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Ping Huang
,
Chia Chou
, and
Ronghui Huang

Abstract

The seasonal modulation of tropical intraseasonal oscillation (TISO) on tropical cyclone (TC) geneses over the western North Pacific Ocean (WNP) is investigated in three periods of the WNP TC season: May–June (MJ), July–September (JAS), and October–December (OND). The modulation of the TISO–TC geneses over the WNP is strong in MJ, while it appears weaker in JAS and OND. In MJ, TISO propagates northward via two routes, the west route through the South China Sea and the east route through the WNP monsoon trough region, which are two clustering locations of TC geneses. TISO can synchronously influence most TC geneses over these two regions. In JAS, however, the modulation is out of phase between the monsoon trough region and the East Asian summer monsoon region, as well as the WNP subtropical high region, as a result of further northward propagation of TISO and scattered TC geneses. The TISO–TC genesis modulation in each individual region is comparable to that in MJ, although the modulation over the entire WNP in JAS appears weaker. In OND, TISO has a stronger influence on TC geneses west than east of 150°E because TISO decays and its convection center located at the equator is out of the TC genesis region when propagating eastward into east of 150°E. Midlevel relative humidity is the primary contribution to the modulations of TISO on the genesis environment, while vorticity could contribute to the modulation over the subtropics in JAS.

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Shijie Zhou
,
Gang Huang
, and
Ping Huang

Abstract

In phases 5 and 6 of the state-of-the-art Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 and CMIP6, respectively) models, there is an apparent excessive rainfall bias with a negative SST bias in the tropical Pacific intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). The regime of the excessive ITCZ but negative SST bias is inconsistent with the common positive rainfall–SST correlation of climate anomalies over the tropics. Using a two-mode model, we decomposed the rainfall bias into two components and found that the surface convergence (SC) bias is the key factor forming the excessive ITCZ bias in the historical runs of 25 CMIP5 models and 23 CMIP6 models. A mixed layer model was further applied to connect the formation of the SC bias with the SST pattern bias. The results suggest that the meridional pattern of the SST bias plays a key role in forming the SC bias. In the CMIP5 and CMIP6 models, the overall negative SST bias has two apparent meridional troughs at around 10°S and 10°N, respectively. The two meridional troughs in the SST bias drive two convergence centers in the SC bias favoring the excessive ITCZ, even though the local SST bias is negative.

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Wenping Jiang
,
Ping Huang
,
Gang Huang
, and
Jun Ying

Abstract

An excessive westward extension of the simulated ENSO-related sea surface temperature (ENSO SST) variability in the CMIP5 and CMIP6 models is the most apparent ENSO SST pattern bias and dominates the intermodel spread in ENSO SST variability among the models. The ENSO SST bias lowers the models’ skill in ENSO-related simulations and induces large intermodel uncertainty in ENSO-related projections. The present study investigates the origins of the excessive westward extension of ENSO SST in 25 CMIP5 and 25 CMIP6 models. Based on the intermodel spread of ENSO SST variability simulated in the 50 models, we reveal that this ENSO SST bias among the models largely depends on the simulated cold tongue strength in the equatorial western Pacific (EWP). Models simulating a stronger cold tongue tend to simulate a larger mean zonal SST gradient in the EWP and then a larger zonal advection feedback in the EWP, favoring a more westward extension of the ENSO SST pattern. In addition, with the overall improvement in the EWP cold tongue from CMIP5 to CMIP6, the excessive westward extension bias of ENSO SST in CMIP6 models is also reduced relative to those in CMIP5 models. The results suggest that the bias and intermodel disagreement in the mean-state SST have been improved, which improves ENSO simulation.

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Wenping Jiang
,
Gang Huang
,
Ping Huang
, and
Kaiming Hu

Abstract

The northwest Pacific anticyclone (NWPAC) anomalies during post–El Niño summers are a key predictor of the summer climate in East Asia and the northwestern Pacific (NWP). Understanding how this will change under global warming is crucial to project the changes in the variability of the northwest Pacific summer monsoon. Outputs from 18 selected coupled models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project show that the anomalous NWPAC response to El Niño will likely be weakened under global warming, which is attributed to the decreased zonal contrast between the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming and the NWP cooling during post–El Niño summers. Under global warming, the NWPAC anomalies during the El Niño mature winter are weakened because of decreased atmospheric circulation in response to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which leads to the weakening of local air–sea interaction and then decreases the cold NWP SST anomalies. Furthermore, the decreased surface heat flux anomalies, the weakened anticyclone anomalies over the southeastern Indian Ocean, and the slackened anomalous easterlies over the north Indian Ocean weaken the warm TIO SST anomalies. However, the strengthened tropospheric temperature anomalies could enhance the anomalous TIO warming. Although the changes in TIO SST anomalies are indistinctive, the weakening of the SST anomaly gradient between the TIO and the NWP is robust to weaken the NWPAC anomalies during post–El Niño summers. Moreover, the positive feedback between the TIO–NWP SST anomalies and the NWPAC anomalies will enhance the weakening of NWPAC under global warming.

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Huei-Ping Huang
and
Klaus M. Weickmann

Abstract

This note evaluates the numerical schemes used for computing the axial component of the mountain torque from gridded global surface pressure and topography datasets. It is shown that the two formulas of the mountain torque based on (i) an integral of the product of the surface pressure and the gradient of topography, and (ii) an integral of the product of the topography and the surface pressure gradient, should produce identical results if a centered even-ordered finite-difference scheme or the spectral method is used to evaluate the integrand. Noncentered finite-difference schemes are not recommended not only because they produce extremely large errors but also because they produce different results for the two formulas. When compared with the benchmark calculation using the spectral method, it is found that the centered fourth-order finite-difference scheme is an efficient and generally accurate approximation for practical applications. Using the data from NCEP–NCAR reanalysis, the finite-difference schemes generally underestimate the global mountain torque compared to the benchmark. This negative error is interpreted as due to the asymmetry in the distribution of surface pressure and in the steepness of the topography between the western and eastern slopes of the mountains.

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Chien-Ben Chou
and
Huei-Ping Huang

Abstract

The use of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data in a one-dimensional variational scheme is examined to retrieve cloud parameters and atmospheric profiles. The variational scheme used TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder radiance data for retrieval. The AVHRR data were used in the partly cloudy and cloudy cases to provide initial guesses for cloud parameters in the iterative scheme, to detect the presence of cirrus clouds, and to determine the sea surface temperature used in retrieval. Sensitivity tests showed that the error in the initial guesses of cloud parameters has substantial impact on the accuracy of the retrieved fields; this sensitivity increases with increased cloudiness. Cloud parameters deduced from AVHRR data are nearly optimal, in terms of maximizing the efficiency of convergence, as the initial guesses for the retrieval scheme. In the absence of cirrus cloud, a retrieval procedure incorporating AVHRR initial guesses produced temperature and humidity profiles for partly cloudy cases that are about as accurate as those for clear cases. In both cases the maximum improvement made in the retrieval procedure over background error was about 0.2 K in the temperature profile, and 0.05 (in logarithm of mixing ratio) in the humidity profile. For partly cloudy cases, best retrieval results were obtained for a low cloud top, or a middle cloud top but with small cloud fraction. Cirrus cloud remains a problem, as its presence generally degrades the quality of retrieval.

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Huei-Ping Huang
and
Walter A. Robinson

Abstract

The dynamics of two-dimensional turbulence on a rotating sphere are examined. The anisotropic Rhines scale is derived and verified in decaying turbulence simulations. Due to the anisotropic nature of the Rossby waves, the Rhines barrier is displaced toward small total wavenumber n with decreasing zonal wavenumber m. Up-scale energy transfer along the zonal axis (m = 0) is not directly arrested by beta. A forced dissipative model with high-wavenumber forcing is used to investigate the dynamics of persistent zonal jets. Persistent jets form in the low energy (strong rotation) cases with the root-mean-square velocity V*rms aΩ. Under a fixed rotation rate, the jet scale decreases with the energy. The equilibrated jets generally stay at fixed latitudes. The zonal bands are nearly uniformly distributed in latitude, except that bands in the high latitudes tend to be wider and weaker, as clearly affected by a decreasing beta with latitude. The time-mean zonal winds in the forced simulations appear to be stable, with their absolute vorticity gradient dominated by beta. The increase of the jet scale with energy as required by stability is consistent with the simulated results.

Diagnostic analysis shows that the persistent jets are primarily maintained by the shear-straining mechanism involving small-scale eddies and large-scale zonal jets, with a clear scale separation between them. Although large-scale eddies, those at scales near the Rhines scale, possess most of the eddy energy, in the time mean they contribute little to the maintenance of the zonal jets. Thus, despite the similarity between the Rhines scale and the jet scale, their dynamical link is not obvious in the time-mean statistics. The presence of persistent zonal jets modifies the normal modes of the system. Pure Rossby–Haurwitz modes at small and medium scales are severely modified and fall into the continuum. Large-scale modes, however, may remain discrete. The discreteness of the large-scale modes limits their ability to exchange energy with the zonal jets in the time mean.

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Girish Nigamanth Raghunathan
and
Huei-Ping Huang

Abstract

This study performs an updated analysis of Northern Hemisphere retrograde disturbances that were first identified by classical observational studies as one of the dominating coherent structures in the higher latitudes on the submonthly time scale. Analyzing 8–30-day bandpass-filtered data based on reanalysis, a set of criteria on the phase and amplitude of zonal wave-1 Fourier coefficients of geopotential height anomalies at 250 mb (1 mb = 1 hPa) and 60°N are used to identify strong retrograde-wave events in the spirit of Madden and Speth. The new catalog of retrograde-wave events from 1979 to 2017 is used to extract basic statistics and structures of retrograde waves across all major events. The results broadly agree with those reported in the classical observational studies, reaffirming the robustness of the phenomenon. The new catalog can be used to aid further studies on the mechanisms and predictability of retrograde waves. As an example, an analysis of isentropic potential vorticity over the Pacific sector for selected retrograde-wave events reveals the common occurrence of an extrusion of low-PV air into the higher latitudes, followed by a westward shift of the low-PV patch and vortex shedding. Future directions of research surrounding the retrograde-wave phenomenon are discussed.

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Huei-Ping Huang
and
Prashant D. Sardeshmukh

Abstract

The annual variation of global atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) is dominated by its first and second harmonic components. The first harmonic is associated with maximum global AAM in winter (December– January–February) and minimum in summer, but the second harmonic is important enough to produce a distinct secondary midwinter minimum. Locally, the second harmonic has largest amplitude in the Tropics and subtropics of the upper troposphere. At present, little is known concerning the fundamental cause of this semiannual variation. The problem is investigated here by focusing on the upper-tropospheric winds, whose angular momentum is an excellent proxy of global AAM. The annual variation of the rotational part of these winds (the part that contributes to the global AAM) is diagnosed in a nonlinear upper-tropospheric vorticity-equation model with specified horizontal wind divergence and transient-eddy forcing. The divergence forcing is the more important of the two, especially in the Tropics and subtropics, where it is associated with tropical heating and cooling. Given the harmonics of the forcing, the model predicts the harmonics of the response, that is, the vorticity, from which the harmonics of angular momentum can then be calculated. The surprising but clear conclusion from this diagnosis is that the second harmonic of AAM arises more as a nonlinear response to the first harmonic of the divergence forcing than as a linear response to the second harmonic of the divergence forcing. This result has implications for general circulation model simulations of semiannual variations, not only of global AAM but also of other quantities.

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Houk Paek
and
Huei-Ping Huang

Abstract

An intercomparison of the global relative angular momentum MR in five reanalysis datasets, including the Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR), is performed for the second half of the twentieth century. The intercomparison forms a stringent test for 20CR because the variability of MR is known to be strongly influenced by the variability of upper-tropospheric zonal wind whereas 20CR assimilated only surface observations. The analysis reveals good agreement for decadal-to-multidecadal variability among all of the datasets, including 20CR, for the second half of the twentieth century. The discrepancies among different datasets are mainly in the slowest component, the long-term trend, of MR . Once the data are detrended, the resulting decadal-to-multidecadal variability shows even better agreement among all of the datasets. This result indicates that 20CR can be reliably used for the analysis of decadal-to-interdecadal variability in the pre-1950 era, provided that the data are properly detrended. As a quick application, it is found that the increase in MR during the 1976/77 climate-shift event remains the sharpest over the entire period from 1871 to 2008 covered by 20CR. The nontrivial difference in the long-term trend between 20CR and the other reanalysis datasets found in this study provides a caution against using 20CR to determine the trend on the centennial time scale that is relevant to climate change. These conclusions are restricted to the quantities that depend strongly on the upper-tropospheric zonal wind, but the approach adopted in this work will be useful for future intercomparisons of the low-frequency behavior of other climate indices in the reanalysis datasets.

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