Moisture Source for the Precipitation of Tropical Cyclones Over the Pacific Ocean Through a Lagrangian Approach

Published in Journal of Climate, 2022

Recommended citation: Pérez-Alarcón, A.; Sorí, R.; Fernández-Alvarez, J.C.; Nieto, R.; Gimeno, L. (2022). Moisture Source for the Precipitation of Tropical Cyclones Over the Pacific Ocean Through a Lagrangian Approach. Journal of Climate, 1-50, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-22-0287.1

……

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are an important component of the hydrological cycle at tropical latitudes. In this study, we investigated the origin of precipitation associated with TCs formed from 1980 to 2018 over the Pacific Ocean in three sub-basins: the Western North Pacific Ocean (WNP), Central and East Pacific Ocean (NEPAC), and South Pacific Ocean (SPO) basins. The analysis was performed throughout the TC lifetime during genesis, when they reached the maximum intensity (LMI) and the dissipation stage. The backward trajectories of all precipitant atmospheric parcels residing over the TC locations from the global outputs of the Lagrangian FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model fed by the ERA-Interim reanalysis were used to identify moisture sources. The China Sea and western tropical North Pacific Ocean were identified as the principal moisture sources in the WNP basin, while the atmospheric moisture that precipitated mainly came from the eastern tropical North and South Pacific Ocean in the NEPAC basin, followed by the Caribbean Sea. Meanwhile, the Coral Sea, western tropical South Pacific Ocean and northern Australia are the origins of the moisture in the SPO. The mean moisture uptake per TC was higher during the hurricane category than during any other stage in each basin.