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Peiqiang Xu, Lin Wang, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The British–Baikal Corridor (BBC) pattern, a new teleconnection along the summertime upper-tropospheric polar front jet (PFJ), is investigated based on observational and reanalysis datasets. The BBC pattern consists of four geographically fixed centers over the west of the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, western Siberia, and Lake Baikal, respectively. It features a zonally oriented and meridionally confined wavelike structure with a zonal wavenumber 5, and it influences the climate along its route significantly. The BBC pattern forms from the trapped effect of the PFJ waveguide that is characterized by a strong meridional gradient of stratification. As a preferred dynamical mode inherent in the PFJ, it is maintained through the baroclinic energy conversion from the basic flow and the feedback forcing of high-frequency transient eddies. Meanwhile, its geographical location is determined by the barotropic energy conversion, which is sensitive to the configuration of the basic flow. The interannual variability of the BBC pattern is dominated by atmospheric internal dynamics considering its loose relation with immediate atmospheric external forcing. Further analyses suggest that the BBC pattern is excited by the active multiscale interactions among the climatological mean flow, the low-frequency flow, and the synoptic-scale transient eddies in the exit region of the North Atlantic jet, which may also determine the preferential upstream forcing region and anchor the BBC pattern geographically. Budget analyses on vorticity, temperature, and water vapor are performed to interpret the physical nature of the BBC pattern. The possible linkage to the North Atlantic Oscillation is also discussed.

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Wen-Dar Chen and Ronald B. Smith

Abstract

A method of computing low-level trajectories from observed sea level pressure is shown to be capable of distinguishing cases of blocked and non-blocked flow around the Alps. A flow-splitting parameter (S), derived from the trajectories, is found to be a reasonable criterion for distinguishing blocked from nonblocked cases, with a value of S = 1.5 serving as a useful threshold for classification. In considering eight cases of postfrontal cold flow against the Alps, only a few can be clearly identified as blocking or noblocking, and even these identifications may not pertain to all levels and all segments of the Alpine chain.

The trajectory-based classification scheme compares well with sounding and flight level data from the NOAA P-3 research aircraft. The degree of blocking is shown to be related to the upstream Froude number and the strength of the upstream pressure nose.

A remarkable result is that the observed surface wind patterns appear blocked in all cases considered here. We refer to this as “boundary layer blocking”

Unsteady effects tend to stretch out streaklines east to west along the northern foothhills of the Alps.

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Shu-Hua Chen and Wen-Yih Sun

Abstract

An explicit one-dimensional time-dependent tilting cloud model has been developed for use in cumulus parameterizations. The tilting axis is not necessarily orthogonal to the (r, θ) plane, making the horizontal axisymmetric assumption more reasonable. This explicit time-dependent tilting model (ETTM) consists of an updraft and a downdraft, which are governed by the same dynamic and thermodynamic equations. The updraft is initiated by a moist thermal bubble, while the downdraft is consequently induced by evaporative cooling and the drag force of precipitation separating from the tilting updraft instead of being arbitrarily initialized.

The updraft is capable of reproducing the major features of a deep cloud such as overshooting cooling above the cloud top, evaporative cooling near the surface, and drying in the lower atmosphere at dissipating stages. The entrainment–detrainment rate in this model is well defined, and its time variation is quite significant. Moreover, the vertical profile of the air inside the updraft does not follow the moist adiabat after deep convection. For the downdraft, the total precipitation and mass flux at low levels contributed from the downdraft cannot be neglected in this case study. In addition, the downdraft can bring dry air from middle levels to lower levels.

Three sensitivity tests—the environmental sounding, the tilting angle, and the radius of the updraft–downdraft— have also been conducted. The cooling–warming of a downdraft near the surface is sensitive to the environmental sounding, consistent with results from Srivastava. The cloud life span, maximum vertical velocity, precipitation amount, and vertical mass flux are strongly influenced by the tilting angle and the radius of the cloud.

The results from the ETTM simulation are quite reasonable and promising. However, some deficiencies of this model still exist, and more research will be conducted to improve its performance. The final goal is to implement this 1D model in a mesoscale model's cumulus parameterization scheme.

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Ruidan Chen, Zhiping Wen, and Riyu Lu

Abstract

Southern China, located in the tropical–subtropical East Asian monsoonal region, presents a unique anticyclonic–cyclonic circulation pattern during extreme heat (EH), obviously different from the typical anticyclone responsible for EH in many other regions. Associated with the evolution of EH in southern China, the anticyclonic–cyclonic anomalies propagate northwestward over the Philippines and southern China. Before the EH onsets, the anticyclonic anomaly dominates southern China, resulting in stronger subsidence over southern China and stronger southerly (southwesterly) flow over the western (northern) margins of southern China. The southerly (southwesterly) flow transports more water vapor to the north of southern China, thus, together with the local stronger subsidence, resulting in drier air condition and accordingly favoring the occurrence of EH. Conversely, after the EH onsets, the cyclonic component approaches southern China and offsets the high temperature.

The oscillations of temperature and circulation anomalies over southern China exhibit a periodicity of about 10 days and indicate the influence of a quasi-biweekly oscillation, which originates from the tropical western Pacific and propagates northwestward. Therefore, the 5–25-day-filtered data are extracted to further analyze the quasi-biweekly oscillation. It turns out that the evolution of the filtered circulation remarkably resembles the original anomalies with comparable amplitudes, indicating that the quasi-biweekly oscillation is critical for the occurrence of EH in southern China. The quasi-biweekly oscillation could explain more than 50% of the intraseasonal variance of daily maximum temperature T max and vorticity over southern China and 80% of the warming amplitude of EH onsets. The close relationship between the circulation of the quasi-biweekly oscillation and the EH occurrence indicates the possibility of medium-range forecasting for high temperature in southern China.

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Shuoyi Ding, Bingyi Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The present study investigated dominant characteristics of autumn Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) interannual variations and impacts of September–October (SO) mean SIC anomalies in the East Siberian–Chukchi–Beaufort (EsCB) Seas on winter Eurasian climate variability. Results showed that the decreased SO EsCB sea ice is favorable for tropospheric warming and positive geopotential height anomaly over the Arctic region one month later through transporting much more heat flux to the atmosphere from the open water. When entering the early winter (November–January), enhanced upward propagation of quasi-stationary planetary waves in the mid-high latitudes generates anomalous Eliassen–Palm flux convergence in the upper troposphere, which decelerates the westerly winds and maintains the positive geopotential height anomaly in the Arctic region. This anticyclonic anomaly extends southward into central-western Eurasia and leads to evident surface cooling there. Two months later, it further develops downstream accompanied by a deepened trough, making northeastern China experience a colder late winter (January–March). Meanwhile, an anticyclonic anomaly over the eastern North Pacific excites a horizontal eastward wave train and contributes to a positive (negative) geopotential height anomaly around Greenland (Europe), favoring a negative surface temperature anomaly over western Europe. In addition, the stratospheric polar vortex is also significantly weakened in the wintertime, which is attributed to a decreased meridional temperature gradient, and decelerated westerly winds provide a favorable condition for more quasi-stationary planetary waves propagating into the stratosphere. Some major features of atmospheric responses to EsCB sea ice loss are well reproduced in the CAM4 sensitivity experiments.

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Xiuzhen Li, Wen Zhou, and Yongqin David Chen

Abstract

A combination of Ward’s and k-means clustering was applied to a 3-month standardized precipitation index (SPI-03), and eight divisions of homogeneous drought variation throughout China were identified from the perspective of meteorological and agricultural droughts. A greater meridional gradient appeared over eastern China (six divisions) than over western China (two divisions).

The climate division facilitated the evaluating of not only regional but also widespread droughts. Trend evaluation showed that western north China (WNC) has become increasingly wet in recent decades, while northern northeast China (NNE) has become increasingly dry. The Yangtze River valley (YZ) tended to experience less and weaker drought after the late 1970s. Southern northeast China (SNE) and the southwestern China–Tibetan Plateau (SW-TP) showed a decreasing trend in long-term but not short-term SPIs, implying that long-term drought conditions might develop continuously, thus allowing the following droughts to develop more rapidly and with a stronger intensity. Examination of the drought risk under El Niño revealed that northern regions were likely to suffer from drought rather than flood in the developing phase and the reverse in the decaying phase. Southeastern China (SE) and the YZ were vulnerable to flood rather than drought in the mature and decaying spring, with SE subjected to drought in the decaying summer. Such a distinctive regional pattern of drought risks was closely connected with the abnormal moisture supply patterns modulated by ENSO in different phases.

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Xiuzhen Li, Yongqin David Chen, and Wen Zhou

Abstract

The response of moisture circulation to the daily evolution of the India–Burma Trough (IBT) and the modulation of disturbances along the South Asian waveguide are analyzed to seek a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. Daily observational precipitation and reanalysis data from ERA-Interim during 1979–2012 are employed. It is found that moisture circulation in response to the IBT is part of the zonally oriented wave trains along the South Asian waveguide, but it persists longer and migrates farther eastward than other lobes. Cyclonic moisture transport enhances the moisture supply to south China as a strong IBT develops, and shifts eastward abruptly after the peak of IBT with enhanced precipitation shifting from southwest to southeast China. This response is a joint effect of synoptic, intraseasonal, and interannual components that show similar wave train structures, whereas slight differences still occur. The synoptic component shows a shorter wavelength, more southerly path, faster phase speed, and group velocity, with the signal from the North Atlantic to the Bay of Bengal (BoB) in 6 days, implying that a disturbance over the North Atlantic is a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. The synoptic moisture convergence is more intensive than that at other scales upstream except over Southeast Asia, where all components are comparable. This might result from the constrained moisture source from BoB at the synoptic scale because of a short wavelength, while widespread sources from BoB–western North Pacific (WNP) at other scales as wavelengths are longer.

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Ruidan Chen, Zhiping Wen, and Riyu Lu

Abstract

South China experiences extreme heat (EH) most frequently in eastern China. This study specifically explores the large-scale circulation anomalies associated with long-lived EH events in south China. The results show that there is an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) and active (inactive) convection over south China (the western Pacific) before the EH onset; then, an anticyclone develops and moves northwestward and dominates over south China on the onset day. The anomalous anticyclone maintains its strength over south China and then diminishes and is replaced by another cyclone migrating from the western Pacific after the final day of the EH event. Consequently, the temperature increases over south China around the onset day and is anomalously warm for approximately 10 days on average and then decreases shortly thereafter. The fluctuating anomalies over south China and the western Pacific are intimately related to two intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) modes, namely, the 5–25- and 30–90-day oscillations, which originate from the tropical western Pacific and propagate northwestward. The 5–25-day oscillation is vital to triggering and terminating EH, accounting for approximately half of the original temperature and circulation anomaly transitions. The 30–90-day oscillation favors the persistent warming during EH events, accounting for approximately one-third of the original prolonged warming and anticyclonic anomaly. This result suggests that different ISO modes play crucial roles at different stages of the events. Moreover, a higher annual frequency of long-lived EH days in south China is associated with the transition phase from El Niño to La Niña. It is suggested that both medium-range and interannual forecasting of long-lived EH in south China are possible.

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Juan Feng, Lin Wang, and Wen Chen

Abstract

Modulation of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) on the behavior of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) in El Niño decaying years has been studied. When El Niño is in phase with the PDO (El Niño/high PDO), the low-level atmospheric anomalies are characterized by an anticyclone around the Philippines and a cyclone around Japan, inducing an anomalous tripolar rainfall pattern in China. In this case, the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) experiences a one-time slightly northward shift in July and then stays stationary from July to August. The corresponding anomalous tripolar rainfall pattern has weak subseasonal variations. When El Niño is out of phase with the PDO (El Niño/low PDO), however, the anomalous Philippines anticyclone has a much larger spatial domain, thereby causing an anomalous dipole rainfall pattern. Accordingly, WPSH experiences clearly two northward shifts. Therefore, the related dipole rainfall pattern has large subseasonal variations. One pronounced feature is that the positive rainfall anomalies shift northward from southern China in June to central China in July and finally to northern China in August.

The different El Niño–EASM relationships are caused by the influences of PDO on the decaying speed of El Niño. During the high PDO phase, El Niño decays slowly and has a strong anchor in the north Indian Ocean warming, which is responsible for the anomalous EASM. Comparatively, during the low PDO phase, El Niño decays rapidly and La Niña develops in summer, which induces different EASM anomalies from that during the high PDO phase. Additionally, PDO changes El Niño behaviors mainly via modifying the background tropical winds.

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Shu-hua Chen and Wen-yih Sun

Abstract

A fully compressible, three-dimensional, nonhydrostatic model is developed using a semi-implicit scheme to avoid an extremely small time step. As a result of applying the implicit scheme to high-frequency waves, an elliptic partial differential equation (EPDE) has been introduced. A multigrid solver is applied to solve the EPDEs, which include cross-derivative terms due to terrain-following coordinate transformation.

Several experiments have been performed to evaluate the model as well as the performance of the scheme with respect to tolerance number, relaxation choice, sweeps of prerelaxation and postrelaxation, and a flexible hybrid coordinate (FHC).

An FHC with two functions (base and deviation functions) is introduced. The basic function provides constant vertical grid spacing required in the multigrid solver, while the deviation function helps to adjust the vertical resolution.

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