Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 3–4, pp 2249–2263 | Cite as

Impact of interannually varying background circulation on summertime wave patterns and tropical cyclone tracks in the western North Pacific

  • Ken-Chung KoEmail author
  • Jyun-Hong Liu


This study analyzed summertime wave patterns in the western North Pacific by separating them into those during El Niño (EN) and La Niña (LN) years for 1979–2015. The background flow revealed that in the EN years, the subtropical high was weaker and the East Asian summer monsoon trough was deeper and extended farther southeastward. The composite results indicated that in the EN years, tropical cyclone (TC) tracks were more solid and stably associated with wave pattern propagation routes because the circulation anomalies were significantly stronger. However, in the LN years, when the wave patterns were weak under the shorter and less organized monsoon trough due to the enhanced subtropical high, the TC tracks and cyclonic anomalies were irregular and sporadic. Further background flow analyses indicated that the EN circulation favored the development of the monsoon trough and east–west expansion and contraction of the subtropical ridge, whereas the stronger subtropical ridge dominated most western North Pacific areas in the LN years. Therefore, the monsoon trough was weaker in the LN years and induced recurving TCs to take more scattered routes near Taiwan and China’s east coast. Therefore, Taiwan experienced more rainfall during recurving TC periods in the LN years than in the EN years. For the straight-moving TCs passing through Taiwan, rainfall was concentrated over southern Taiwan in the EN years but more evenly distributed in the LN years. Thus, background flow changes strongly affect wave patterns and TCs.


Interannual variability Submonthly wave patterns Tropical cyclones 



The authors thank 3 anonymous reviewers for their comments that lead to better quality of the manuscript. In addition, the authors are grateful to the TCCIP project office (NSC 100-2621-M-492-001) for providing the precipitation data used in this study. The authors also thank the NCEP for providing the global analyses, interpolated OLR data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at, and to the NOAA for monthly SST data. This manuscript was edited by Wallace Academic Editing. The support by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Grant MOST 107-2111-M-017-001 issued to Dr. Ken-Chung Ko) is also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyNational Kaohsiung Normal UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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