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Xi Cao, Tim Li, Melinda Peng, Wen Chen, and Guanghua Chen

Abstract

The effects of intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) of the western North Pacific (WNP) monsoon trough on tropical cyclone (TC) formation were investigated using the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW) Model. A weak vortex was specified initially and inserted into the background fields containing climatological-mean anomalies associated with active and inactive phases of monsoon trough ISOs.

The diagnosis of simulations showed that monsoon trough ISO can modulate TC development through both dynamic and thermodynamic processes. The dynamic impact is attributed to the lower–midtropospheric large-scale vorticity associated with monsoon trough ISO. Interactions between cyclonic vorticity in the lower middle troposphere during the active ISO phase and a vortex lead to the generation of vortex-scale outflow at the midlevel, which promotes the upward penetration of friction-induced ascending motion and thus upward moisture transport. In addition, the low-level convergence associated with active ISO also helps the upward moisture transport. Both processes contribute to stronger diabatic heating and thus promote a positive convection–circulation–moisture feedback. On the other hand, the large-scale flow associated with inactive ISO suppresses upward motion near the core by inducing the midlevel inflow and the divergence forcing within the boundary layer, both inhibiting TC development. The thermodynamic impact comes from greater background specific humidity associated with active ISO that allows a stronger diabatic heating. Experiments that separated the dynamic and thermodynamic impacts of the ISO showed that the thermodynamic anomaly from active ISO contributes more to TC development, while the dynamic anomalies from inactive ISO can inhibit vortex development completely.

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Peng Hu, Wen Chen, Shangfeng Chen, Yuyun Liu, and Ruping Huang

Abstract

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is regarded as one of the most important factors for onset of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM). Previous studies generally indicated that an El Niño event tends to result in a late onset of the SCSSM monsoon. However, this relationship has not been true in recent years, particularly when an extremely early SCSSM onset (1 May 2019) occurred following the 2018/19 El Niño event in the preceding winter. The processes of the second earliest SCSSM onset in the past 41 years were investigated using NCEP–DOE reanalysis, OLR data, and ERSST. A negative sea surface temperature and associated anticyclonic anomalies were absent over the western North Pacific in the late spring of 2019 following an El Niño event in the preceding winter. Thus, the mean circulation in the late spring of 2019 does not prevent SCSSM onset, which is in sharp contrast to the composited spring of the El Niño decaying years. The convective active and westerly phases of a 30–60-day oscillation originating from the Indian Ocean provided a favorable background for the SCSSM onset in 2019. In addition, the monsoon onset vortex over the Bay of Bengal and the cold front associated with a midlatitude trough over East Asia also played important roles in triggering the early onset of the SCSSM in 2019. No tropical cyclone appeared over the western North Pacific during April and May, and the enhancement of quasi-biweekly oscillation mainly occurs after the SCSSM onset; thus, these two factors contribute little to the SCSSM onset in 2019.

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Shangfeng Chen, Wen Chen, Renguang Wu, and Linye Song

Abstract

Previous studies indicated that spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) can influence the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). This study reveals that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) has a pronounced modulation of the spring AO–EASM connection. Spring AO has a close relation with the EASM during the negative AMO (−AMO) phase. However, during the positive AMO (+AMO) phase, the spring AO–EASM connection is weak. During the −AMO phase, a marked dipole atmospheric anomaly pattern (with an anticyclonic anomaly over the midlatitudes and a cyclonic anomaly over the subtropics) and a pronounced tripole sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern is formed in the North Pacific during positive spring AO years. The cyclonic anomaly, SST, and precipitation anomalies over the subtropical western North Pacific (WNP) maintain and propagate southwestward in the following summer via a positive air–sea feedback, which further impacts the EASM variation. During the +AMO phase, the Pacific center of the spring AO (i.e., the anticyclonic anomaly over the midlatitudes) is weak. As such, the cyclonic anomaly cannot be induced over the subtropical WNP by the spring AO via wave–mean flow interaction. Hence, the spring AO–EASM connection disappears during the +AMO phase. The AMO impacts the Pacific center of the spring AO via modulating the Aleutian low intensity and North Pacific storm track intensity. The observed AMO modulation of the spring AO–EASM connection and Pacific center of the spring AO can be captured by the long historical simulation in a coupled global climate model.

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Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, Wen Chen, and Kai Li

Abstract

This study reveals a pronounced out-of-phase relationship between surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies over northeast Eurasia in boreal winter and the following summer during 1980–2017. A colder (warmer) winter over northeast Eurasia tends to be followed by a warmer (cooler) summer of next year. The processes for the out-of-phase relation of winter and summer SAT involve the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the air–sea interaction in the North Atlantic Ocean, and a Eurasian anomalous atmospheric circulation pattern induced by the North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Winter negative AO/North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like atmospheric circulation anomalies lead to continental cooling over Eurasia via anomalous advection and a tripolar SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic. The North Atlantic SST anomaly pattern switches to a dipolar pattern in the following summer via air–sea interaction processes and associated surface heat flux changes. The summer North Atlantic dipolar SST anomaly pattern induces a downstream atmospheric wave train, including large-scale positive geopotential height anomalies over northeast Eurasia, which contributes to positive SAT anomalies there via enhancement of downward surface shortwave radiation and anomalous advection. Barotropic model experiments verify the role of the summer North Atlantic SST anomalies in triggering the atmospheric wave train over Eurasia. Through the above processes, a colder winter is followed by a warmer summer over northeast Eurasia. The above processes apply to the years when warmer winters are followed by cooler summers except for opposite signs of SAT, atmospheric circulation, and SST anomalies.

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Sihua Huang, Bin Wang, Zhiping Wen, and Zesheng Chen

Abstract

Previous studies found a tight connection between the tropical easterly jet (TEJ) and Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR). Here we show that the TEJ–ISMR relationship is nonstationary and breaks down from 1994 to 2003 (epoch P2), in contrast to the significant positive correlation during epochs P1 (1979–93) and P3 (2004–16). The breakdown of the TEJ–ISMR relationship concurs with the increased rainfall variability over the tropical eastern Indian Ocean (TEIO). The enhanced TEIO rainfall anomalies excite a significant lower-level cyclonic circulation that reduces the ISMR and meanwhile strengthen the upper-level divergence and excite a pair of upper-level anticyclones to the west of the TEIO as Rossby wave responses, both accelerating the TEJ. Thus, the TEIO rainfall plays a more important role than the ISMR in TEJ variability during P2, causing the breakdown of the TEJ–ISMR relationship. In contrast, a relatively weak amplitude of the TEIO rainfall during P1 and P3 was unable to change the positive TEJ–ISMR relationship. The changes in the TEIO rainfall variability are mainly attributed to the increased SST variability over the tropical southeastern Indian Ocean, but their cause remains elusive.

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Lin Wang, Ronghui Huang, Lei Gu, Wen Chen, and Lihua Kang

Abstract

Interdecadal variations of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and their association with the quasi-stationary planetary wave activity are analyzed by using the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis dataset and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis dataset. It is found that the EAWM experienced a significant weakening around the late 1980s; that is, the EAWM was strong during 1976–87 and became weak after 1988. This leads to an obvious increase in the wintertime surface air temperature as well as a decrease in the frequency of occurrence of cold waves over East Asia. The dynamical process through which the EAWM is weakened is investigated from the perspective of quasi-stationary planetary waves. It is found that both the propagation and amplitude of quasi-stationary planetary waves have experienced obvious interdecadal variations, which are well related to those of the EAWM. Compared to the period 1976–87, the horizontal propagation of quasi-stationary planetary waves after 1988 is enhanced along the low-latitude waveguide in the troposphere, and the upward propagation of waves into the stratosphere is reduced along the polar waveguide. This results in a weakened subtropical jet around 40°N due to the convergence of the Eliassen–Palm flux. The East Asian jet stream is then weakened, leading to the weakening of the EAWM since 1988. In addition, the amplitude of quasi-stationary planetary waves is significantly weakened around 45°N, which is related to the reduced upward propagation of waves from the lower boundary after 1988. This reduced amplitude may weaken both the Siberian high and the Aleutian low, reduce the pressure gradient in between, and then weaken the EAWM. Further analyses indicate that zonal wavenumber 2 plays the dominant role in this process.

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Hainan Gong, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, and Debashis Nath

Abstract

The multidecadal fluctuations in the patterns and teleconnections of the winter mean Arctic Oscillation (AO) are investigated based on observational and reanalysis datasets. Results show that the Atlantic center of the AO pattern remains unchanged throughout the period 1920–2010, whereas the Pacific center of the AO is strong during 1920–59 and 1986–2010 and weak during 1960–85. Consequently, the link between the AO and the surface air temperature over western North America is strong during 1920–59 and 1986–2010 and weak during 1960–85. The time-varying Pacific center of the AO motivates a revisit to the nature of the AO from the perspective of decadal change. It reveals that the North Pacific mode (NPM) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are the inherent regional atmospheric modes over the North Pacific and North Atlantic, respectively. Their patterns over the North Pacific and North Atlantic remain stable and change little with time during 1920–2010. The Atlantic center of the AO always resembles the NAO over the North Atlantic, but the Pacific center of the AO only resembles the NPM over the North Pacific when the NPM–NAO coupling is strong. These results suggest that the AO seems to be fundamentally rooted in the variability over the North Atlantic and that the annular structure of the AO very likely arises from the coupling of the atmospheric modes between the North Pacific and North Atlantic.

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Xiao Feng, Renguang Wu, Jiepeng Chen, and Zhiping Wen

Abstract

The present study investigates the year-to-year variations of September–October rainfall in Hainan, China, for the period 1965–2010. The dominant circulation anomalies feature a cyclone (an anticyclone) over the Indochina Peninsula and northern South China Sea, an anticyclone (a cyclone) over subtropical western North Pacific and lower-level convergence (divergence) over the Maritime Continent in the wet (dry) years. These circulation anomalies are responses to an east–west sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern with negative (positive) SST anomalies in the equatorial central Pacific and positive (negative) SST anomalies around the Maritime Continent in the wet (dry) years. Although the SST anomaly pattern is similar (but with opposite anomaly), the SST signal in the equatorial central Pacific is more significant in the dry years than in the wet years. This difference indicates a larger case-to-case variability in the wet years than in the dry years. The large variability in the wet years is attributed to contributions of tropical cyclones (TCs) and intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs). There are more TCs impinging on Hainan and the TC tracks are closer to the island in the wet years than in the dry years. The rainfall shows large intraseasonal variations with periods of 10–20 and 30–60 days during September–October in the wet years. The 10–20-day ISO originates from the Maritime Continent, whereas the 30–60-day ISO develops over tropical Indian Ocean and propagates northeastward to northern South China Sea. In contrast, the ISO signal is much weaker in the dry years.

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Lei Song, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, and Yang Zhang

Abstract

The East Asian trough (EAT) is a distinct component of the boreal winter circulation whose strength corresponds to the amplitude of the Northern Hemispheric stationary waves. In this study, the mechanism and climatic impacts of the intraseasonal variations of the EAT’s strength are investigated through composite analysis and dynamical diagnostics. The significant roles played by the low-frequency Rossby wave (RW) and synoptic transient eddy (TE) are revealed. Before the peaks of strong EAT events, an upper-tropospheric RW train propagates across northern Eurasia and interacts with preexisting surface cold anomalies over central Siberia. This pattern intensifies the Siberian high and causes RW convergence toward the EAT, leading to 30% of the EAT’s amplification directly via the RW-induced feedback forcing. Meanwhile, RW weakens the background baroclinicity and reduces TE activities near the entrance region of the North Pacific storm track. The TE-induced feedback forcing leads to another 30% of the EAT’s amplification. The evolution and dynamical processes of the weak EAT events generally resemble those of the strong events with opposite signs. These results are consistent with the knowledge on the mechanism of the strong and weak EAT events regarding the role of RWs with additional quantitative description and provide new insights regarding the role of TEs. Variations of the EAT’s strength exert significant climatic impacts on East Asia and its downstream region. Near-surface air temperature is below (above) normal over East Asia during the growth and peak stages of the strong (weak) EAT events and above (below) normal over North America afterward.

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Jun Li, Yi-Leng Chen, and Wen-Chau Lee

Abstract

A heavy rainfall event during the Taiwan Area Mesoscale Experiment intensive observing period 13 has been studied using upper-air, surface mesonet, and dual-Doppler radar data. The heavy rainfall (≥231 mm day−1) occurred over northwestern Taiwan with the maximum rainfall along the northwestern coast and was caused by a long-lived, convective rainband in the prefrontal atmosphere. It occurred in an upper-level divergence region and along the axis of the maximum equivalent potential temperature at the 850-hPa level.

As a Mei-Yu front advanced southeastward, the postfrontal cold air in the lowest levels was retarded by the hilly terrain along the southeastern China coast. As a result, a low-level wind-shift line associated with a pressure trough at the 850-hPa level moved over the Taiwan Strait before the arrival of the surface front. The westerly flow behind the trough interacted with a barrier jet along the northwestern coast of Taiwan. The barrier jet is caused by the interaction between the prefrontal southwest monsoon flow and the island obstacle. A low-level convergence zone (∼3 km deep) was observed along the wind-shift line between the westerly flow coming off the southeastern China coast and the barrier jet. A long-lived rainband developed within the low-level convergence zone and moved southeastward toward the northwestern Taiwan coast with the wind-shift line.

There were several long-lived (>2 h) reflectivity maxima embedded in the rainband. They often had several individual cells with a much shorter lifetime. The reflectivity maxima formed on the southwestern tip of the rainband and along the low-level wind-shift line. They intensified during their movement from the southwest to the northeast along the rainband. The continuous generation of the reflectivity maxima along the wind-shift line and the intensification of them over the low-level convergence zone maintained the long lifetime of the rainband and produced persistent heavy rainfall along the northwestern coast as these reflectivity maxima moved toward the coast. During the early stage of their lifetime, the reflectivity maxima were observed along the wind-shift line with upward motion in the lower troposphere. As they moved toward the northeastern part of the rainband and matured, the reflectivity maxima were observed southeast of the convergence zone with sinking motion in the lower troposphere. The upward motion was rooted along the wind-shift line and tilted southeastward with height. The reflectivity maxima dissipated as they moved inland. During the early stage of the rainband, the reflectivity maxima on the northeastern part of the rainband also merged with the convective line associated with the land-breeze front offshore of the northwestern coast.

The Mei-Yu front was shallow (<1 km) and moved slowly southward along the western coast. Convection associated with the front was weak with echo tops (∼10 dBZ) below 6 km.

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