Influential role of inter-decadal explosive cyclone activity on the increased frequency of winter storm events in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan

Takumi Tsukijihara, Ryuichi Kawamura, Tetsuya Kawano

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Abstract

This study examined explosively developing extratropical cyclone activity in the vicinity of Japan in boreal winter from 1979/1980 to 2016/2017 mainly using the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis data. The in situ observation and reanalysis data revealed increased frequencies of both strong winds and heavy precipitation in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, after the end of the last century, which is consistent with the fact that the cyclones migrating along the Kuroshio Current (KC cyclones) have tended to approach the Hokkaido region in recent years. To examine factors controlling the cyclone track and rapid development, we performed composite analyses of the northwards migrating type (N type) and eastwards migrating type (E type) KC cyclones. In the N-type cyclone, wave trains prevailed along the polar front and subtropical jets over the Eurasian continent, thereby forming an upper-level trough (ridge) to the west (east) of the cyclone. An upper-level divergence accompanied by rapid development of the N-type cyclone excited wave packets downstream as a Rossby wave source, leading to further reinforcement of the upper-level ridge east of the cyclone. The anomalous anticyclone with a barotropic nature is capable of forcing the cyclone track to shift northwards. Furthermore, a combination of the N-type cyclone and the anomalous anticyclone to its east facilitates moisture import into the cyclone system from lower latitudes, contributing to enhanced moisture flux convergence. In reality, diabatic heating in the vicinity of the cyclone centre is larger in the N-type cyclone than in the E-type one. It is also suggested that the pronounced Rossby wave propagation along the subtropical jet related to a climate regime shift in the Tropics is responsible for the recent increase in the number of N-type cyclones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1715
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2019

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cyclone
explosive
winter
anticyclone
Rossby wave
moisture flux
polar front
wave propagation
reinforcement
train
import
trough
divergence
moisture
heating

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

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title = "Influential role of inter-decadal explosive cyclone activity on the increased frequency of winter storm events in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan",
abstract = "This study examined explosively developing extratropical cyclone activity in the vicinity of Japan in boreal winter from 1979/1980 to 2016/2017 mainly using the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis data. The in situ observation and reanalysis data revealed increased frequencies of both strong winds and heavy precipitation in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, after the end of the last century, which is consistent with the fact that the cyclones migrating along the Kuroshio Current (KC cyclones) have tended to approach the Hokkaido region in recent years. To examine factors controlling the cyclone track and rapid development, we performed composite analyses of the northwards migrating type (N type) and eastwards migrating type (E type) KC cyclones. In the N-type cyclone, wave trains prevailed along the polar front and subtropical jets over the Eurasian continent, thereby forming an upper-level trough (ridge) to the west (east) of the cyclone. An upper-level divergence accompanied by rapid development of the N-type cyclone excited wave packets downstream as a Rossby wave source, leading to further reinforcement of the upper-level ridge east of the cyclone. The anomalous anticyclone with a barotropic nature is capable of forcing the cyclone track to shift northwards. Furthermore, a combination of the N-type cyclone and the anomalous anticyclone to its east facilitates moisture import into the cyclone system from lower latitudes, contributing to enhanced moisture flux convergence. In reality, diabatic heating in the vicinity of the cyclone centre is larger in the N-type cyclone than in the E-type one. It is also suggested that the pronounced Rossby wave propagation along the subtropical jet related to a climate regime shift in the Tropics is responsible for the recent increase in the number of N-type cyclones.",
author = "Takumi Tsukijihara and Ryuichi Kawamura and Tetsuya Kawano",
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T1 - Influential role of inter-decadal explosive cyclone activity on the increased frequency of winter storm events in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan

AU - Tsukijihara, Takumi

AU - Kawamura, Ryuichi

AU - Kawano, Tetsuya

PY - 2019/3/15

Y1 - 2019/3/15

N2 - This study examined explosively developing extratropical cyclone activity in the vicinity of Japan in boreal winter from 1979/1980 to 2016/2017 mainly using the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis data. The in situ observation and reanalysis data revealed increased frequencies of both strong winds and heavy precipitation in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, after the end of the last century, which is consistent with the fact that the cyclones migrating along the Kuroshio Current (KC cyclones) have tended to approach the Hokkaido region in recent years. To examine factors controlling the cyclone track and rapid development, we performed composite analyses of the northwards migrating type (N type) and eastwards migrating type (E type) KC cyclones. In the N-type cyclone, wave trains prevailed along the polar front and subtropical jets over the Eurasian continent, thereby forming an upper-level trough (ridge) to the west (east) of the cyclone. An upper-level divergence accompanied by rapid development of the N-type cyclone excited wave packets downstream as a Rossby wave source, leading to further reinforcement of the upper-level ridge east of the cyclone. The anomalous anticyclone with a barotropic nature is capable of forcing the cyclone track to shift northwards. Furthermore, a combination of the N-type cyclone and the anomalous anticyclone to its east facilitates moisture import into the cyclone system from lower latitudes, contributing to enhanced moisture flux convergence. In reality, diabatic heating in the vicinity of the cyclone centre is larger in the N-type cyclone than in the E-type one. It is also suggested that the pronounced Rossby wave propagation along the subtropical jet related to a climate regime shift in the Tropics is responsible for the recent increase in the number of N-type cyclones.

AB - This study examined explosively developing extratropical cyclone activity in the vicinity of Japan in boreal winter from 1979/1980 to 2016/2017 mainly using the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis data. The in situ observation and reanalysis data revealed increased frequencies of both strong winds and heavy precipitation in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, after the end of the last century, which is consistent with the fact that the cyclones migrating along the Kuroshio Current (KC cyclones) have tended to approach the Hokkaido region in recent years. To examine factors controlling the cyclone track and rapid development, we performed composite analyses of the northwards migrating type (N type) and eastwards migrating type (E type) KC cyclones. In the N-type cyclone, wave trains prevailed along the polar front and subtropical jets over the Eurasian continent, thereby forming an upper-level trough (ridge) to the west (east) of the cyclone. An upper-level divergence accompanied by rapid development of the N-type cyclone excited wave packets downstream as a Rossby wave source, leading to further reinforcement of the upper-level ridge east of the cyclone. The anomalous anticyclone with a barotropic nature is capable of forcing the cyclone track to shift northwards. Furthermore, a combination of the N-type cyclone and the anomalous anticyclone to its east facilitates moisture import into the cyclone system from lower latitudes, contributing to enhanced moisture flux convergence. In reality, diabatic heating in the vicinity of the cyclone centre is larger in the N-type cyclone than in the E-type one. It is also suggested that the pronounced Rossby wave propagation along the subtropical jet related to a climate regime shift in the Tropics is responsible for the recent increase in the number of N-type cyclones.

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