Is the poleward migration of tropical cyclone maximum intensity associated with a poleward migration of tropical cyclone genesis?

Daloz, Anne Sophie; Camargo, Suzana J.

A recent study showed that the global average latitude where tropical cyclones achieve their lifetime-maximum intensity has been migrating poleward at a rate of about one-half degree of latitude per decade over the last 30 years in each hemisphere. However, it does not answer a critical question: is the poleward migration of tropical cyclone lifetime-maximum intensity associated with a poleward migration of tropical cyclone genesis? In this study we will examine this question. First we analyze changes in the environmental variables associated with tropical cyclone genesis, namely entropy deficit, potential intensity, vertical wind shear, vorticity, skin temperature and specific humidity at 500 hPa in reanalysis datasets between 1980 and 2013. Then, a selection of these variables is combined into two tropical cyclone genesis indices that empirically relate tropical cyclone genesis to large-scale variables. We find a shift toward greater (smaller) average potential number of genesis at higher (lower) latitudes over most regions of the Pacific Ocean, which is consistent with a migration of tropical cyclone genesis towards higher latitudes. We then examine the global best track archive and find coherent and significant poleward shifts in mean genesis position over the Pacific Ocean basins.

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Also Published In

Climate Dynamics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
March 26, 2019


Keywords: Tropical cyclone genesis, Poleward migration, Tropical cyclone genesis index, Observations