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Hironari Kanamori, Tomo’omi Kumagai, Hatsuki Fujinami, Tetsuya Hiyama, and Tetsuzo Yasunari

Abstract

This study investigated atmospheric water cycles over several time scales to understand the maintenance processes that control heavy precipitation over the islands of the Maritime Continent. Large island regions can be divided into land, coastal, and ocean areas based on the characteristics of both the hydrologic cycle and the diurnal variation in precipitation. Within the Maritime Continent, the major islands of Borneo and New Guinea exhibit different hydrologic cycles. Large-scale circulation variations, such as the seasonal cycle and the Madden–Julian oscillation, have a lesser effect on the hydrologic cycle over Borneo than over New Guinea because the effects depend on their shapes and locations. The impact of diurnal variations on both regional-scale circulation and water exchange between land and coastal regions is pronounced over both islands. The recycling ratio of precipitation, which can be related to stronger diurnal variation in the atmospheric water cycle that results from enhanced evapotranspiration over tropical rain forests, is higher over Borneo than over New Guinea.

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Xingwen Jiang, Jianchuan Shu, Xin Wang, Xiaomei Huang, and Qing Wu

Abstract

Floods and droughts hit southwest China (SWC) frequently, especially over the last decade. In this study, the dominant modes of summer rainfall anomalies over SWC on the interannual time scale and the possible causes are investigated. Interannual variability of the summer rainfall over SWC has two dominant modes. The first mode features rainfall increases over most of SWC except central Sichuan, and the second mode exhibits wet conditions in the north but dry conditions in the south. The suppressed convection over the Philippine Sea affects the first mode by inducing anomalous anticyclones over the western North Pacific and to the south of the Tibetan Plateau, which transport more water vapor to eastern Tibet and eastern SWC and hence favor above-normal rainfall there. The enhanced convection over the western Maritime Continent could generate similar atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with the suppressed convection over the Philippine Sea but with a northward shift, resulting in significant increases in rainfall over northeastern SWC but weak decreases in rainfall over southeastern SWC. As a result, the rainfall anomalies over SWC tend to be different between El Niño–Southern Oscillation decaying and developing phases because their different impacts on the convection over the Philippine Sea and the western Maritime Continent. Meanwhile, the sea surface temperature in the tropical southeastern Indian Ocean also plays an important role in variability of the rainfall over SWC because of its significant impact on the convection over the western Maritime Continent.

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