of Iranian Plateau) during north-years (south-years) induces changes in atmospheric circulation over the extratropical North Indian Ocean. Together, the tropical and extratropical influences contribute to the north–south patterns of relative humidity and vertical wind shear anomalies in the postmonsoon BoB, which drive the meridional oscillation of TC genesis locations. This study has significant implications for the prediction of TCs and disaster prevention and mitigation over the BoB.


Bay of Bengal Tropical cyclone El Niño-Southern Oscillation Pacific Decadal Oscillation 



This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (41776004), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2016B12514), the Opening Project of Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Information Technology and the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association Program (DY135-E2-3-02). GF was supported by base funds to NOAA/AOML. The authors sincerely acknowledge the use of TC best track data from Joint Typhoon Warning Center, and atmospheric and oceanic reanalysis from NCEP and ECMWF. Potential intensity is calculated using the MATLAB code available at The Fortran code for calculating wave-activity flux can be downloaded from the website at


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaigui Fan
    • 1
  • Xidong Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gregory R. Foltz
    • 3
  • Karthik Balaguru
    • 4
  1. 1.College of OceanographyHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical ModelingQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological LaboratoryMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Marine Sciences LaboratoryPacific Northwest National LaboratorySeattleUSA

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