Why Does Japan’s South Foehn, “Jintsu-Oroshi,” Tend to Onset during the Night?: An Investigation Based on Two Case Studies

Hiroyuki Kusaka aCenter for Computational Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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Satoshi Nishiba bGraduate School of Science and Technology, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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Yuki Asano cGraduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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Abstract

The Jintsu-oroshi refers to Japan’s south foehn, which blows over the Toyama Plain in the Hokuriku region. This region faces the Sea of Japan to the north and the central mountain range to the south. The Jintsu-oroshi occurs more frequently at night than during the day. In this study, we determined the primary factors causing this feature using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. We selected a typical Jintsu-oroshi case in May 2016 for analysis. An extratropical cyclone traversed the Sea of Japan during the event, leading to a temporal change in the synoptic-scale pressure pattern. The observations and numerical simulation results showed that the collapse of the mixed layer over the mountains and the end of the sea breeze are key factors for the nighttime onset of the Jintsu-oroshi. Indeed, mountain waves and their resulting downslope winds did not occur under near-neutral atmospheric stability conditions over the mountains during the daytime. After sunset, the atmospheric stability changed to stable conditions, which caused the downslope winds to blow. However, the downslope winds did not reach the plains because of the sea breeze. After several hours, the sea breeze disappeared, and the downslope winds reached the leeward plains and increased the temperature there. Similar features were confirmed in August 2013 for another typical Jintsu-oroshi case under atmospheric conditions, without temporal changes in the synoptic-scale pressure pattern. We expect the results obtained in this study to advance our understanding of foehn occurrence in regions where mountains adjoin seas, similar to the coastal areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan.

Significance Statement

The Jintsu-oroshi refers to Japan’s south foehn, which blows over the Toyama Plain in the Hokuriku region. This foehn occurs more frequently at night than during the day. Strong foehns enhance the risk of fire. Nocturnal high temperatures due to foehns can cause sleeplessness in people. Nighttime foehns cause damage to paddy rice. Analyses of observations and numerical simulations for the two typical cases showed that Jintsu-oroshi did not tend to occur during the daytime because the development of a convective boundary layer over the mountains and sea breezes in the leeward plain inhibited the occurrence of the downslope winds. We expect the results obtained in this study to advance our understanding of foehn occurrence in regions where mountains adjoin seas, similar to the coastal areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Hiroyuki Kusaka, kusaka@ccs.tsukuba.ac.jp

Abstract

The Jintsu-oroshi refers to Japan’s south foehn, which blows over the Toyama Plain in the Hokuriku region. This region faces the Sea of Japan to the north and the central mountain range to the south. The Jintsu-oroshi occurs more frequently at night than during the day. In this study, we determined the primary factors causing this feature using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. We selected a typical Jintsu-oroshi case in May 2016 for analysis. An extratropical cyclone traversed the Sea of Japan during the event, leading to a temporal change in the synoptic-scale pressure pattern. The observations and numerical simulation results showed that the collapse of the mixed layer over the mountains and the end of the sea breeze are key factors for the nighttime onset of the Jintsu-oroshi. Indeed, mountain waves and their resulting downslope winds did not occur under near-neutral atmospheric stability conditions over the mountains during the daytime. After sunset, the atmospheric stability changed to stable conditions, which caused the downslope winds to blow. However, the downslope winds did not reach the plains because of the sea breeze. After several hours, the sea breeze disappeared, and the downslope winds reached the leeward plains and increased the temperature there. Similar features were confirmed in August 2013 for another typical Jintsu-oroshi case under atmospheric conditions, without temporal changes in the synoptic-scale pressure pattern. We expect the results obtained in this study to advance our understanding of foehn occurrence in regions where mountains adjoin seas, similar to the coastal areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan.

Significance Statement

The Jintsu-oroshi refers to Japan’s south foehn, which blows over the Toyama Plain in the Hokuriku region. This foehn occurs more frequently at night than during the day. Strong foehns enhance the risk of fire. Nocturnal high temperatures due to foehns can cause sleeplessness in people. Nighttime foehns cause damage to paddy rice. Analyses of observations and numerical simulations for the two typical cases showed that Jintsu-oroshi did not tend to occur during the daytime because the development of a convective boundary layer over the mountains and sea breezes in the leeward plain inhibited the occurrence of the downslope winds. We expect the results obtained in this study to advance our understanding of foehn occurrence in regions where mountains adjoin seas, similar to the coastal areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Hiroyuki Kusaka, kusaka@ccs.tsukuba.ac.jp
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