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East Asian Rainbands and Associated Circulation over the Tibetan Plateau Region

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  • 1 aDepartment of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • | 2 bDepartment of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
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Abstract

Rainbands that migrate northward from spring to summer are persistent features of the East Asian summer monsoon. This study employs a machine learning algorithm to identify individual East Asian rainbands from May to August in the 6-hourly ERA-Interim reanalysis product and captures rainband events during these months for the period 1979–2018. The median duration of rainband events at any location in East Asia is 12 h, and the centroids of these rainbands move northward continuously from approximately 28°N in late May to approximately 33°N in July, instead of making jumps between quasi-stationary periods. Whereas the length and overall area of the rainbands grow monotonically from May to June, the intensity of the rainfall within the rainband dips slightly in early June before it peaks in late June. We find that extratropical northerly winds on all pressure levels over East China are the most important anomalous flow accompanying the rainband events. The anomalous northerlies augment climatological background northerlies in bringing low moist static energy air and thus generate the front associated with the rainband. Persistent lower-tropospheric southerly winds bring in moisture that feeds the rainband and are enhanced a few days prior to rainband events, but they are not directly tied to the actual rainband formation. The background northerlies could originate as part of the Rossby waves resulting from the jet stream interaction with the Tibetan Plateau. The ageostrophic circulation in the jet entrance region peaks in May and weakens in June and July and does not prove to be critical to the formation of the rainbands.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Jiabin Liu, jiabin@berkeley.edu

Abstract

Rainbands that migrate northward from spring to summer are persistent features of the East Asian summer monsoon. This study employs a machine learning algorithm to identify individual East Asian rainbands from May to August in the 6-hourly ERA-Interim reanalysis product and captures rainband events during these months for the period 1979–2018. The median duration of rainband events at any location in East Asia is 12 h, and the centroids of these rainbands move northward continuously from approximately 28°N in late May to approximately 33°N in July, instead of making jumps between quasi-stationary periods. Whereas the length and overall area of the rainbands grow monotonically from May to June, the intensity of the rainfall within the rainband dips slightly in early June before it peaks in late June. We find that extratropical northerly winds on all pressure levels over East China are the most important anomalous flow accompanying the rainband events. The anomalous northerlies augment climatological background northerlies in bringing low moist static energy air and thus generate the front associated with the rainband. Persistent lower-tropospheric southerly winds bring in moisture that feeds the rainband and are enhanced a few days prior to rainband events, but they are not directly tied to the actual rainband formation. The background northerlies could originate as part of the Rossby waves resulting from the jet stream interaction with the Tibetan Plateau. The ageostrophic circulation in the jet entrance region peaks in May and weakens in June and July and does not prove to be critical to the formation of the rainbands.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Jiabin Liu, jiabin@berkeley.edu
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