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Multiscale Land–Atmosphere Coupling and Its Application in Assessing Subseasonal Forecasts over East Asia

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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

The land surface, with a memory longer than the atmosphere in nature, has been recognized as an important source for Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) predictability through land–atmosphere coupling at multiple time scales. Understanding of the land–atmosphere coupling is important for improving subseasonal forecasting that is expected to fill the gap between medium-range weather forecasts and seasonal forecasts. Based on reanalysis and S2S reforecast datasets, land–atmosphere coupling is investigated over East Asia from daily to monthly time scales during summertime. Reanalysis results show that soil moisture–evapotranspiration (ET) coupling is closely related to the monsoonal rain belt shift. The coupling can be significant over humid regions (e.g., south China) during postmonsoon periods, where soil is usually drier, but insignificant over semiarid regions (e.g., north China) after the arrival of a monsoon, where soil is wetter. The dependence of soil moisture–ET coupling on soil wetness conditions decreases as the time scale increases, indicating more significant coupling at longer time scales. Similar sensitivities to time scales are found between ET and lifting condensation level (LCL), and between ET and precipitation, especially over land–atmosphere coupling hotspots. Monthly coupling strength analysis shows that ET–LCL coupling is a key process that determines the soil moisture–precipitation coupling, and the response of convective instability to ET is stronger at longer time scales. Subseasonal forecasting models also show more significant land–atmosphere coupling at monthly than daily time scales, where the ECMWF and NCEP models that best reproduce the coupling and its changes with monsoonal rain belt shifts have the best precipitation forecast skill among S2S models.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-17-0215.s1.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Publisher's Note: This article was revised on 16 May 2018 to correct a typographical error in the corresponding author's email address.

Corresponding author: Xing Yuan, yuanxing@tea.ac.cn

Abstract

The land surface, with a memory longer than the atmosphere in nature, has been recognized as an important source for Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) predictability through land–atmosphere coupling at multiple time scales. Understanding of the land–atmosphere coupling is important for improving subseasonal forecasting that is expected to fill the gap between medium-range weather forecasts and seasonal forecasts. Based on reanalysis and S2S reforecast datasets, land–atmosphere coupling is investigated over East Asia from daily to monthly time scales during summertime. Reanalysis results show that soil moisture–evapotranspiration (ET) coupling is closely related to the monsoonal rain belt shift. The coupling can be significant over humid regions (e.g., south China) during postmonsoon periods, where soil is usually drier, but insignificant over semiarid regions (e.g., north China) after the arrival of a monsoon, where soil is wetter. The dependence of soil moisture–ET coupling on soil wetness conditions decreases as the time scale increases, indicating more significant coupling at longer time scales. Similar sensitivities to time scales are found between ET and lifting condensation level (LCL), and between ET and precipitation, especially over land–atmosphere coupling hotspots. Monthly coupling strength analysis shows that ET–LCL coupling is a key process that determines the soil moisture–precipitation coupling, and the response of convective instability to ET is stronger at longer time scales. Subseasonal forecasting models also show more significant land–atmosphere coupling at monthly than daily time scales, where the ECMWF and NCEP models that best reproduce the coupling and its changes with monsoonal rain belt shifts have the best precipitation forecast skill among S2S models.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-17-0215.s1.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Publisher's Note: This article was revised on 16 May 2018 to correct a typographical error in the corresponding author's email address.

Corresponding author: Xing Yuan, yuanxing@tea.ac.cn

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