Another term, this one completely new to me I encountered is LASPE RATE.
The lapse rate is defined as the rate at which atmospheric temperature decreases with an increase in altitude. The terminology arises from the word lapse in the sense of a decrease or decline. It is most often applied to Earth's troposphere.
If the temperature gradient (laspe rate) is strong enough, temperature advection will increase, driving more vertical motion. This increases the overall strength of the system. Shearwise updrafts are the most important factor in determining cyclonic growth and strength.
Translation: It is important to have cold air at a low altitude above the warm water
. This drives large volumes of air to quickly travel upward.
When the moisture condenses at low altitude it releases the latent heat of evaporation and this is the energy said to feed the cyclone.
When air is warm above warm water
there is no condensation
until very high in the atmosphere. At some point the condensation
occurs too high up for the feedback loop to begin.
Therefore it is my conclusion that a lack of storms isn't a sign that the Pacific water is suddenly much colder. Instead it is more likely the air temperature above the water is higher and LASPE RATE is low.
We as sailors know to recognize a high LASPE RATE. Very low heavy dark clouds is a good indication of trouble.