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Regimes of Diurnal Variation of Summer Rainfall over Subtropical East Asia

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  • 1 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2 LASW, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • 3 Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
  • 4 Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brookhaven, New York
  • 5 Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Using hourly rain gauge records and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 from 1998 to 2006, the authors present an analysis of the diurnal characteristics of summer rainfall over subtropical East Asia. The study shows that there are four different regimes of distinct diurnal variation of rainfall in both the rain gauge and the satellite data. They are located over the Tibetan Plateau with late-afternoon and midnight peaks, in the western China plain with midnight to early-morning peaks, in the eastern China plain with double peaks in late afternoon and early morning, and over the East China Sea with an early-morning peak. No propagation of diurnal phases is found from the land to the ocean across the coastlines. The different diurnal regimes are highly correlated with the inhomogeneous underlying surface, such as the plateau, plain, and ocean, with physical mechanisms consistent with the large-scale “mountain–valley” and “land–sea” breezes and convective instability. These diurnal characteristics over subtropical East Asia can be used as diagnostic metrics to evaluate the physical parameterization and hydrological cycle of climate models over East Asia.

Corresponding author address: Rucong Yu, LASW, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, No. 46, Zhongguancun Nandajie, Beijing 100081, China. E-mail: yrc@lasg.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Using hourly rain gauge records and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 from 1998 to 2006, the authors present an analysis of the diurnal characteristics of summer rainfall over subtropical East Asia. The study shows that there are four different regimes of distinct diurnal variation of rainfall in both the rain gauge and the satellite data. They are located over the Tibetan Plateau with late-afternoon and midnight peaks, in the western China plain with midnight to early-morning peaks, in the eastern China plain with double peaks in late afternoon and early morning, and over the East China Sea with an early-morning peak. No propagation of diurnal phases is found from the land to the ocean across the coastlines. The different diurnal regimes are highly correlated with the inhomogeneous underlying surface, such as the plateau, plain, and ocean, with physical mechanisms consistent with the large-scale “mountain–valley” and “land–sea” breezes and convective instability. These diurnal characteristics over subtropical East Asia can be used as diagnostic metrics to evaluate the physical parameterization and hydrological cycle of climate models over East Asia.

Corresponding author address: Rucong Yu, LASW, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, No. 46, Zhongguancun Nandajie, Beijing 100081, China. E-mail: yrc@lasg.iap.ac.cn
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