Western North Pacific Monsoon Depressions: Transitions to Pre-tropical Cyclone Seedlings

Monday, 18 April 2016: 11:00 AM
Ponce de Leon A (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Jodi Beattie, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; and R. L. Elsberry

The objective of this study is to describe how a monsoon depression in the western North Pacific, which typically has a diameter of 1000 km, may be transitioned into a tropical cyclone with an inner core of strong winds and deep convection on the order of 100 km. Our previous case study of the pre-Typhoon Man-Yi monsoon depression formation is extended to show that the same cross-equatorial airstream continued and led to enhanced equatorial westerlies on the equatorward side of the pre-Man-Yi circulation, and a surge in the trade easterlies was also present on the poleward side. As these surges in the flow are unstable, inward-directed wave-activity fluxes then led to flux convergence over the eastern vorticity maximum of the monsoon depression, which resulted in a scale contraction to that of a pre-tropical cyclone seedling. Eight case studies of the transitions of monsoon depressions during 2009 are presented that document persistent inward-directed wave-activity fluxes over a vorticity maximum within the monsoon depression is a key feature of each transition. In some transitions, the same cross-equatorial airstream as led to the monsoon depression formation continues as the primary airstream, and in other transitions another airstream to the west becomes the primary airstream. Analysis of 10 non-transitioning monsoon depressions during 2009 indicated the airstream wave-activity flux did not persist after the formation of the monsoon depression. In another 11 non-transitioning monsoon depressions, the inward-directed wave-activity flux was small and no region of wave-activity flux convergence was associated with the vorticity maximum in the monsoon depression.
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