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Sudden Surface Warming–Drying Events Caused by Typhoon Passages across Taiwan

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  • 1 Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Science, National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
  • | 3 Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
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Abstract

Typhoon passages across Taiwan can generate sudden surface warming in downslope regions. Special characteristics and mechanisms for 54 such warming events that were identified during the 1961–2007 period are examined. Preferred warming regions were identified in northwest Taiwan, where warming is generated by downslope flow from east or northeast winds in westward-moving typhoons, and in southeast Taiwan, where it is generated by downslope flow from west or northwest winds in northwestward-moving typhoons. In addition to the orographic effect, warmings occurred exclusively within nonprecipitation zones of typhoons. Most northwest (southeast) warmings occur during the day (night) with an average lifetime of 4 (5) h, which roughly corresponds to the average time a nonprecipitation zone remains over a station. During the period examined, three typhoons generated warming events in both northwest and southeast Taiwan, and only Typhoon Haitang (2005) generated warmings with comparable magnitudes (∼12-K increase) in both regions. For Typhoon Haitang as an example, diagnostic analyses with two different approaches reveal that the majority of the warming is contributed by downslope adiabatic warming, but the warming associated with the passage of a nonprecipitation zone is not negligible. Similar results were found when these two diagnostic approaches were applied to the other warming events. The diurnal mode of the atmospheric divergent circulation over East Asia–western North Pacific undergoes a clockwise rotation. The vorticity tendency generated by this diurnal divergent circulation through vortex stretching may modulate the arrival time of typhoons to cause daily (nighttime) warming in the northwest (southeast).

Corresponding author address: Tsing-Chang (Mike) Chen, 3010 Agronomy Hall, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. Email: tmchen@iastate.edu

Abstract

Typhoon passages across Taiwan can generate sudden surface warming in downslope regions. Special characteristics and mechanisms for 54 such warming events that were identified during the 1961–2007 period are examined. Preferred warming regions were identified in northwest Taiwan, where warming is generated by downslope flow from east or northeast winds in westward-moving typhoons, and in southeast Taiwan, where it is generated by downslope flow from west or northwest winds in northwestward-moving typhoons. In addition to the orographic effect, warmings occurred exclusively within nonprecipitation zones of typhoons. Most northwest (southeast) warmings occur during the day (night) with an average lifetime of 4 (5) h, which roughly corresponds to the average time a nonprecipitation zone remains over a station. During the period examined, three typhoons generated warming events in both northwest and southeast Taiwan, and only Typhoon Haitang (2005) generated warmings with comparable magnitudes (∼12-K increase) in both regions. For Typhoon Haitang as an example, diagnostic analyses with two different approaches reveal that the majority of the warming is contributed by downslope adiabatic warming, but the warming associated with the passage of a nonprecipitation zone is not negligible. Similar results were found when these two diagnostic approaches were applied to the other warming events. The diurnal mode of the atmospheric divergent circulation over East Asia–western North Pacific undergoes a clockwise rotation. The vorticity tendency generated by this diurnal divergent circulation through vortex stretching may modulate the arrival time of typhoons to cause daily (nighttime) warming in the northwest (southeast).

Corresponding author address: Tsing-Chang (Mike) Chen, 3010 Agronomy Hall, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. Email: tmchen@iastate.edu

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