Fundamental Causes of Propagating and Nonpropagating MJOs in MJOTF/GASS Models

Lu Wang Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China, and International Pacific Research Center, and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Search for other papers by Lu Wang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Tim Li Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China, and International Pacific Research Center, and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Search for other papers by Tim Li in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Eric Maloney Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Search for other papers by Eric Maloney in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Bin Wang Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China, and International Pacific Research Center, and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Search for other papers by Bin Wang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

This study investigates the fundamental causes of differences in the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) eastward propagation among models that participated in a recent model intercomparison project. These models are categorized into good and poor groups characterized by prominent eastward propagation and nonpropagation, respectively. Column-integrated moist static energy (MSE) budgets are diagnosed for the good and the poor models. It is found that a zonal asymmetry in the MSE tendency, characteristic of eastward MJO propagation, occurs in the good group, whereas such an asymmetry does not exist in the poor group. The difference arises mainly from anomalous vertical and horizontal MSE advection. The former is attributed to the zonal asymmetry of upper-midtropospheric vertical velocity anomalies acting on background MSE vertical gradient; the latter is mainly attributed to the asymmetric zonal distribution of low-tropospheric meridional wind anomalies advecting background MSE and moisture fields. Based on the diagnosis above, a new mechanism for MJO eastward propagation that emphasizes the second-baroclinic-mode vertical velocity is proposed. A set of atmospheric general circulation model experiments with prescribed diabatic heating profiles was conducted to investigate the causes of different anomalous circulations between the good and the poor models. The numerical experiments reveal that the presence of a stratiform heating at the rear of MJO convection is responsible for the zonal asymmetry of vertical velocity anomaly and is important to strengthening lower-tropospheric poleward flows to the east of MJO convection. Thus, a key to improving the poor models is to correctly reproduce the stratiform heating. The roles of Rossby and Kelvin wave components in MJO propagation are particularly discussed.

Denotes content that is immediately available upon publication as open access.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

© 2017 American Meteorological Society.

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Contribution Number 9910, International Pacific Research Center Contribution Number 1235, and Earth System Modeling Center Contribution Number 149.

Corresponding author e-mail: Tim Li, timli@hawaii.edu

Abstract

This study investigates the fundamental causes of differences in the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) eastward propagation among models that participated in a recent model intercomparison project. These models are categorized into good and poor groups characterized by prominent eastward propagation and nonpropagation, respectively. Column-integrated moist static energy (MSE) budgets are diagnosed for the good and the poor models. It is found that a zonal asymmetry in the MSE tendency, characteristic of eastward MJO propagation, occurs in the good group, whereas such an asymmetry does not exist in the poor group. The difference arises mainly from anomalous vertical and horizontal MSE advection. The former is attributed to the zonal asymmetry of upper-midtropospheric vertical velocity anomalies acting on background MSE vertical gradient; the latter is mainly attributed to the asymmetric zonal distribution of low-tropospheric meridional wind anomalies advecting background MSE and moisture fields. Based on the diagnosis above, a new mechanism for MJO eastward propagation that emphasizes the second-baroclinic-mode vertical velocity is proposed. A set of atmospheric general circulation model experiments with prescribed diabatic heating profiles was conducted to investigate the causes of different anomalous circulations between the good and the poor models. The numerical experiments reveal that the presence of a stratiform heating at the rear of MJO convection is responsible for the zonal asymmetry of vertical velocity anomaly and is important to strengthening lower-tropospheric poleward flows to the east of MJO convection. Thus, a key to improving the poor models is to correctly reproduce the stratiform heating. The roles of Rossby and Kelvin wave components in MJO propagation are particularly discussed.

Denotes content that is immediately available upon publication as open access.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

© 2017 American Meteorological Society.

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Contribution Number 9910, International Pacific Research Center Contribution Number 1235, and Earth System Modeling Center Contribution Number 149.

Corresponding author e-mail: Tim Li, timli@hawaii.edu
Save
  • Andersen, J. A., and Z. Kuang, 2012: Moist static energy budget of MJO-like disturbances in the atmosphere of a zonally symmetric aquaplanet. J. Climate, 25, 27822804, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00168.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cai, Q., G. J. Zhang, and T. Zhou, 2013: Impacts of shallow convection on MJO simulation: A moist static energy and moisture budget analysis. J. Climate, 26, 24172431, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00127.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, C.-P., and H. Lim, 1988: Kelvin wave-CISK: A possible mechanism for the 30–50 day oscillations. J. Atmos. Sci., 45, 17091720, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1988)045<1709:KWCAPM>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, L., T. Li, S. K. Behera, and T. Doi, 2016a: Distinctive precursory air–sea signals between regular and super El Niños. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 33, 9961004, doi:10.1007/s00376-016-5250-8.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, L., Y. Yu, and W. Zheng, 2016b: Improved ENSO simulation from climate system model FGOALS-g1.0 to FGOALS-g2. Climate Dyn., 47, 26172634, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-2988-8.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dee, D. P., and Coauthors, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553597, doi:10.1002/qj.828.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fu, X., and B. Wang, 2009: Critical roles of the stratiform rainfall in sustaining the Madden–Julian oscillation: GCM experiments. J. Climate, 22, 39393959, doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2610.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gonzalez, A. O., and X. Jiang, 2017: Winter mean lower tropospheric moisture over the Maritime Continent as a climate model diagnostic metric for the propagation of the Madden-Julian oscillation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 25882596, doi:10.1002/2016GL072430.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hsu, P.-C., and T. Li, 2012: Role of the boundary layer moisture asymmetry in causing the eastward propagation of the Madden–Julian Oscillation. J. Climate, 25, 49144931, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00310.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hsu, P.-C., and Y. Yang, 2016: Contribution of atmospheric internal processes to interannual variability of South Asian summer monsoon. Int. J. Climatol., 36, 29172930, doi:10.1002/joc.4528.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hsu, P.-C., T. Li, and H. Murakami, 2014: Moisture asymmetry and MJO eastward propagation in an aquaplanet general circulation model. J. Climate, 27, 87478760, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00148.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huffman, G. J., R. F. Adler, M. M. Morrissey, D. T. Bolvin, S. Curtis, R. Joyce, B. McGavock, and J. Susskind, 2001: Global precipitation at one-degree daily resolution from multisatellite observations. J. Hydrometeor., 2, 3650, doi:10.1175/1525-7541(2001)002<0036:GPAODD>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hung, M.-P., J.-L. Lin, W. Wang, D. Kim, T. Shinoda, and S. J. Weaver, 2013: MJO and convectively coupled equatorial waves simulated by CMIP5 climate models. J. Climate, 26, 61856214, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00541.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, X., 2017: Key processes for the eastward propagation of the Madden–Julian oscillation based on multi-model simulations. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, 755770, doi:10.1002/2016JD025955.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, X., and Coauthors, 2015: Vertical structure and physical processes of the Madden–Julian oscillation: Exploring key model physics in climate simulations. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 47184748, doi:10.1002/2014JD022375.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, R. H., T. M. Rickenbach, S. A. Rutledge, P. E. Ciesielski, and W. H. Schubert, 1999: Trimodal characteristics of tropical convection. J. Climate, 12, 23972418, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012<2397:TCOTC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kessler, W. S., and R. Kleeman, 2000: Rectification of the Madden–Julian oscillation into the ENSO cycle. J. Climate, 13, 35603575, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<3560:ROTMJO>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, D., and Coauthors, 2009: Application of MJO simulation diagnostics to climate models. J. Climate, 22, 64136436, doi:10.1175/2009JCLI3063.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, D., A. H. Sobel, E. D. Maloney, D. M. W. Frierson, and I.-S. Kang, 2011: A systematic relationship between intraseasonal variability and mean state bias in AGCM simulations. J. Climate, 24, 55065520, doi:10.1175/2011JCLI4177.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, D., J.-S. Kug, and A. H. Sobel, 2014: Propagating versus nonpropagating Madden–Julian oscillation events. J. Climate, 27, 111125, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00084.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kiranmayi, L. and E. D. Maloney, 2011: Intraseasonal moist static energy budget in reanalysis data. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D21117, doi:10.1029/2011JD016031.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuang, Z., 2008: A moisture-stratiform instability for convectively coupled waves. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 834854, doi:10.1175/2007JAS2444.1.

  • Lau, K.-M., and P. H. Chan, 1986: Aspects of the 40–50 day oscillation during the northern summer as inferred from outgoing longwave radiation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 114, 13541367, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1986)114<1354:AOTDOD>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lau, K.-M., and L. Peng, 1987: Origin of low-frequency (intraseasonal) oscillations in the tropical atmosphere. Part I: Basic theory. J. Atmos. Sci., 44, 950972, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1987)044<0950:OOLFOI>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liebmann, B., H. H. Hendon, and J. D. Glick, 1994: The relationship between tropical cyclones of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 72, 401412.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, J., B. Mapes, M. Zhang, and M. Newman, 2004: Stratiform precipitation, vertical heating profiles, and the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 61, 296309, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2004)061<0296:SPVHPA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, J., and Coauthors, 2006: Tropical intraseasonal variability in 14 IPCC AR4 climate models. Part I: Convective signals. J. Climate, 19, 26652690, doi:10.1175/JCLI3735.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liu, F., and B. Wang, 2012: A frictional skeleton model for the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 27492758, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-12-020.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liu, F., and B. Wang, 2016: Role of horizontal advection of seasonal-mean moisture in the Madden–Julian oscillation: A theoretical model analysis. J. Climate, 29, 62776293, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0078.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Madden, R. A., and P. R. Julian, 1972: Description of global-scale circulation cells in the tropics with a 40–50 day period. J. Atmos. Sci., 29, 11091123, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1972)029<1109:DOGSCC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Majda, A. J., S. N. Stechmann, and B. Khouider, 2007: Madden–Julian Oscillation analog and intraseasonal variability in a multicloud model above the equator. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 99199924, doi:10.1073/pnas.0703572104.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maloney, E. D., 2009: The moist static energy budget of a composite tropical intraseasonal oscillation in a climate model. J. Climate, 22, 711729, doi:10.1175/2008JCLI2542.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mapes, B. E., 2000: Convective inhibition, subgrid-scale triggering energy, and stratiform instability in a toy tropical wave model. J. Atmos. Sci., 57, 15151535, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2000)057<1515:CISSTE>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Medeiros, B., B. Stevens, I. M. Held, M. Zhao, D. L. Williamson, J. G. Olson, and C. S. Bretherton, 2008: Aquaplanets, climate sensitivity, and low clouds. J. Climate, 21, 49744991, doi:10.1175/2008JCLI1995.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murakami, T., and T. Nakazawa, 1985: Tropical 45 day oscillations during the 1979 Northern Hemisphere summer. J. Atmos. Sci., 42, 11071122, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1985)042<1107:TDODTN>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neelin, J. D., and I. M. Held, 1987: Modeling tropical convergence based on the moist static energy budget. Mon. Wea. Rev., 115, 312, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1987)115<0003:MTCBOT>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neelin, J. D., and J.-Y. Yu, 1994: Modes of tropical variability under convective adjustment and the Madden–Julian oscillation. Part I: Analytical theory. J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 18761894, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1994)051<1876:MOTVUC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Petch, J., D. Waliser, X. Jiang, P. K. Xavier, and S. Woolnough, 2011: A global model inter-comparison of the physical processes associated with the MJO. GEWEX News, August 2011, International GEWEX Project Office, Silver Spring, MD, 3–5.

  • Raymond, D. J., 2000: Thermodynamic control of tropical rainfall. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 126, 889898, doi:10.1002/qj.49712656406.

  • Raymond, D. J., 2001: A new model of the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 28072819, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2001)058<2807:ANMOTM>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reynolds, R. W., N. A. Rayner, T. M. Smith, D. C. Stokes, and W. Wang, 2002: An improved in situ and satellite SST analysis for climate. J. Climate, 15, 16091625, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015<1609:AIISAS>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rienecker, M. M., and Coauthors, 2011: MERRA: NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications. J. Climate, 24, 36243648, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00015.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roeckner, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM-4: Model description and simulation of present-day climate. Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie Rep. 218, 90 pp. [Available online at www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/publikationen/Reports/MPI-Report_218.pdf.]

  • Russell, D. R., 2006: Development of a time-domain, variable-period surface-wave magnitude measurement procedure for application at regional and teleseismic distances. Part I: Theory. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Amer., 96, 665677, doi:10.1785/0120050055.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schiro, K. A., J. D. Neelin, D. K. Adams, and B. R. Lintner, 2016: Deep convection and column water vapor over tropical land vs. tropical ocean: A comparison between the Amazon and the tropical western Pacific. J. Atmos. Sci., 73, 40434063, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0119.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slingo, J., and Coauthors, 1996: Intraseasonal oscillations in 15 atmospheric general circulation models: Results from an AMIP diagnostic subproject. Climate Dyn., 12, 325357, doi:10.1007/BF00231106.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sobel, A. and E. Maloney, 2012: An idealized semi-empirical framework for modeling the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 16911705, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-11-0118.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sobel, A., and E. Maloney, 2013: Moisture modes and the eastward propagation of the MJO. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 187192, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-12-0189.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sobel, A., J. Nilsson and L. M. Polvani, 2001: The weak temperature gradient approximation and balanced tropical moisture waves. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 36503665, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2001)058<3650:TWTGAA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sobel, A., S. Wang, and D. Kim, 2014: Moist static energy budget of the MJO during DYNAMO. J. Atmos. Sci., 71, 42764291, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-14-0052.1.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, B., 1988: Dynamics of tropical low-frequency waves: An analysis of the moist Kelvin wave. J. Atmos. Sci., 45, 20512065, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1988)045<2051:DOTLFW>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, B., and H. Rui, 1990: Synoptic climatology of transient tropical intraseasonal convection anomalies: 1975–1985. Meteor. Atmos. Phys., 44, 4361, doi:10.1007/BF01026810.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, B., and T. Li, 1994: Convective interaction with boundary-layer dynamics in the development of a tropical intraseasonal system. J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 13861400, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1994)051<1386:CIWBLD>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, L., and T. Li, 2017: Roles of convective heating and boundary-layer moisture asymmetry in slowing down the convectively coupled Kelvin waves. Climate Dyn., 48, 24532469, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3215-3.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weickmann, K. M., 1983: Intraseasonal circulation and outgoing longwave radiation modes during Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 111, 18381858, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1983)111<1838:ICAOLR>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wheeler, M. and J. McBride, 2005: Australian–Indonesian monsoon. Intraseasonal Variability in the Atmosphere–Ocean Climate System, W. Lau and D. Waliser, Eds., Springer, 125–173.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Xiang, B., B. Wang, A. Lauer, J.-Y. Lee, and Q. Ding, 2014: Upper tropospheric warming intensifies sea surface warming. Climate Dyn., 43, 259270, doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1928-0.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yanai, M., S. Esbensen, and J.-H. Chu, 1973: Determination of bulk properties of tropical cloud clusters from large-scale heat and moisture budgets. J. Atmos. Sci., 30, 611627, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1973)030<0611:DOBPOT>2.0.CO;2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yasunari, T., 1979: Cloudiness fluctuations associated with the Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 57, 227242.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1108 380 20
PDF Downloads 862 264 20