EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The slowdown tends to be greater for stronger tropical cyclones

Yuan Sun, Wei Zhong, Hongrang He, and Yao Yao
Yuan Sun et al.
  • National University of Defense Technology, China (

Understanding the impact of climate change on tropical cyclones (TCs) has become a hot topic. The slowdown of TC translation speed contributes greatly to the locally accumulated TC damage. While the recent observational evidence shows that TC translation speed has decreased globally by 10% since the mid-twentieth century, the robustness of the trend is questioned by other studies as effects of changes in observational capability can strongly affect the global trend. Moreover, none of the published studies considered dependence of TC slowdown on TC intensity. This is the caveat of these analyses as the effect of TC slowdown is closely related to TC intensity. Here, we investigate the relationship between TC translation speed trend and TC intensity, and reveal possible reasons for the trend. We show that the global slowing trend without weak TC moments (≤ 17 m s-1) is about double of that with weak TC moments in a recent study. This is because the slowing trend is dominated by strong TCs’ trend. Stronger (weaker) TCs tend to be controlled more by upper-level (lower-level) steering flow, and the calculated trend of upper-level steering flow is much larger than that of lower-level steering flow. This may be an important reason for the large difference between the slowing trend without weak TC moments and that with weak TC moments. Furthermore, the changes of TC tracks (including inter-basin trend and latitudinal shift), which are partly attributed to data inhomogeneity, make a much larger contribution to the slowing trend, compared with the weakening of tropical circulation, which is related to anthropogenic warming.

How to cite: Sun, Y., Zhong, W., He, H., and Yao, Y.: The slowdown tends to be greater for stronger tropical cyclones, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1692,, 2023.

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