Articles | Volume 27, issue 6
24 Jun 2009
 | 24 Jun 2009

Tropical cyclone genesis in the Southern Hemisphere and its relationship with the ENSO

Y. Kuleshov, F. Chane Ming, L. Qi, I. Chouaibou, C. Hoareau, and F. Roux

Abstract. Tropical cyclogenesis climatology over the South Indian and South Pacific Oceans has been developed using a new tropical cyclone (TC) archive for the Southern Hemisphere, and changes in geographical distribution of areas favourable for TC genesis related to changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases have been investigated. To explain these changes, large-scale environmental variables which influence TC genesis and development such as sea surface temperatures (SSTs), relative humidity in mid-troposphere, vertical wind shear and lower tropospheric vorticity have been examined. In the South Indian Ocean, reduction of TC genesis in the western part of the basin and its increase in the eastern part as well as displacement of the area favourable for TC genesis further away from the equator during La Niña events compared to El Niño events can be explained by changes in geographical distribution of relative humidity and vorticity across the basin as primary contributors; positive anomalies of SSTs observed during La Niña seasons in the eastern part of the basin additionally contribute to enhanced cyclogenesis near the Western Australia. In the South Pacific Ocean, changes in geographical distribution of relative humidity and vorticity appear to be the key large-scale environmental factors responsible for enhanced TC genesis in the eastern (western) part of the basin as well as for the northeast (southwest) shift of points of cyclogenesis during El Niño (La Niña) events, with vertical wind shear and SSTs as additional contributing large-scale environmental variables.