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Yurong Shi, Yufeng Zhang, and Riyi Li

Abstract

The present study presents local-scale urban energy balance observations under various sky conditions in a humid subtropical region. The study site is a typical urban residential area in Guangzhou in which building density is 38%, vegetation coverage is 36%, and mean building height is 21 m. The observation was conducted at a 110-m-high tower using the eddy covariance technique from September to November 2016. The median diurnal pattern and daily maxima were achieved for all radiation components and turbulent fluxes. The Bowen ratio (β) results indicated a predominant role for sensible heat flux (Q H) in the daytime and latent heat flux (Q E) at night. The sky conditions played a significant part in the urban surface energy exchanges, showing that the median daily maxima of net radiation (Q*), Q H, storage heat flux (ΔQ S), surface albedo, and β all present a consistent order from large to small for clear, cloudy, and rainy days and a different order of rainy, clear, and cloudy days for Q E. The mean daytime Q H/Q*, Q E/Q*, ΔQ S/Q*, and β changed with urban density, while Q E/Q* and β also varied with vegetation fraction. Furthermore, the adaptability of net all-wave radiation parameterization (NARP), objective hysteresis model (OHM), and local-scale urban meteorological parameterization scheme (LUMPS) were validated, given the index of agreements of 0.998 and 0.951 for Q* and ΔQ S and the reasonable RMSEs for Q H and Q E. The present study helps to verify and improve the parameterizations of energy exchange over an urban surface in the humid subtropical region.

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Nannan Qin, Da-Lin Zhang, and Ying Li

Abstract

It is well known that hurricane intensification is often accompanied by continuous contraction of the radius of maximum wind (RMW) and eyewall size. However, a few recent studies have shown rapid and then slow contraction of the RMW/eyewall size prior to the onset and during the early stages of rapid intensification (RI) of hurricanes, respectively, but a steady state in the RMW (S-RMW) and eyewall size during the later stages of RI. In this study, a statistical analysis of S-RMWs associated with rapidly intensifying hurricanes is performed using the extended best-track dataset during 1990–2014 in order to examine how frequently, and at what intensity and size, the S-RMW structure tends to occur. Results show that about 53% of the 139 RI events of 24-h duration associated with 55 rapidly intensifying hurricanes exhibit S-RMWs, and that the percentage of the S-RMW events increases to 69% when RI events are evaluated at 12-h intervals, based on a new RI rate definition of 10 m s−1 (12 h)−1; both results satisfy the Student’s t tests with confidence levels of over 95%. In general, S-RMWs tend to appear more frequently in more intense storms and when their RMWs are contracted to less than 50 km. This work suggests a new fruitful research area in studying the RI of hurricanes with S-RMWs.

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Yueting Gong, Ying Li, and Da-Lin Zhang

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) tend to change translation direction and speed when moving across Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range (CMR), which makes forecasting of landfalling points a challenging task. This study examines the statistical characteristics of unusual TC tracks around Taiwan Island during the 66-yr period of 1949–2014. Results show that 1) about 10% more TCs were deflected to the right than to the left as they moved across the CMR, but with more occurrences of the latter on Taiwan’s eastern coast and southern strait; 2) TCs around Taiwan Island moved slower than the average speed over the western North Pacific Ocean but then exhibited anomalous acceleration along Taiwan’s eastern coast and anomalous deceleration over the southern Taiwan Strait; 3) about 33% of TCs passing the island were accompanied by terrain-induced secondary low pressure centers (SCs), more favored in the northwestern, southwestern, and southeastern quadrants, with the TC–SC separation distance varying from 33 to 643 km; 4) about 36% of landfalling TCs experienced discontinuous tracks, with an average separation distance of 141 km at the time when TC centers were replaced by SCs, and smaller Froude numbers than those associated with continuous-tracking TCs; and 5) a total of 12 TCs had looping movements near Taiwan Island, most of which were accompanied by SCs on their southern or western sides. Results also indicate that a stronger SC was likely to take place when a stronger TC approached the CMR with a shorter separation distance and that a weaker SC was likely to take place when a weaker TC approached the CMR with a longer separation distance.

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Ying Zhang, Zhanqing Li, and Andreas Macke

Abstract

This study investigates and accounts for the influence of various ice cloud parameters on the retrieval of the surface solar radiation budget (SSRB) from reflected flux at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The optical properties of ice clouds depend on ice crystal shape, size distribution, water content, and the vertical profiles of geometric and microphysical structure. As a result, the relationship between the SSRB and TOA-reflected flux for an ice cloud atmosphere is more complex and differs from that for water cloud and cloudless atmospheres. The sensitivities of the relationship between the SSRB and TOA-reflected flux are examined with respect to various ice cloud parameters. Uncertainties in the retrieval of the SSRB due to inadequate knowledge of various ice cloud parameters are evaluated thoroughly. The uncertainty study is concerned with both pure ice clouds and multiphase clouds (ice cloud above water cloud). According to the magnitudes of errors in the SSRB retrieval caused by different input variables, parameterized correction terms were introduced. If the input variables are known accurately, errors in the retrieval of the SSRB under a wide range of ice cloud conditions are expected to diminish substantially, to less than 10 W m−2 for 91% of the simulated ice cloud cases. In comparison, the same accuracy may be attained for only 19% of the retrievals for the same ice cloud cases using the retrieval algorithm designed for non-ice-cloud conditions.

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Lijuan Li, Bin Wang, and Guang J. Zhang

Abstract

The weak response of surface shortwave cloud radiative forcing (SWCF) to El Niño over the equatorial Pacific remains a common problem in many contemporary climate models. This study shows that two versions of the Grid-Point Atmospheric Model of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)/State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG) (GAMIL) produce distinctly different surface SWCF response to El Niño. The earlier version, GAMIL1, underestimates this response, whereas the latest version, GAMIL2, simulates it well. To understand the causes for the different SWCF responses between the two simulations, the authors analyze the underlying physical mechanisms. Results indicate the enhanced stratiform condensation and evaporation in GAMIL2 play a key role in improving the simulations of multiyear annual mean water vapor (or relative humidity), cloud fraction, and in-cloud liquid water path (ICLWP) and hence in reducing the biases of SWCF and rainfall responses to El Niño due to all of the improved dynamical (vertical velocity at 500 hPa), cloud amount, and liquid water path (LWP) responses. The largest contribution to the SWCF response improvement in GAMIL2 is from LWP in the Niño-4 region and from low-cloud cover and LWP in the Niño-3 region. Furthermore, as a crucial factor in the low-cloud response, the atmospheric stability change in the lower layers is significantly influenced by the nonconvective heating variation during La Niña.

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Arun Kumar, Li Zhang, and Wanqiu Wang

Abstract

The focus of this investigation is how the relationship at intraseasonal time scales between sea surface temperature and precipitation (SST–P) varies among different reanalyses. The motivation for this work was spurred by a recent report that documented that the SST–P relationship in Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) was much closer to that in the observation than it was for the older generation of reanalyses [i.e., NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (R1) and NCEP–Department of Energy (DOE) reanalysis (R2)]. Further, the reason was attributed either to the fact that the CFSR is a partially coupled reanalysis, while R1 and R2 are atmospheric-alone reanalyses, or that R1 and R2 use the observed weekly-averaged SST.

The authors repeated the comparison of the SST–P relationship among R1, R2, and CFSR, as well as two recent generations of atmosphere-alone reanalyses, the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) and the ECMWF Re-Analysis Interim (ERA-Interim). The results clearly demonstrate that the differences in the SST–P relationship at intraseasonal time scales across different reanalyses are not due to whether the reanalysis system is coupled or atmosphere alone, but are due to the specification of different SSTs. The SST–P relationship in different reanalyses, when computed against a single SST for the benchmark, demonstrates a relationship that is common across all of the reanalyses and observations.

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Dawei Li, Rong Zhang, and Thomas Knutson

Abstract

In this study the mechanisms for low-frequency variability of summer Arctic sea ice are analyzed using long control simulations from three coupled models (GFDL CM2.1, GFDL CM3, and NCAR CESM). Despite different Arctic sea ice mean states, there are many robust features in the response of low-frequency summer Arctic sea ice variability to the three key predictors (Atlantic and Pacific oceanic heat transport into the Arctic and the Arctic dipole) across all three models. In all three models, an enhanced Atlantic (Pacific) heat transport into the Arctic induces summer Arctic sea ice decline and surface warming, especially over the Atlantic (Pacific) sector of the Arctic. A positive phase of the Arctic dipole induces summer Arctic sea ice decline and surface warming on the Pacific side, and opposite changes on the Atlantic side. There is robust Bjerknes compensation at low frequency, so the northward atmospheric heat transport provides a negative feedback to summer Arctic sea ice variations. The influence of the Arctic dipole on summer Arctic sea ice extent is more (less) effective in simulations with less (excessive) climatological summer sea ice in the Atlantic sector. The response of Arctic sea ice thickness to the three key predictors is stronger in models that have thicker climatological Arctic sea ice.

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Xuebin Zhang, Francis W. Zwiers, and Guilong Li

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Using Monte Carlo simulations, several methods for detecting a trend in the magnitude of extreme values are compared. Ordinary least squares regression is found to be the least reliable method. A Kendall's tau–based method provides some improvement. The advantage of this method over that of least squares diminishes when the sample size is moderate to small. Explicit consideration of the extreme value distribution when computing trend always outperforms the above two methods. The use of the r largest values as extremes enhances the power of detection for moderate values of r; the use of larger values of r may lead to bias in the magnitude of the estimated trend.

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C-P. Chang, Yongsheng Zhang, and Tim Li

Abstract

The relationship between the interannual variations of the East Asian summer monsoon and that of the tropical SST shows considerable variations. In this study, rainfall in the southeastern coastal area of China (SEC) during 1951–96 is used to composite the tropical SST, 850-hPa wind, and 500-hPa height. The results relative to the May–June rainfall, which represents most of the SEC summer monsoon rainfall, are compared to the Yangtze River Valley (YRV) rainfall composites. It is shown that strong interdecadal changes in the Pacific may account for the observed variations in the meridional structure of the monsoon–SST relationship. The western Pacific 500-hPa subtropical ridge, which is influenced by the equatorial eastern Pacific SST, is crucial to these variations.

During 1951–77 the SEC wet phase is produced by an anomalous anticyclone in the northern South China Sea, which tends to make the monsoon pre-Mei-yu and Mei-yu fronts quasi-stationary in the general area of both SEC and YRV, and also helps to warm the SST in the northern South China Sea. In this case the monsoon rainfalls in the two regions are in phase.

During 1978–96 the mean equatorial eastern Pacific SST is higher, leading to a stronger and more expansive mean western Pacific subtropical ridge. Its proximity to the SEC region causes the latter to experience a strong interdecadal change, with less mean rainfall than 1951–77. Within the 1978–96 period, the anomalous anticyclone sustaining the YRV wet phase is situated near SEC, suppressing the SEC rainfall. Therefore the SEC and YRV rainfalls become out of phase.

The SEC wet phase in 1978–96 depends on an anomalous 850-hPa cyclone in the East China Sea. This anomalous cyclone, which transports moist air onshore from the east resulting in maximum moisture convergence in SEC, develops when the western Pacific subtropical ridge is weak and displaced equatorward. The flow is more baroclinic and the monsoon fronts are active in the southeast coastal area. In this case the SEC and YRV rainfalls are uncorrelated.

The July and August SEC wet phases show opposite characteristics. The wet July phase depends on anomalous 850-hPa cyclonic circulation in the northern South China Sea (and the East China Sea during 1951–77), which requires a retreat of the western edge of the western Pacific subtropical ridge. The anomalous South China Sea cyclone may be due to more frequent tropical cyclone activity. This is in contrast to the wet August phase, which is associated with anomalous anticyclones in the northern South China Sea and a greater westward extension of the subtropical ridge.

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Lijuan Li, Bin Wang, and Guang J. Zhang

Abstract

The weak negative shortwave (SW) radiative feedback α sw during El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) over the equatorial Pacific is a common problem in the models participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In this study, the causes for the α sw biases are analyzed using three-dimensional cloud fraction and liquid water path (LWP) provided by the 17 CMIP5 models and the relative roles of convective and stratiform rainfall feedbacks in α sw are explored. Results show that the underestimate of SW feedback is primarily associated with too negative cloud fraction and LWP feedbacks in the boundary layers, together with insufficient middle and/or high cloud and dynamics feedbacks, in both the CMIP and Atmospheric Model Intercomparsion Project (AMIP) runs, the latter being somewhat better. The underestimations of SW feedbacks are due to both weak negative SW responses to El Niño, especially in the CMIP runs, and strong positive SW responses to La Niña, consistent with their biases in cloud fraction, LWP, and dynamics responses to El Niño and La Niña. The convective rainfall feedback, which is largely reduced owing to the excessive cold tongue in the CMIP runs compared with their AMIP counterparts, contributes more to the difference of SW feedback (mainly under El Niño conditions) between the CMIP and AMIP runs, while the stratiform rainfall plays a more important role in SW feedback during La Niña.

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