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Diurnal Variations of the Land–Sea Breeze and Its Related Precipitation over South China

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  • 1 Key Laboratory for Mesoscale Severe Weather, Ministry of Education, and School of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, and Department of Meteorology, and Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • | 2 Department of Meteorology, and Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • | 3 Key Laboratory for Mesoscale Severe Weather, Ministry of Education, and School of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
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Abstract

Convection-permitting numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model are performed to examine the diurnal cycles of land and sea breeze and its related precipitation over the south China coastal region during the mei-yu season. The focus of the analyses is a 10-day simulation initialized with the average of the 0000 UTC gridded global analyses during the 2007–09 mei-yu seasons (11 May–24 June) with diurnally varying cyclic lateral boundary conditions. Despite differences in the rainfall intensity and locations, the simulation verified well against averages of 3-yr ground-based radar, surface, and CMORPH observations and successfully simulated the diurnal variation and propagation of rainfall associated with the land and sea breeze over the south China coastal region. The nocturnal offshore rainfall in this region is found to be induced by the convergence line between the prevailing low-level monsoonal wind and the land breeze. Inhomogeneity of rainfall intensity can be found along the coastline, with heavier rainfall occurring in the region with coastal orography. In the night, the mountain–plain solenoid produced by the coastal terrain can combine with the land breeze to enhance offshore convergence. In the daytime, rainfall propagates inland with the inland penetration of the sea breeze, which can be slowed by the coastal mountains. The cold pool dynamics also plays an essential role in the inland penetration of precipitation and the sea breeze. Dynamic lifting produced by the sea-breeze front is strong enough to produce precipitation, while the intensity of precipitation can be dramatically increased with the latent heating effect.

Corresponding author address: Professor Kun Zhao, Key Laboratory for Mesoscale Severe Weather, MOE, and School of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing 210023, Nanjing, China. E-mail: zhaokun@nju.edu.cn

Abstract

Convection-permitting numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model are performed to examine the diurnal cycles of land and sea breeze and its related precipitation over the south China coastal region during the mei-yu season. The focus of the analyses is a 10-day simulation initialized with the average of the 0000 UTC gridded global analyses during the 2007–09 mei-yu seasons (11 May–24 June) with diurnally varying cyclic lateral boundary conditions. Despite differences in the rainfall intensity and locations, the simulation verified well against averages of 3-yr ground-based radar, surface, and CMORPH observations and successfully simulated the diurnal variation and propagation of rainfall associated with the land and sea breeze over the south China coastal region. The nocturnal offshore rainfall in this region is found to be induced by the convergence line between the prevailing low-level monsoonal wind and the land breeze. Inhomogeneity of rainfall intensity can be found along the coastline, with heavier rainfall occurring in the region with coastal orography. In the night, the mountain–plain solenoid produced by the coastal terrain can combine with the land breeze to enhance offshore convergence. In the daytime, rainfall propagates inland with the inland penetration of the sea breeze, which can be slowed by the coastal mountains. The cold pool dynamics also plays an essential role in the inland penetration of precipitation and the sea breeze. Dynamic lifting produced by the sea-breeze front is strong enough to produce precipitation, while the intensity of precipitation can be dramatically increased with the latent heating effect.

Corresponding author address: Professor Kun Zhao, Key Laboratory for Mesoscale Severe Weather, MOE, and School of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing 210023, Nanjing, China. E-mail: zhaokun@nju.edu.cn
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