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Yu-Fen Huang
and
Yi-Leng Chen

Abstract

The seasonal variations of rainfall over the island of Hawaii are studied using the archives of the daily model run from the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) from June 2004 to February 2010. Local effects mainly drive the rainfall on the Kona coast in the early morning and the lower slopes in the afternoon. During the summer, the incoming trade winds are more persistent and moister than in winter. The moisture content in the wake zone is higher than open-ocean values because of the convergent airflow associated with dual counterrotating vortices. As the westerly reversed flow moves toward the Kona coast, it decelerates with increasing moisture and a moisture maximum over the coastal area, especially in the afternoon hours in summer months. The higher afternoon rainfall on the Kona lower slopes in summer than in winter is caused by a moister (>6 mm) westerly reversed flow bringing moisture inland and merging with a stronger upslope flow resulting from solar heating. Higher nocturnal rainfall off the Kona coast in summer than in winter is caused by the low-level convergence between a moister westerly reversed flow and offshore flow. On the windward slopes, the simulated rainfall accumulation in winter is higher because of frequently occurring synoptic disturbances during the winter storm season. Nevertheless, early morning rainfall along the windward coast and afternoon rainfall over the windward slopes of the Kohala Mountains is lower in winter because the incoming trades are drier.

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Yi-Xian Li
,
J. David Neelin
,
Yi-Hung Kuo
,
Huang-Hsiung Hsu
, and
Jia-Yuh Yu

Abstract

In convective quasi-equilibrium theory, tropical tropospheric temperature perturbations are expected to follow vertical profiles constrained by convection, referred to as A-profiles here, often approximated by perturbations of moist adiabats. Differences between an idealized A-profile based on moist-static energy conservation and temperature perturbations derived from entraining and nonentraining parcel computations are modest under convective conditions—deep convection mostly occurs when the lower troposphere is close to saturation, thus minimizing the impact of entrainment on tropospheric temperature. Simple calculations with pseudoadiabatic perturbations about the observed profile thus provide useful baseline A-profiles. The first EOF mode of tropospheric temperature (TEOF1) from the ERA-Interim and AIRS retrievals below the level of neutral buoyancy (LNB) is compared with these A-profiles. The TEOF1 profiles with high LNB, typically above 400 hPa, yield high vertical spatial correlation (∼0.9) with A-profiles, indicating that tropospheric temperature perturbations tend to be consistent with the quasi-equilibrium assumption where the environment is favorable to deep convection. Lower correlation tends to occur in regions with low climatological LNB, less favorable to deep convection. Excluding temperature profiles with low LNB significantly increases the tropical mean vertical spatial correlation. The temperature perturbations near LNB exhibit negative deviations from the A-profiles—the convective cold-top phenomenon—with greater deviation for higher LNB. In regions with lower correlation, the deviation from A-profile shows an S-like shape beneath 600 hPa, usually accompanied by a drier lower troposphere. These findings are robust across a wide range of time scales from daily to monthly, although the vertical spatial correlation and TEOF1 explained variance tend to decrease on short time scales.

Open access
Yi-Kai Wu
,
An-Yi Huang
,
Chia-Kai Wu
,
Chi-Cherng Hong
, and
Chi-Chun Chang

Abstract

In the early 1990s, the mei-yu rainfall over South China in early boreal summer exhibited an abrupt change and northward extension. This change altered the pattern of East Asian summer rainfall from a dipole-like to a monopole-like pattern; that is, the out-of-phase relationship between the rainfall in the south and that in the north of the Yangtze and Huaihe River valley changed to an in-phase relationship. The physical processes potentially responsible for triggering this abrupt change were analyzed in this study. Our observations revealed that the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH), sea surface temperature (SST) in the subtropical eastern North Pacific (SENP), and the mei-yu rainfall in South China exhibited an abrupt increase in the early 1990s, suggesting that these factors are correlated. From the observations and results of numerical experiments, we proposed that the abrupt SST warming in the SENP in the early 1990s generated an east–west overturning circulation anomaly in the Pacific Ocean and that the anomalous downward motion in the western North Pacific consequently triggered the abrupt increase and westward extension of the WNPSH in the early 1990s. The enhanced and westward extension of WNPSH created a low-level southeasterly anomaly that transported considerable humid and warm air into East Asia and sequentially triggered the abrupt increase of mei-yu rainfall in the South China in the early 1990s.

Free access
Yi-Hsuan Huang
,
Michael T. Montgomery
, and
Chun-Chieh Wu

Abstract

In Part I of this study, the association between the secondary eyewall formation (SEF) and the broadening of the outer swirling wind in Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) was documented. The findings from Part I help lay the groundwork for the application of a newly proposed intensification paradigm to SEF. Part II presents a new model for SEF that utilizes this new paradigm and its axisymmetric view of the dynamics.

The findings point to a sequence of structure changes that occur in the vortex’s outer-core region, culminating in SEF. The sequence begins with a broadening of the tangential winds, followed by an increase of the corresponding boundary layer (BL) inflow and an enhancement of convergence in the BL where the secondary eyewall forms. The narrow region of strong BL convergence is associated with the generation of supergradient winds in and just above the BL that acts to rapidly decelerate inflow there. The progressive strengthening of BL inflow and the generation of an effective adverse radial force therein leads to an eruption of air from the BL to support convection outside the primary eyewall in a favorable thermodynamic/kinematic environment.

The results suggest that the unbalanced response in the BL serves as an important mechanism for initiating and sustaining a ring of deep convection in a narrow supergradient wind zone outside the primary eyewall. This progressive BL control on SEF suggests that the BL scheme and its coupling to the interior flow need to be adequately represented in numerical models to improve the prediction of SEF timing and preferred location.

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Chun-Chieh Wu
,
Tsung-Han Li
, and
Yi-Hsuan Huang

Abstract

Observations have documented typhoons experiencing pronounced track deflection before making landfall in Taiwan. In this study, idealized full-physics model experiments are conducted to assess the orographic influence on tropical cyclone (TC) track. An intense and westward-moving TC is simulated to approach the bell-shaped terrain imitating the Taiwan topography. Sensitivity numerical experiments are carried out to evaluate the topographic effect under different flow regimes and parameters, such as TC intensity, terrain height, and incident angle of the TC movement toward the topography. All the presented simulated storms experience southward track deflection prior to landfall. Different from the mechanism related to the channeling-effect-induced low-level northerly jet as suggested in previous studies, this study indicates the leading role of the northerly asymmetric flow in the midtroposphere in causing the southward deflection of the simulated TC tracks. The midtropospheric northerly asymmetric flow forms as a result of the wind speeds restrained east of the storm center and winds enhanced/maintained west of the storm center. In all, this study highlights a new mechanism that contributes to the terrain-induced southward track deflection in addition to the traditional channeling effect.

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Yan-Ting Chen
,
Yi Huang
, and
Timothy M. Merlis

Abstract

The radiative forcing of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) has a rich spatial structure and has implications for large-scale climate changes, such as poleward energy transport and tropical circulation change. Beyond the TOA, additional CO2 increases downwelling longwave at the surface, and this change in flux is the surface CO2 forcing. Here we thoroughly evaluate the spatiotemporal variation of the instantaneous, longwave CO2 radiative forcing at both the TOA and surface. The instantaneous forcing is calculated with a radiative transfer model using ERA5 reanalysis fields. Multivariate regression models show that the broadband forcing at the TOA and surface are well predicted by local temperatures, humidity, and cloud radiative effects. The difference between the TOA and surface forcing, the atmospheric forcing, can be either positive or negative and is mostly controlled by the column water vapor, with little explicit dependence on the surface temperature. The role of local variables on the TOA forcing is also assessed by partitioning the change in radiative flux to the component emitted by the surface versus that emitted by the atmosphere. In cold, dry regions, the surface and atmospheric contribution partially cancel out, leading to locally weak or even negative TOA forcing. In contrast, in the warm, moist regions, the surface and atmospheric components strengthen each other, resulting in overall larger TOA forcing. The relative contributions of surface and atmosphere to the TOA forcing depend on the optical thickness in the current climate, which in turn is controlled by the column water vapor.

Restricted access
Fukai Liu
,
Jian Lu
,
Yiyong Luo
,
Yi Huang
, and
Fengfei Song

Abstract

Climate models project an enhancement in SST seasonal cycle over the midlatitude oceans under global warming. The underlying mechanisms are investigated using a set of partially coupled experiments, in which the contribution from direct CO2 effects (i.e., the response in the absence of wind change) and wind feedbacks can be isolated from each other. Results indicate that both the direct CO2 and wind effects contribute to the enhancement in the SST seasonal cycle, with the former (latter) being more important in the Northern Hemisphere (Southern Hemisphere). Further decomposition of the wind effect into the wind stress feedback and wind speed feedback reveals the importance of the wind stress–driven ocean response in the change of SST seasonal cycle, a result in contrast to a previous study that ascribed the midlatitude SST seasonal cycle change to the thermodynamic wind speed feedback. The direct CO2 effect regulates the SST seasonal cycle through the warming-induced shoaling in the annual mean mixed layer depth (MLD) as well as the MLD difference between winter and summer. Moreover, the surface wind seasonal cycle changes due solely to the direct CO2 effect are found to bear a great resemblance to the full wind response, suggesting that the root cause for the enhancement of the midlatitude SST seasonal cycle resides in the direct CO2 effect. This notion is further supported by an ocean-alone experiment that reproduces the SST seasonal cycle enhancement under a spatially and temporally homogeneous surface thermal forcing.

Free access
Yi-Hsuan Chen
,
Xianglei Huang
,
Xiuhong Chen
, and
Mark Flanner

Abstract

This study quantifies the impact of the inclusion of realistic surface spectral emissivity in the Sahara and Sahel on the simulated local climate and beyond. The surface emissivity in these regions can be as low as 0.6–0.7 over the infrared window band while close to unity in other spectral bands, but such spectral dependence has been ignored in current climate models. Realistic surface spectral emissivities over the Sahara and Sahel are incorporated into the Community Earth System Model (CESM) version 1.1.1, while treatments of surface emissivity for the rest of the globe remain unchanged. Both the modified and standard CESM are then forced with prescribed climatological SSTs and fixed present-day forcings for 35-yr simulations. The outputs from the last 30 years are analyzed. Compared to the standard CESM, the modified CESM has warmer surface air temperature, as well as a warmer and wetter planetary boundary layer over the Sahara and Sahel. The modified CESM thus favors more convection in these regions and has more convective rainfall, especially in the Sahara. The moisture convergence induced by such inclusion of surface spectral emissivity also contributes to the differences in simulated precipitation in the Sahel and the region south to it. Compared to observations, inclusion of surface spectral emissivity reduces surface temperature biases in the Sahara and precipitation biases in the Gulf of Guinea but exacerbates the wet biases in the Sahara. Such realistic representation of surface spectral emissivity can help unmask other factors contributing to regional biases in the original CESM.

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Yi Huang
,
Alain Protat
,
Steven T. Siems
, and
Michael J. Manton

Abstract

Cloud and precipitation properties of the midlatitude storm-track regions over the Southern Ocean (SO) and North Atlantic (NA) are explored using reanalysis datasets and A-Train observations from 2007 to 2011. In addition to the high-level retrieval products, lower-level observed variables—CloudSat radar reflectivity and Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) lidar attenuated backscatter—are directly examined using both contoured frequency by altitude diagrams (CFADs) and contoured frequency by temperature diagrams (CFTDs) to provide direct insight into thermodynamic phase properties. While the wintertime temperature profiles are similar over the two regions, the summertime environment is warmer over the NA. The NA atmosphere is generally moister than the SO, while the SO boundary layer is moister during winter. The results herein suggest that although the two regions exhibit many similarities in the prevalence of boundary layer clouds (BLCs) and frontal systems, notable differences exist. The NA environment exhibits stronger seasonality in thermodynamic structure, cloud, and precipitation properties than the SO. The regional differences of cloud properties are dominated by microphysics in winter and thermodynamics in summer. Glaciated clouds with higher reflectivities are found at warmer temperatures over the NA. BLCs (primarily below 1.5 km) are a predominant component over the SO. The wintertime boundary layer is shallower over the SO. Midlevel clouds consisting of smaller hydrometeors in higher concentration (potentially supercooled liquid water) are more frequently observed over the SO. Cirrus clouds are more prevalent over the NA. Notable differences exist in both the frequencies of thermodynamic phases of precipitation and intensity of warm rain over the two regions.

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Ying Li
,
David W. J. Thompson
, and
Yi Huang

Abstract

Previous studies have explored the influence of atmospheric cloud radiative effects (ACRE) on the tropospheric circulation. Here the authors explore the influence of ACRE on the stratospheric circulation. The response of the stratospheric circulation to ACRE is assessed by comparing simulations run with and without ACRE. The stratospheric circulation response to ACRE is reproducible in a range of different GCMs and can be interpreted in the context of both a dynamically driven and a radiatively driven component.

The dynamic component is linked to ACRE-induced changes in the vertical and meridional fluxes of wave activity. The ACRE-induced changes in the vertical flux of wave activity into the stratosphere are consistent with the ACRE-induced changes in tropospheric baroclinicity and thus the amplitude of midlatitude baroclinic eddies. They account for a strengthening of the Brewer–Dobson circulation, a cooling of the tropical lower stratosphere, a weakening and warming of the polar vortex, a reduction of static stability near the tropical tropopause transition layer, and a shortening of the time scale of extratropical stratospheric variability. The ACRE-induced changes in the equatorward flux of wave activity in the low-latitude stratosphere account for a strengthening of the zonal wind in the subtropical lower to midstratosphere.

The radiative component is linked to ACRE-induced changes in the flux of longwave radiation into the lower stratosphere. The changes in radiative fluxes lead to a cooling of the extratropical lower stratosphere, changes in the static stability and cloud fraction near the extratropical tropopause, and a shortening of the time scales of extratropical stratospheric variability.

The results highlight a previously overlooked pathway through which tropospheric climate influences the stratosphere.

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