2018 Volume 96 Issue 4 Pages 317-336
The present study compares contributions of different environmental factors to the tropical cyclone (TC) genesis over the western North Pacific (WNP) during 2015 and 2016. A local instantaneous view of conditions for the TC genesis is adopted in the present study, which is distinct from the previous view of large-scale temporal averaged conditions. The present study also distinguishes the contributions of three time scale variations (synoptic, intraseasonal, and interannual) of a number of factors. Common to 2015 and 2016, the positive contribution of lower-level vorticity and upward motion to the TC genesis is mainly from the intraseasonal and synoptic components; the contribution of the barotropic energy conversion to the development of synoptic disturbances is larger from climatological mean winds and intraseasonal wind variations than from interannual wind variations; all three time scale variations of mid-level specific humidity contribute positively to the TC genesis; the barotropic energy conversion from climatological mean winds is due to the terms in relation to the meridional shear and zonal convergence of zonal wind. In comparison, the positive contribution of lower-level vorticity and mid-level specific humidity is larger in 2015 than in 2016 on all the three time scales; the contribution of the barotropic energy conversion in relation to the meridional shear of interannual variations of zonal wind and the zonal convergence of intraseasonal variations of zonal wind are larger in 2015 than in 2016; the vertical wind shear on all the three time scales and the sea surface temperature on the interannual time scale have a larger positive contribution to the TC genesis in 2016 than in 2015.