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Mesoscale cyclogenesis over the western north Pacific Ocean during TPARC

Author(s): Christopher A. Davis | Sarah C. Jones | Doris Anwender | Janina Badey | Leonhard Scheck

Journal: Tellus A
ISSN 0280-6495

Volume: 65;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: tropical cyclone | T-PARC | mesoscale cyclone | vertical shear | moist convection

Three cases of mesoscale marine cyclogenesis over the subtropics of the Western Pacific Ocean are investigated. Each case occurred during the THORPEX Pacific Asia Regional Campaign and Tropical Cyclone Structure (TCS-08) field phases in 2008. Each cyclone developed from remnants of disturbances that earlier showed potential for tropical cyclogenesis within the tropics. Two of the cyclones produced gale-force surface winds, and one, designated as a tropical cyclone, resulted in a significant coastal storm over eastern Japan. Development was initiated by a burst of organized mesoscale convection that consolidated and intensified the surface cyclonic circulation over a period of 12–24 h. Upper-tropospheric potential vorticity anomalies modulated the vertical wind shear that, in turn, influenced the periods of cyclone intensification and weakening. Weak baroclinicity associated with vertical shear was also deemed important in organizing mesoscale ascent and the convection outbreaks. The remnant tropical disturbances contributed exceptional water vapour content to higher latitudes that led to strong diabatic heating, and the tropical remnants contributed vorticity that was the seed of the development in the subtropics. Predictability of these events more than three days in advance appears to be minimal.

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