Search Results

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 26 items for

  • Author or Editor: Chih-Pei Chang x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Tai-Jen George Chen
and
Chih-Pei Chang

Abstract

One of the most persistent rain-making events over East Asia is the development of an early summer monsoon trough (Mei-Yu) which extends from southeastern China to southern Japan. This work studies the structure and vorticity budget of a Mei-Yu system for the period 10–15 June 1975.

Subjectively analyzed grid-point data are time composited with respect to the trough axis along three cross sections over southeastern China (western section), southern East China Sea (central section) and southern Japan (eastern section), respectively, during the mature and decaying stages of the trough. The results indicate that the structure of the eastern and central sections resembles a typical midlatitude baroclinic front with strong vertical tilt toward an upper level cold core and a strong horizontal temperature gradient. On the other band, the western section resembles a semitropical disturbance with an equivalent barotropic, warm core structure, a weak horizontal temperature gradient, and a rather strong horizontal wind shear in the lower troposphere.

Cumulus convection activity south of the 850 mb trough is significant in all three sections and contributes substantially to the thermally direct secondary circulation, but the large-scale organizing mechanism differs from one section to another. In the eastern and central sections it is mainly due to differential vorticity advection while in the western section it is due to Ekman pumping (CISK). The generation of cyclonic vorticity is counteracted by cumulus damping in the eastern section and by boundary layer friction in the mountainous western section.

Full access
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Mong-Ming Lu
, and
Hock Lim

Abstract

The Asian monsoon is a planetary-scale circulation system powered by the release of latent heat, but important features of deep convection and rainfall distribution cannot be adequately represented by the large-scale patterns. This is mainly due to the strong influences of terrain that are important across a wide range of horizontal scales, especially over the Maritime Continent where the complex terrain has a dominant effect on the behavior of convective rainfall during the boreal winter monsoon. This chapter is a review and summary of published results on the effects on monsoon convection due to interactions between the Maritime Continent terrain and large-scale transient systems.

The Maritime Continent topographic features strongly affect both the demarcation of the boreal summer and winter monsoon regimes and the asymmetric seasonal marches during the transition seasons. In the western part of the region, the complex interactions that lead to variability in deep convection are primarily controlled by the cold surges and the synoptic-scale Borneo vortex. The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) reduces the frequency of weaker surges through an interference with their structure. It also influences convection, particularly on the diurnal cycle and when synoptic activities are weak. When both surges and the Borneo vortex are present, interactions between these circulations with the terrain can cause the strongest convection, which has included Typhoon Vamei (2001), which is the only observed tropical cyclone that developed within 1.5° of the equator.

The cold surges are driven by midlatitude pressure rises associated with the movement of the Siberian high. Rapid strengthening of surge northeasterly winds can be explained as the tropical response via a geostrophic adjustment process to the pressure forcing in the form of an equatorial Rossby wave group. Dispersion of meridional modes leads to a northeast–southwest orientation that allows the surge to stream downstream through the similarly oriented South China Sea. This evolution leads to a cross-equatorial return flow and a cyclonic circulation at the equator, and thus a mechanism for equatorial cyclogenesis. Although the narrow width of the southern South China Sea facilitates strengthening of the cold surge, it also severely restricts the likelihood of cyclone development so that Vamei remains to be the only typhoon observed in the equatorial South China Sea.

Climate variations from El Niño–Southern Oscillation to climate change may impact the interactions between the large-scale motion and Maritime Continent terrain because they lead to changes in the mean flow. The thermodynamic effects on the interaction between MJO and the monsoon surges and Borneo vortex over the complex terrain also need to be addressed. These and other questions such as any possible changes in the likelihood of equatorial tropical cyclogenesis as a result of climate change are all important areas for future research.

Full access
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Yi-Ting Yang
, and
Hung-Chi Kuo

Abstract

Taiwan, which is in the middle of one of the most active of the western North Pacific Ocean’s tropical cyclone (TC) zones, experienced a dramatic increase in typhoon-related rainfall in the beginning of the twenty-first century. This record-breaking increase has led to suggestions that it is the manifestation of the effects of global warming. With rainfall significantly influenced by its steep terrain, Taiwan offers a natural laboratory to study the role that terrain effects may play in the climate change of TC rainfall. Here, it is shown that most of the recently observed large increases in typhoon-related rainfall are the result of slow-moving TCs and the location of their tracks relative to the meso-α-scale terrain. In addition, stronger interaction between the typhoon circulation and southwest monsoon wind surges after the typhoon center moves into the Taiwan Strait may cause a long-term trend of increasing typhoon rainfall intensity, which is not observed before the typhoon center exits Taiwan. The variation in the location of the track cannot be related to the effects of global warming on western North Pacific TC tracks reported in the literature. The weaker steering flow and the stronger monsoon–TC interaction are consistent with the recently discovered multidecadal trend of intensifying subtropical monsoon and tropical circulations, which is contrary to some theoretical and model projections of global warming. There is also no evidence of a positive feedback between global warming–related water vapor supply and TC intensity, as the number of strong landfalling TCs has decreased significantly since 1960 and the recent heavy rainfall typhoons are all of weak-to-medium intensity.

Full access
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Chih-Pei Chang
, and
Ching-Hwang Liu

Abstract

This study examines the convection and rapid filamentation in Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) using the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) P-3 aircraft data collected during the Tropical Cyclone Structure 2008 (TCS-08) and The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) field experiments. The high-resolution aircraft radar and wind data are used to directly compute the filamentation time, to allow an investigation into the effect of filamentation on convection. During the reintensification stage, some regions of deep convection near the eyewall are found in the vorticity-dominated area where there is little filamentation. In some other parts of the eyewall and the outer spiral rainband region, including areas of upward motion, the filamentation process appears to suppress deep convection. However, the magnitude of the suppression differs greatly in the two regions. In the outer spiral band region, which is about 200 km from the center, the suppression is much more effective, such that the ratio of the deep convective regime occurrence over the stratiform regime varies from around 50% (200%) for filamentation time shorter (longer) than 24 min. In the eyewall cloud region where the conditions are conducive to deep convection, the filamentation effect may be quite limited. While effect of filamentation suppression is only about 10%, it is still systematic and conspicuous for filamentation times shorter than 19 min. The results suggest the possible importance of vortex-scale filamentation dynamics in suppressing deep convection and organizing spiral bands, which may affect the development and evolution of tropical cyclones.

Full access
Yun-Lan Chen
,
Chung-Hsiung Sui
,
Chih-Pei Chang
, and
Kai-Chih Tseng

Abstract

This paper studies the influences of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on East Asian (EA) winter rainfall using the singular value decomposition (SVD) approach. This method uses two-dimensional instead of latitudinally averaged variables in the commonly used real-time multivariate MJO (RMM) index. A comparison of the two approaches is made using the same OLR and zonal wind data over 37 boreal winter seasons of December–March. The SVD composite reveals a more conspicuous and coherent variation throughout the MJO cycle, while the RMM composite is more ambiguous. In particular, the SVD analysis identifies the convection anomalies over the Maritime Continent and the subtropical western Pacific (MCWP) as a major cause of enhanced rainfall in EA at RMM phases 8 and 1. This is at least one-eighth of a cycle earlier than the phases of convection development over the Indian Ocean (IO) that were emphasized by previous studies. A linearized global baroclinic model is used to demonstrate the mechanism of MJO forcing on EA rainfall during various phases, with a focus on the MCWP cooling. The result shows that the anomalous MCWP cooling and the resultant low-level anticyclonic flow interact with the East Asian jet, leading to an overall weakened EA winter monsoon circulation. The associated anomalous overturning circulation, with ascending motion and low-level horizontal moisture convergence in EA, contributes to the enhanced rainfall. This model result supports the interpretation of the SVD analysis, in that the MCWP cooling induced anomalous meridional circulation is a more direct cause of enhanced EA rainfall than the IO heating (or the IO–MCWP heating dipole) induced Rossby wave teleconnection.

Full access
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Yi-Ting Yang
, and
Hau-Jang Jiang

Abstract

This study examines the intensity change and moat dynamics of typhoons with concentric eyewalls using passive microwave data and best-track data in the western North Pacific between 1997 and 2006. Of the 225 typhoons examined, 55 typhoons and 62 cases with concentric eyewalls have been identified. The data indicate that approximately 57% of category 4 and 72% of category 5 typhoons possessed concentric eyewalls at some point during their lifetime. While major typhoons are most likely to form concentric eyewalls, the formation of the concentric structure may not be necessarily at the lifetime maximum intensity. Approximately one-third of concentric eyewall cases are formed at the time of maximum intensity.

The moat is known to be heavily influenced by the subsidence forced by the two eyewalls. Rozoff et al. proposed that the rapid filamentation dynamics may also contribute to the organization of the moat. This paper examines the possibility of rapid filamentation dynamics by devising a filamentation moat width parameter. This parameter can be computed from the best-track typhoon intensity and the passive microwave satellite-estimated inner eyewall radius for each typhoon with concentric eyewalls. The filamentation moat width explains 40% of the variance of the satellite-observed moat width in the group with concentric eyewall formation intensity greater than 130 kt.

The typhoon intensity time series in both the concentric and nonconcentric composites are studied. The time series of intensity is classified according to the 24-h intensity change before and after the concentric eyewalls formation. The averaged concentric eyewall formation latitudes in the groups with negative intensity change before concentric eyewall formation are at higher latitudes than that of the positive intensity change groups. Intensity of the concentric typhoons tends to peak at the time of secondary eyewall formation, but the standard model of intensification followed by weakening is valid for only half of the cases. Approximately 74% of the cases intensify 24 h before secondary eyewall formation and approximately 72% of the cases weaken 24 h after formation. The concentric composites have a much slower intensification rate 12 h before the peak intensity (time of concentric formation) than that of the nonconcentric composites. For categories 4 and 5, the peak intensity of the concentric typhoons is comparable to that of the nonconcentric typhoons. However, 60 h before reaching the peak the concentric composites are 25% more intense than the nonconcentric composites. So a key feature of concentric eyewall formation appears to be the maintenance of a relatively high intensity for a longer duration, rather than a rapid intensification process that can reach a higher intensity.

Full access
Bin Wang
,
Zhiwei Wu
,
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Jian Liu
,
Jianping Li
, and
Tianjun Zhou

Abstract

This study investigates the causes of interannual-to-interdecadal variability of the East Asian (EA; 0°–60°N, 100°–140°E) winter monsoon (EAWM) over the past 50 yr (1957–2006). The winter mean surface air temperature variations are dominated by two distinct principal modes that together account for 74% of the total temperature variance. The two modes have notably different circulation structures and sources of variability. The northern mode, characterized by a westward shift of the EA major trough and enhanced surface pressure over central Siberia, represents a cold winter in the northern EA resulting from cold-air intrusion from central Siberia. The southern mode, on the other hand, features a deepening EA trough and increased surface pressure over Mongolia, representing a cold winter south of 40°N resulting from cold-air intrusion from western Mongolia. The cold northern mode is preceded by excessive autumn snow covers over southern Siberia–Mongolia, whereas the cold southern mode is preceded by development of La Niña episodes and reduced snow covers over northeast Siberia. These remarkably different spatiotemporal structures and origins are primarily associated with interannual variations. On the decadal or longer time scale their structures are somewhat similar and are preceded by similar autumn sea surface temperature anomalies over the North Atlantic and tropical Indian Ocean. The two modes found for the EA region also represent the winter temperature variability over the entire Asian continent. Thus, study of the predictability of the two modes may shed light on understanding the predictable dynamics of the Asian winter monsoon.

Full access
Pei-ken Kao
,
Chi-Cherng Hong
,
An-Yi Huang
, and
Chih-Chun Chang

Abstract

The cross-basin interaction of the second EOFs of the interannual SST in the North Atlantic and North Pacific—the North Atlantic tripole (NAT) SST and Pacific meridional mode (PMM)—is discussed. Observations revealed that the total variances of the NAT and PMM have simultaneously experienced interdecadal enhancement since the 1990s. Wavelet analysis indicated that this enhancement was associated with the interdecadal variations (8–16 years) of the NAT and PMM, which have become significantly and positively coherent since the 1990s. This interdecadal variation also changed the interannual NAT–PMM relationship from negative to positive. The regression analysis indicated that the NAT forced a Matsuno–Gill circulation anomaly, which had a substantial lag impact on the PMM SST through wind–evaporation–SST feedback. Additionally, the NAT induced oceanic temperature advection, which also partially contributed to the PMM SST. On the other hand, the PMM-associated middle–upper atmospheric teleconnection, a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like circulation anomaly in the North Atlantic, gave positive feedback to the NAT. The numerical experiments suggest that the enhancement of the NAT–PMM interaction since the 1990s was associated with the eastward shift of PMM-associated convection, which was further enhanced by eastward extension of the upper-level extratropical jet in the North Pacific.

Significance Statement

This study aimed at a better understanding of the cross-basin interaction between the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Our study indicates that the cross-basin interaction in the interannual sea surface temperature between the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) and North Atlantic tripole (NAT) became stronger since the 1990s. The observation yields that this enhancement was associated with the interdecadal variations of the NAT and PMM, which have become significantly and positively coherent since the 1990s. The observation yields that the NAT-forced atmospheric large-scale circulation anomaly had a substantial lag impact on the PMM. On the other hand, the PMM-induced middle–upper atmospheric teleconnection, a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like circulation anomaly, gave positive feedback to the NAT. The numerical experiments suggest that the enhancement of the NAT–PMM interaction since the 1990s primarily resulted from the eastward shift of PMM-associated convection.

Free access
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Ngar-Cheung Lau
,
Richard H. Johnson
, and
Meiyan Jiao

Abstract

No abstract available.

Full access
Bin Wang
,
Zhiwei Wu
,
Jianping Li
,
Jian Liu
,
Chih-Pei Chang
,
Yihui Ding
, and
Guoxiong Wu

Abstract

Defining the intensity of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) has been extremely controversial. This paper elaborates on the meanings of 25 existing EASM indices in terms of two observed major modes of interannual variation in the precipitation and circulation anomalies for the 1979–2006 period. The existing indices can be classified into five categories: the east–west thermal contrast, north–south thermal contrast, shear vorticity of zonal winds, southwesterly monsoon, and South China Sea monsoon. The last four types of indices reflect various aspects of the leading mode of interannual variability of the EASM rainfall and circulations, which correspond to the decaying El Niño, while the first category reflects the second mode that corresponds to the developing El Niño.

The authors recommend that the EASM strength can be represented by the principal component of the leading mode of the interannual variability, which provides a unified index for the majority of the existing indices. This new index is extremely robust, captures a large portion (50%) of the total variance of the precipitation and three-dimensional circulation, and has unique advantages over all the existing indices. The authors also recommend a simple index, the reversed Wang and Fan index, which is nearly identical to the leading principal component of the EASM and greatly facilitates real-time monitoring.

The proposed index highlights the significance of the mei-yu/baiu/changma rainfall in gauging the strength of the EASM. The mei-yu, which is produced in the primary rain-bearing system, the East Asian (EA) subtropical front, better represents the variability of the EASM circulation system. This new index reverses the traditional Chinese meaning of a strong EASM, which corresponds to a deficient mei-yu that is associated with an abnormal northward extension of southerly over northern China. The new definition is consistent with the meaning used in other monsoon regions worldwide, where abundant rainfall within the major local rain-bearing monsoon system is considered to be a strong monsoon.

Full access