Cluster analysis of post-landfall tracks of landfalling tropical cyclones over China
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In this paper, we apply finite-mixture-model-based clustering algorithms to cluster post-landfall tracks of tropical cyclones (TCs) making landfall over China. Because existing studies find that landfall surfaces or elevations affect post-landfall TC movements, we also take account of elevations in addition to time orders in this model. Our study reveals three clusters, with cluster 1 making landfall in Hainan province and moving across the western coast of Guangdong province. Most of the TC tracks in cluster 1 move over the ocean and make secondary landfalls over Yunnan province of China and Vietnam. Cluster 1 finally dissipates inland and moves westward as a result of the westward-shift subtropical high, westward steering flow, easterly vertical wind shear and strong mountainous blocking. Cluster 2 makes landfall over Guangdong and Fujian provinces. TCs in cluster 2 subsequently move inland and disappear due largely to westward-shift subtropical high, easterly steering flow, easterly vertical wind shear and relatively strong mountainous blocking. Cluster 3 makes landfall along the Fujian and Zhejiang coast and sustains a long period of time, recurving mostly to the mid-latitude region owing to the surrounding eastward-shift subtropical high, westerly vertical wind shear, weak mountainous blocking and westerly steering flow. Because cluster 2 is significantly associated with La Niña events, TCs more li kely make landfall over southeastern China coast and move westward or northwestward without recurving. Cluster 3 sustains a longer time than clusters 1 and 2 in spite of its weak horizontal and vertical water vapor supply. TCs in cluster 3 interact actively with westerlies during the post-landfall period. However, we cannot observe any analogous interactions with the mid-latitude westerlies in clusters 1 and 2. TCs of clusters 1 and 2 are influenced by summer monsoon flows. Moreover, summer monsoon exerts a greater influence on cluster 1 than cluster 2. The composite 200 hPa divergence of cluster 3 is stronger than that of clusters 1 and 2. This explains to some degree why cluster 3 sustains longer than clusters 1 and 2 after making landfall. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
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