Parameter spaces of environmental fields responsible for cyclone development from tropics to extratropics
Yanase, W., Niino, H., Hodges, K. and Kitabatake, N. (2014) Parameter spaces of environmental fields responsible for cyclone development from tropics to extratropics. Journal of Climate, 27 (2). pp. 652-671. ISSN 1520-0442
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00153.1
Objective cyclone tracking applied to a 30-yr reanalysis dataset shows that cyclone development in the summer and autumn seasons is active in the tropics and extratropics and inactive in the subtropics. To understand this geographically bimodal distribution of cyclone development associated with tropical and extratropical cyclones quantitatively, the direct relationship between cyclone types and their environments are assessed by using a parameter space of environmental variables [environmental parameter space (EPS)]. The number of cyclones is analyzed in terms of two different factors: the environmental conditions favorable for cyclone development and the area size that satisfies the favorable condition. The EPS analysis is mainly conducted for two representative environmental parameters that are commonly used for cyclone analysis: potential intensity for tropical cyclones and baroclinicity for extratropical cyclones. The geographically bimodal distribution is attributed to the high sensitivity of the cyclone development to the change in the environmental fields from tropics to extratropics. In addition, the bimodal distribution is partly attributed to the rapid change in the environmental fields from tropics to extratropics. The EPS analysis also shows that other environmental parameters, including relative humidity and vertical velocity, may enhance the contrast between the tropics (extratropics) and subtropics, whereas they are not essential for determining cyclone types. The relationship between cyclones and their environments is found to be similar between the hemispheres in the EPS, although the geographical distribution, particularly the longitudinal uniformity, is markedly different between the hemispheres.