The role of tropical waves in the genesis of Tropical Cyclone Seroja in the Maritime Continent

Beata Latos, Philippe Peyrillé, Thierry Lefort, Dariusz B. Baranowski, Maria K. Flatau, Piotr J. Flatau, Nelly Florida Riama, Donaldi S. Permana, Adam V. Rydbeck, Adrian J. Matthews

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Tropical cyclone Seroja was one of the first tropical cyclones to significantly impact Indonesian land, and the strongest one in such close proximity to Timor Island. In April 2021 Seroja brought historic flooding to near-equatorial regions of Indonesia and East Timor, as well as impacting Western Australia. Here we show that the unusual near-equatorial cyclogenesis in close proximity to a land mass was due to “perfect storm” conditions associated with multiple wave interactions. Specifically, this was associated with enhanced equatorial convection on the leading edge of a Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) event. Within the MJO, the interaction between a convectively coupled equatorial Rossby wave and two convectively coupled Kelvin waves span up the initial vortex and accelerated cyclogenesis. On average, such favorable atmospheric conditions can occur once per year. These results indicate the potential for increased predictability of tropical cyclones over the Maritime Continent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number856
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

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