Interannual variations of tropical cyclone activity over the north Indian Ocean

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-830
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


An examination of the interannual variations of tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the North Indian Ocean during 1983-2008 has been carried out. The results suggest that instead of local sea surface temperatures, such variations, at least over the Bay of Bengal (BB) during October-November-December (OND), can be attributed to similar variations in the atmospheric flow patterns and moist static energy that are apparently forced largely by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In an El Niño year, conditions for TC genesis and development, including 850-hPa relative vorticity, 200-850-hPa vertical shear of zonal wind, moist static energy, 500-hPa zonal wind, 500-hPa and 850-hPa geopotential height and 200-hPa divergence, are generally less favourable in BB and fewer intense cyclones are observed during OND. The reverse occurs during a La Niña event. However, causes of the variability of TC activity over BB during April-May-June and that over Arabian Sea have yet to be found, which may be due to the small sample size. © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society.

Research Area(s)

  • Interannual variability, North indian ocean, Tropical cyclones