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Publication Date
28 August 2020

Enhanced Predictability of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity Using the ENSO Longitude Index



While El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influences eastern North Pacific (ENP) tropical cyclones (TCs) through a variety of atmospheric processes when examined concurrently, ocean pathways dominate at longer lead times. The eastward displacement of the warm pool during an El Niño, which carries warm water into the ENP basin, is the primary oceanic mechanism. Despite this, the question of whether an accurate knowledge of preseason ENSO conditions enhances predictability of ENP TCs has not been addressed specifically. In this study, we show that relative to traditional indices of ENSO, the ENSO Longitude Index (ELI) captures changes in the location of deep convection and associated thermocline processes more accurately. Consequently, the ELI explains more variability in the upper‐ocean heat content, and thus TC activity, at lead times of several months in the ENP basin. These results motivate the need to further explore the predictability of ENP TCs associated with ENSO.
“Enhanced Predictability Of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity Using The Enso Longitude Index”. 2020. Geophysical Research Letters 47. doi:10.1029/2020gl088849.
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