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Impact of the Madden–Julian Oscillation on Summer Rainfall in Southeast China

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  • 1 International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

The impact of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on summer rainfall in Southeast China is investigated using the Real-time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index and the observational rainfall data. A marked transition of rainfall patterns from being enhanced to being suppressed is found in Southeast China (east of 105°E and south of 35°N) on intraseasonal time scales as the MJO convective center moves from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean. The maximum positive and negative anomalies of regional mean rainfall are in excess of 10% relative to the climatological regional mean. Such different rainfall regimes are associated with the corresponding changes in physical fields such as the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), moisture, and vertical motions. When the MJO is mainly over the Indian Ocean, the WPSH shifts farther westward, and the moisture and upward motions in Southeast China are increased. In contrast, when the MJO enters the western Pacific, the WPSH retreats eastward, and the moisture and upward motions in Southeast China are decreased.

It is suggested that the MJO may influence summer rainfall in Southeast China through remote and local dynamical mechanisms, which correspond to the rainfall enhancement and suppression, respectively. The remote role is the energy propagation of the Rossby wave forced by the MJO-related heating over the Indian Ocean through the low-level westerly waveguide from the tropical Indian Ocean to Southeast China. The local role is the northward shift of the upward branch of the anomalous meridional circulation when the MJO is over the western Pacific, which causes eastward retreat of the WPSH and suppressed moisture transport toward Southeast China.

* Current affiliation: China Meteorological Administration Training Center, Beijing, China

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lina Zhang, China Meteorological Administration Training Center, No. 46, Zhongguancun South St., Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China. Email: zhangln@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The impact of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on summer rainfall in Southeast China is investigated using the Real-time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index and the observational rainfall data. A marked transition of rainfall patterns from being enhanced to being suppressed is found in Southeast China (east of 105°E and south of 35°N) on intraseasonal time scales as the MJO convective center moves from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean. The maximum positive and negative anomalies of regional mean rainfall are in excess of 10% relative to the climatological regional mean. Such different rainfall regimes are associated with the corresponding changes in physical fields such as the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), moisture, and vertical motions. When the MJO is mainly over the Indian Ocean, the WPSH shifts farther westward, and the moisture and upward motions in Southeast China are increased. In contrast, when the MJO enters the western Pacific, the WPSH retreats eastward, and the moisture and upward motions in Southeast China are decreased.

It is suggested that the MJO may influence summer rainfall in Southeast China through remote and local dynamical mechanisms, which correspond to the rainfall enhancement and suppression, respectively. The remote role is the energy propagation of the Rossby wave forced by the MJO-related heating over the Indian Ocean through the low-level westerly waveguide from the tropical Indian Ocean to Southeast China. The local role is the northward shift of the upward branch of the anomalous meridional circulation when the MJO is over the western Pacific, which causes eastward retreat of the WPSH and suppressed moisture transport toward Southeast China.

* Current affiliation: China Meteorological Administration Training Center, Beijing, China

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lina Zhang, China Meteorological Administration Training Center, No. 46, Zhongguancun South St., Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China. Email: zhangln@mail.iap.ac.cn

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