Using a cloud-resolving regional model and Lagrangian diagnostics, we assess a positive feedback process between tropical cyclone (TC) intensity and the moisture conveyor belt (MCB), which connects a TC and the Indian Ocean (IO), the South China Sea (SCS), and the Philippine Sea (PS) vapors, from a macroscopic view. We performed sensitivity experiments that modified the observed sea surface temperature field over the IO and the SCS to regulate the MCB behavior, and we examined the remote response of a prototypical TC. The results show that the connection between MCB formation and TC development is very robust, which was also observed in another TC’s case. The MCB plays a vital role in transporting lots of moist air parcels toward the TC from the IO, SCS, and PS regions. The transported parcels, which further gained the underlying ocean vapor along the MCB, are easily trapped in the inner core by radial inflow in the atmospheric boundary layer and, subsequently, release latent heat around the eyewall, resulting in the TC’s intensifying. This acts to further penetrate the moist parcels of remote ocean origin into the inner core through the enhanced and expanded inflow. An additional experiment suggested that the MCB is not formed unless the westward propagation of equatorial waves induced by TC heating overlaps with the background monsoon westerlies. These findings support the reliability and validity of TC–MCB feedback.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science