A numerical simulation at a Reynolds number Re = 200 is conducted to find how flow-induced forces on two tandem circular cylinders is connected to the phase lag between vortex sheddings from the cylinders. The spacing ratio L* (= L/D) is varied from 2 to 9, where L is the cylinder center-to-center spacing and D is the cylinder diameter. Here we mainly focus on fluctuating lift coefficient CLf of the upstream cylinder, vortex dynamics in the gap between cylinders, and phase lag ϕ between the vortex sheddings from the two cylinders for L* larger than the critical where the co-shedding flow prevails. ϕ is indeed nonlinear function of L*, Strouhal number (St) and convection velocity of vortices in the gap between the cylinders. We unearth that the upstream cylinder CLf is affected by both L* and ϕ. While the contribution of L* to CLf diminishes rapidly with L*, that of ϕ makes the L*-dependent CLf variation damped-sinusoidal, persisting in the L* range examined. The inphase and antiphase flows respectively correspond to a local maximum and minimum CLf. How CLf is correlated with L* and ϕ can be deduced as,
where A, α, B, β and C are constants. The physics behind the damped-sinusoidal variation in CLf is discussed.