Observations of Upper-Tropospheric Influence on a Monsoon Trough over the Western North Pacific

Biao Geng Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan

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Kunio Yoneyama Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan

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Ryuichi Shirooka Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan

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Abstract

This study examined the synoptic evolution and internal structure of a monsoon trough in association with the deep equatorward intrusion of a midlatitude upper trough in the western North Pacific Ocean in June 2008. The study was based on data from routine synoptic observations and intensive observations conducted on board the research vessel Mirai at 12°N, 135°E. The monsoon trough was first observed to extend southeastward from the center of a tropical depression. It then moved northward, with its eastern edge moving faster and approaching a surface low pressure cell induced by the upper trough. The distinct northward migration caused the monsoon trough to become oriented from the southwest to the northeast. The monsoon trough merged with the surface low pressure cell and extended broadly northeastward. The passage of the monsoon trough over the Mirai was accompanied by lower pressure, higher air and sea surface temperature, and minimal rainfall. The monsoon trough extended upward to nearly 500 hPa and sloped southward with height. It was overlain by northwesterly winds, negative geopotential height and temperature anomalies, and extremely dry air in the upper troposphere. Precipitation systems were weak and scattered near the monsoon trough but were intense and extensive south of the surface monsoon trough, where intense low-level convergence and upper-level divergence caused deep and vigorous upward motion. It appears that the upper trough exerted important impacts on the development of both the monsoon trough and associated precipitation, which are discussed according to the observational results.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Biao Geng, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka, 237-0061, Japan. E-mail: bgeng@jamstec.go.jp

Abstract

This study examined the synoptic evolution and internal structure of a monsoon trough in association with the deep equatorward intrusion of a midlatitude upper trough in the western North Pacific Ocean in June 2008. The study was based on data from routine synoptic observations and intensive observations conducted on board the research vessel Mirai at 12°N, 135°E. The monsoon trough was first observed to extend southeastward from the center of a tropical depression. It then moved northward, with its eastern edge moving faster and approaching a surface low pressure cell induced by the upper trough. The distinct northward migration caused the monsoon trough to become oriented from the southwest to the northeast. The monsoon trough merged with the surface low pressure cell and extended broadly northeastward. The passage of the monsoon trough over the Mirai was accompanied by lower pressure, higher air and sea surface temperature, and minimal rainfall. The monsoon trough extended upward to nearly 500 hPa and sloped southward with height. It was overlain by northwesterly winds, negative geopotential height and temperature anomalies, and extremely dry air in the upper troposphere. Precipitation systems were weak and scattered near the monsoon trough but were intense and extensive south of the surface monsoon trough, where intense low-level convergence and upper-level divergence caused deep and vigorous upward motion. It appears that the upper trough exerted important impacts on the development of both the monsoon trough and associated precipitation, which are discussed according to the observational results.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Biao Geng, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka, 237-0061, Japan. E-mail: bgeng@jamstec.go.jp
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