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Mechanisms of Meridional Teleconnection Observed between a Summer Monsoon System and a Subtropical Anticyclone. Part I: The Pacific–Japan Pattern

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  • 1 Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • | 2 Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, and Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan
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Abstract

Summertime atmospheric circulation over the midlatitude western North Pacific (WNP) is influenced by anomalous convective activity near the Philippines. This meridional teleconnection, observed in monthly anomalies and known as the Pacific–Japan (PJ) pattern, is characterized by zonally elongated cyclonic and anticyclonic anomalies around the enhanced convection center and to its northeast, respectively, in the lower troposphere, with an apparent poleward phase tilt with height. The authors’ idealized two-layer linear model, whose basic state consists of a zonal subtropical jet and a pair of a monsoon system and a subtropical anticyclone, can simulate a PJ-like response against diabatic heating located between the pair. Each of the observed and simulated patterns can gain energy through barotropic and baroclinic conversions from the zonally varying baroclinic mean flow, in an efficiency comparable with that of energy generation due to the anomalous diabatic heating, indicating a characteristic of the pattern as a dry dynamical mode. In fact, the conversion efficiency is sensitive to the location of the anomaly pattern relative to the climatological-mean flow. Furthermore, the second-least damped mode identified in the idealized model bears certain resemblance with the observed PJ pattern, indicating its modal characteristics as well as a critical importance of these features in the mean field for the pattern. In addition to the PJ pattern, another meridional teleconnection pattern with high efficiency for its energy conversion is identified observationally in association with anomalous convection near the Bonin Islands.

The anomalous circulation of the PJ pattern, in turn, can intensify the anomalous convective activity near the Philippines through enhancing evaporation and moisture convergence and dynamically inducing anomalous ascent. It is thus hypothesized that the PJ pattern can be regarded as a moist dynamical mode that sustains itself both via dry energy conversion and interaction with moist processes.

Corresponding author address: Yu Kosaka, International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Email: ykosaka@hawaii.edu

Abstract

Summertime atmospheric circulation over the midlatitude western North Pacific (WNP) is influenced by anomalous convective activity near the Philippines. This meridional teleconnection, observed in monthly anomalies and known as the Pacific–Japan (PJ) pattern, is characterized by zonally elongated cyclonic and anticyclonic anomalies around the enhanced convection center and to its northeast, respectively, in the lower troposphere, with an apparent poleward phase tilt with height. The authors’ idealized two-layer linear model, whose basic state consists of a zonal subtropical jet and a pair of a monsoon system and a subtropical anticyclone, can simulate a PJ-like response against diabatic heating located between the pair. Each of the observed and simulated patterns can gain energy through barotropic and baroclinic conversions from the zonally varying baroclinic mean flow, in an efficiency comparable with that of energy generation due to the anomalous diabatic heating, indicating a characteristic of the pattern as a dry dynamical mode. In fact, the conversion efficiency is sensitive to the location of the anomaly pattern relative to the climatological-mean flow. Furthermore, the second-least damped mode identified in the idealized model bears certain resemblance with the observed PJ pattern, indicating its modal characteristics as well as a critical importance of these features in the mean field for the pattern. In addition to the PJ pattern, another meridional teleconnection pattern with high efficiency for its energy conversion is identified observationally in association with anomalous convection near the Bonin Islands.

The anomalous circulation of the PJ pattern, in turn, can intensify the anomalous convective activity near the Philippines through enhancing evaporation and moisture convergence and dynamically inducing anomalous ascent. It is thus hypothesized that the PJ pattern can be regarded as a moist dynamical mode that sustains itself both via dry energy conversion and interaction with moist processes.

Corresponding author address: Yu Kosaka, International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Email: ykosaka@hawaii.edu

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