Asymmetric relationships between El Niño–Southern Oscillation and entrance tropical cyclones in the South China Sea during fall

Pei Hua Tan, Jien Yi Tu, Liang Wu, Hui Shan Chen, Jau Ming Chen

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Tropical cyclones (TCs) initially forming in the western North Pacific (WNP) and later moving into the South China Sea (SCS) are defined as entrance TCs. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and inter-annual variability of entrance TCs during fall exhibit four types of asymmetric relationships: La Niña-more, La Niña-less, El Niño-more, and El Niño-less. Large-scale modulation of the La Niña-more (La Niña-less) type features negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical central-eastern Pacific with a maximum centre in the eastern (central) Pacific. The responding circulation pair extends northwestwards (northwards) with a cyclonic anomaly in the SCS and an anticyclonic anomaly in the North Pacific (NP). Above-normal TCs forming to the east/northeast of the Philippines are steered by anomalous southeasterly (southerly) flows to enter the SCS (NP), leading to more (less) entrance TCs. For the El Niño-less (El Niño-more) type, positive SST anomalies over the tropical Pacific exhibit a centre in the eastern (central) Pacific. A circulation pair characterizes an anticyclonic anomaly over the entire (southwestern) SCS and a cyclonic anomaly within the NP (displacing westwards into the northern SCS) inducing anomalous flows from the northern (central and southern) SCS into the tropical WNP. TC entrance in both El Niño-less and El Niño-more types is hindered by inter-annual flows. More entrance TCs in the El Niño-more type are facilitated by the intra-seasonal oscillation (ISO). Entrance TCs move into the SCS along a favourable environment provided by a northwest–southeasterly elongated 30–60-day cyclonic anomaly. Regarding the relative role of the inter-annual and intra-seasonal modes, ISO (ENSO) exerts major modulatory effects on entrance TCs in the El Niño-more (El Niño-less) type. Both ISO and ENSO jointly facilitate (suppress) entrance TCs in the La Niña-more (La Niña-less) type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1872-1888
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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