2020 Volume 98 Issue 4 Pages 735-754
Using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, Joint Typhoon Warning Center best track, and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation data, two long-lasting synoptic-scale wave trains in 2004 and 2006 are selected to investigate the atmospheric factors controlling the structures of westward-propagating synoptic-scale disturbances over the tropical western North Pacific. The essential difference between these two wave trains is found in their vertical structures. In 2004, the maximum perturbations occurred from the middle to lower troposphere with an equivalent barotropic structure; however, in 2006, they primarily occurred in the upper troposphere with a prominent tilt regarding height. Distinct configurations of the monsoon troughs, the tropical upper-tropospheric troughs (TUTT), and associated vertical wind shear caused such structural differences. In 2004, the TUTT shifted eastward, creating an easterly sheared environment to confine synoptic-scale waves in the lower troposphere. Then, the monsoon trough enhanced the wave activity through barotropic energy conversion in the lower troposphere. In contrast, while the TUTT shifted westward in 2006, synoptic-scale waves prevailed in the upper troposphere by the environmental westerly shear. Meanwhile, the disturbances developed in the upper troposphere through to the conversion of kinetic energy from the TUTT, exhibiting a top-heavy vertical structure. The coherent movement of the monsoon trough and the TUTT modulate the vertical structure and the development of the synopticscale waves.