Statistical Characteristics and Synoptic Patterns of Convection Initiation over the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River Basin as Observed Using the Fengyun-4A Satellite

Shanshan Li aChina Meteorological Administration Basin Heavy Rainfall Key Laboratory and Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan, China

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Xiaofang Wang aChina Meteorological Administration Basin Heavy Rainfall Key Laboratory and Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan, China

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Jianhua Sun bKey Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS), Beijing, China
cSouthern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China

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Zheng Ma bKey Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS), Beijing, China

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Yuanchun Zhang bKey Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS), Beijing, China

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Yuan Gao aChina Meteorological Administration Basin Heavy Rainfall Key Laboratory and Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan, China

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Yang Hu aChina Meteorological Administration Basin Heavy Rainfall Key Laboratory and Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan, China

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Wengang Zhang aChina Meteorological Administration Basin Heavy Rainfall Key Laboratory and Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan, China

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Abstract

Convection initiations (CIs) observed using the advanced geosynchronous radiation imager on the Chinese Fengyun-4A satellite were identified over the middle reaches of the Yangtze River basin during warm season (May–September) of 2018–21. A hybrid objective tracking algorithm combining the conventional area overlapping with the Kalman filter method was applied. Subsequently, spatial and temporal variations in the identified CIs and their synoptic circulation patterns were analyzed. The frequency of CIs was highest in August and lowest in May. Nearly 81% of CIs occurred during noon–afternoon (1100–1859 LST), with the highest frequency in the southern mountains of the study region, whereas the CIs with relatively low frequency moved to the plains from afternoon to morning (1700–1059 LST). The diurnal variation of CIs throughout the study region exhibited a unimodal structure, with a peak appearing at noon (1200–1259 LST). CIs during noon–afternoon in July and August had faster cloud-top cooling rates. The synoptic circulations without tropical cyclones during noon–afternoon hours were classified into four patterns by hierarchical clustering; two dominant patterns (i.e., SW-Flows and S-Flows) had broader areas of higher most unstable convective available potential energy (MUCAPE), whereas the 0–3-km shear (SHR3) was the weakest in the S-Flows pattern. It was clear that the high-frequency areas of CIs were most likely to occur in stronger MUCAPE and weaker SHR3 environments, and CIs were more controlled by thermally unstable environments. We further illustrated that CIs tend to concentrate in unstable and moisture flux convergence areas affected by mountains.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiaofang Wang, wangxf@whihr.com.cn

Abstract

Convection initiations (CIs) observed using the advanced geosynchronous radiation imager on the Chinese Fengyun-4A satellite were identified over the middle reaches of the Yangtze River basin during warm season (May–September) of 2018–21. A hybrid objective tracking algorithm combining the conventional area overlapping with the Kalman filter method was applied. Subsequently, spatial and temporal variations in the identified CIs and their synoptic circulation patterns were analyzed. The frequency of CIs was highest in August and lowest in May. Nearly 81% of CIs occurred during noon–afternoon (1100–1859 LST), with the highest frequency in the southern mountains of the study region, whereas the CIs with relatively low frequency moved to the plains from afternoon to morning (1700–1059 LST). The diurnal variation of CIs throughout the study region exhibited a unimodal structure, with a peak appearing at noon (1200–1259 LST). CIs during noon–afternoon in July and August had faster cloud-top cooling rates. The synoptic circulations without tropical cyclones during noon–afternoon hours were classified into four patterns by hierarchical clustering; two dominant patterns (i.e., SW-Flows and S-Flows) had broader areas of higher most unstable convective available potential energy (MUCAPE), whereas the 0–3-km shear (SHR3) was the weakest in the S-Flows pattern. It was clear that the high-frequency areas of CIs were most likely to occur in stronger MUCAPE and weaker SHR3 environments, and CIs were more controlled by thermally unstable environments. We further illustrated that CIs tend to concentrate in unstable and moisture flux convergence areas affected by mountains.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiaofang Wang, wangxf@whihr.com.cn

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  • Zheng, Y., M. Xue, B. Li, J. Chen, and Z. Tao, 2016: Spatial characteristics of extreme rainfall over China with hourly through 24-hour accumulation periods based on national-level hourly rain gauge data. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 33, 12181232, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-016-6128-5.

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