A 40-year climatology of extratropical transition in the Eastern North Pacific

Kimberly M. Wood, Elizabeth A. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A 42-yr study of eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones (TCs) undergoing extratropical transition (ET) is presented using the Japanese 55-yr Reanalysis dataset. By using cyclone phase space (CPS) to differentiate those TCs that undergo ET from those that do not, it is found that only 9% of eastern North Pacific TCs that developed from 1971 to 2012 complete ET, compared with 40% in the North Atlantic. Using a combination of CPS, empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, and composite analysis, it is found that the evolution of ET in this basin differs from that observed in the North Atlantic and western North Pacific, possibly as a result of the rapidly decreasing sea surface temperatures north of the main genesis region. The presence of a strong, deep subtropical ridge extending westward from North America into the eastern North Pacific is a major factor inhibiting ET in this basin. Similar to other basins, eastern North Pacific ET generally occurs in conjunction with an approaching midlatitude trough, which helps to weaken the ridge and allow northward passage of the TC. The frequency of ET appears to increase during developing El Niño events but is not significantly affected by the Pacific decadal oscillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5999-6015
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • ENSO
  • Extratropical cyclones
  • Hurricanes/typhoons
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • Pacific decadal oscillation
  • Tropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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