Three-Dimensional Circulation Structure of Summer Heavy Rainfall in Central North China

Wei Sun LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Rucong Yu LaSW, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Jian Li Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Weihua Yuan LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Abstract

Based on daily rainfall observations and Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project data during ~1981–2010, a three-dimensional circulation structure that formed before heavy summer rainfall in central north China (CNC) is revealed in this study. Composite analyses of circulation in advance of 225 heavy rain days show that the circulation structure is characterized by a remarkable upper-tropospheric warm anomaly (UTWA), which covers most of northern China with a center at ~300 hPa. Under hydrostatic and geostrophic equilibriums, the UTWA contributes to the generation of an anticyclonic (cyclonic) anomaly above (below). The anticyclonic anomaly strengthens (weakens) westerly winds to the north (south) of the warm center and pushes the high-level westerly jet to the north. The cyclonic anomaly deepens the trough upstream of CNC and intensifies lower southwesterly winds to the mideast of the warm center. As a result, the northerly stretched high-level jet produces upper divergence in its right-front side and the intensified southwesterly winds induce lower moisture convergence in its left-front side, causing heavy rainfall in CNC. Correlation analyses further confirm the close connections between UTWA and circulation in the upper and lower troposphere. The correlation coefficients between UTWA and the upper geopotential height, upper westerly jet, and lower southerly flow reach 0.95, 0.70, and 0.39, implying that the two critical factors leading to intense rainfall in CNC, the high-level jet and the low-level southerly flow, are closely connected with the UTWA. Consequently, in the future analyses and forecasts of heavy rainfall over northern China, more attention should be paid to the temperature in the upper troposphere.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Rucong Yu, China Meteorological Administration, No. 46, Zhongguancun South Street, Beijing 100081, China. E-mail: yrc@lasg.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Based on daily rainfall observations and Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project data during ~1981–2010, a three-dimensional circulation structure that formed before heavy summer rainfall in central north China (CNC) is revealed in this study. Composite analyses of circulation in advance of 225 heavy rain days show that the circulation structure is characterized by a remarkable upper-tropospheric warm anomaly (UTWA), which covers most of northern China with a center at ~300 hPa. Under hydrostatic and geostrophic equilibriums, the UTWA contributes to the generation of an anticyclonic (cyclonic) anomaly above (below). The anticyclonic anomaly strengthens (weakens) westerly winds to the north (south) of the warm center and pushes the high-level westerly jet to the north. The cyclonic anomaly deepens the trough upstream of CNC and intensifies lower southwesterly winds to the mideast of the warm center. As a result, the northerly stretched high-level jet produces upper divergence in its right-front side and the intensified southwesterly winds induce lower moisture convergence in its left-front side, causing heavy rainfall in CNC. Correlation analyses further confirm the close connections between UTWA and circulation in the upper and lower troposphere. The correlation coefficients between UTWA and the upper geopotential height, upper westerly jet, and lower southerly flow reach 0.95, 0.70, and 0.39, implying that the two critical factors leading to intense rainfall in CNC, the high-level jet and the low-level southerly flow, are closely connected with the UTWA. Consequently, in the future analyses and forecasts of heavy rainfall over northern China, more attention should be paid to the temperature in the upper troposphere.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Rucong Yu, China Meteorological Administration, No. 46, Zhongguancun South Street, Beijing 100081, China. E-mail: yrc@lasg.iap.ac.cn
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