Influence of Foehn Winds of Truong Son Mountains on the High Temperatures Observed in North-Central Vietnam during 31 May–5 June 2017

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

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Yuma Imai aCenter for Computational Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan

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Hiroki Kobayashi bGraduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan

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Quang-Van Doan aCenter for Computational Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan

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Thanh Ngo-Duc cUniversity of Science and Technology of Hanoi, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Abstract

North-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures. Foehn winds originating from the Truong Son Mountains (also known as Laos winds) are believed to contribute to abnormally high temperatures; however, no quantitative research has focused on foehn warming in Vietnam. In this study, we conducted numerical simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to investigate the contribution of foehn warming to abnormally high temperatures in north-central Vietnam in early June 2017. Generally, May–June is the monsoon period in Vietnam. Consequently, foehn warming during this season is thought to be mainly caused by latent heating and precipitation mechanism. However, the primary factor in the cases covered in this study was foehn warming with an isentropic drawdown mechanism. Diabatic heating with turbulent diffusion and sensible heat flux from mountain slopes also plays significant roles. The warming effect of the foehn winds on the temperatures during the events was approximately 2°–3°C. It was concluded that the high temperature events from 31 May to 5 June 2017 were caused by synoptic-scale warm advection and foehn warming. Sensitivity experiments were conducted on the WRF Model, utilizing three atmospheric boundary layer turbulence schemes (YSU, ACM2, and MYNN), consistently yielding results for simulated temperature and relative humidity. The wind speed bias for the MYNN scheme was found to be lower than that of the other schemes. However, this study did not delve into the underlying reasons for these differences. The optimal performance of each scheme remains an open question.

Significance Statement

It was hypothesized that north-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures owing to foehn winds (also known as Laos winds) descending from the Truong Son Mountains. This study conducted numerical experiments to validate this hypothesis and investigate the associated mechanisms of foehn winds in this region. Surprisingly, despite the monsoon season, the isentropic drawdown mechanism without precipitation effects provides the primary explanation for the high temperatures caused by foehn winds in north-central Vietnam, and not the latent heating and precipitation mechanism with precipitation effects that researchers expected. The results of this study contribute to better prediction of high temperatures in this region and improve our understanding of foehn winds in tropical monsoon climate zones.

© 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

North-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures. Foehn winds originating from the Truong Son Mountains (also known as Laos winds) are believed to contribute to abnormally high temperatures; however, no quantitative research has focused on foehn warming in Vietnam. In this study, we conducted numerical simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to investigate the contribution of foehn warming to abnormally high temperatures in north-central Vietnam in early June 2017. Generally, May–June is the monsoon period in Vietnam. Consequently, foehn warming during this season is thought to be mainly caused by latent heating and precipitation mechanism. However, the primary factor in the cases covered in this study was foehn warming with an isentropic drawdown mechanism. Diabatic heating with turbulent diffusion and sensible heat flux from mountain slopes also plays significant roles. The warming effect of the foehn winds on the temperatures during the events was approximately 2°–3°C. It was concluded that the high temperature events from 31 May to 5 June 2017 were caused by synoptic-scale warm advection and foehn warming. Sensitivity experiments were conducted on the WRF Model, utilizing three atmospheric boundary layer turbulence schemes (YSU, ACM2, and MYNN), consistently yielding results for simulated temperature and relative humidity. The wind speed bias for the MYNN scheme was found to be lower than that of the other schemes. However, this study did not delve into the underlying reasons for these differences. The optimal performance of each scheme remains an open question.

Significance Statement

It was hypothesized that north-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures owing to foehn winds (also known as Laos winds) descending from the Truong Son Mountains. This study conducted numerical experiments to validate this hypothesis and investigate the associated mechanisms of foehn winds in this region. Surprisingly, despite the monsoon season, the isentropic drawdown mechanism without precipitation effects provides the primary explanation for the high temperatures caused by foehn winds in north-central Vietnam, and not the latent heating and precipitation mechanism with precipitation effects that researchers expected. The results of this study contribute to better prediction of high temperatures in this region and improve our understanding of foehn winds in tropical monsoon climate zones.

© 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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