An Anomalous Genesis Potential Index for MJO Modulation of Tropical Cyclones
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An Anomalous Genesis Potential Index for MJO Modulation of Tropical Cyclones

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Climate
  • Description:
    Modulation of tropical cyclone (TC) genesis by the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) has been quantitatively diagnosed by using a climatological genesis potential index (GPI). Analysis of TC genesis during November–April of 1979–2014 indicates the most effective factors controlling intraseasonal TC genesis are 850-hPa relative vorticity weighted by the Coriolis parameter fζr850 and 500-hPa vertical motion ω500. The total vertical wind shear and maximum potential intensity are unimportant, and the role of 600-hPa relative humidity is greatly represented by ω500. The MJO modulates TC genesis primarily through changing low-level vorticity induced by its Rossby wave gyres and meridional shears of equatorial zonal winds. A new intraseasonal GPI (ISGPI) is proposed to quantify the MJO’s modulation of TC genesis. The ISGPI significantly improves representation of intraseasonal variation of TC genesis in the tropics and in each subregion of the southern Indian Ocean, Australian monsoon, and South Pacific. In the hot spots of the Southern Hemisphere TC genesis zone, the probability of TC genesis can differ by a factor of 5–19 as a result of MJO modulation. The results suggest that the large-scale factors controlling TC genesis may vary with different time scales, and the climatological GPI may not be quite applicable for diagnoses of climate variability and future change of TC genesis potential. To simulate realistic impacts of the MJO on TC genesis, general circulation models must reproduce not only realistic eastward propagation but also the MJO low-level circulation structure. Application of the new ISGPI may have a large potential to improve dynamical subseasonal prediction of TC genesis.
  • Source:
    Journal of Climate, 30(11), 4021-4035
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