Relationship of maximum tropical cyclone intensity to sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone heat potential in the North Pacific Ocean

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Abstract

[1] We investigated whether the maximum intensity of tropical cyclones (TC) in the North Pacific Ocean depends on sea surface temperature (SST) and tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP). The study used reanalysis data sets for both the oceans and atmosphere: daily, 10-day, and monthly oceanic data sets; six-hour and monthly atmospheric data sets; and a daily satellite SST data set, for the July-to-October season from 2002 to 2005. For each TC, we summed TCHP from the time of genesis to the time of first reaching a minimum central pressure (MCP), to obtain an accumulated TCHP. In a linear regression analysis, the relationship between maximum TC intensity and accumulated TCHP differed between the eastern and western Pacific: high values of accumulated TCHP were needed before a TC attained a certain MCP in the western Pacific. In addition, the background convective available potential energy (CAPE) value was nearly four times larger in the western Pacific than in the eastern Pacific. The static stability was also 6.5% lower, the inertial stability 29.7% higher, and the size of tropical cyclones 38.2% larger in the western Pacific than in the eastern Pacific. The result indicated a deeper Rossby penetration depth and stronger TC in the western Pacific. Finally, we validated the TCHP values derived from three oceanic reanalysis data sets by using Argo profiling float observations. We found that use of only the daily data can reproduce the cooling effect of a passage of a TC, which caused a decrease in the TCHP values.

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