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Yonghong Yao, Hai Lin, and Qigang Wu

Abstract

The mei-yu onset over the middle to lower reaches of the Yangtze River Valley (MLYRV) varies considerably from early June to mid-July, which leads to large interannual changes in rainy-season length, total summer rainfall, and flooding potential. Previous studies have investigated the impact of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the mei-yu onset. This study shows that a strong (weak) East Asian and western North Pacific (EAWNP) intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) in spring leads to an early (late) onset of the mei-yu over the MLYRV, and this ISO–mei-yu relationship is attributed to different types of ENSO in the preceding winter. A strong EAWNP ISO in spring is related to an eastern Pacific El Niño (EP El Niño) in the previous winter, and negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the eastern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea (SCS) in May, which can cause an early onset of the South China Sea summer monsoon that also favors an early mei-yu onset. In contrast, a weak EAWNP ISO in spring is associated with a central Pacific El Niño (CP El Niño) before April, but with an EP El Niño after April, and positive SST anomalies in both the eastern Indian Ocean and the SCS in May. A statistical forecast model combining the intensity of spring EAWNP ISO, CP ENSO, and EP ENSO indices shows a high prediction skill of the observed mei-yu onset date.

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Dehai Luo, Yiqing Xiao, Yao Yao, Aiguo Dai, Ian Simmonds, and Christian L. E. Franzke

Abstract

In Part I of this study, the impact of Ural blocking (UB) on the warm Arctic–cold Eurasian (WACE) pattern associated with the winter (DJF) arctic sea ice loss during 1979–2013 is examined by dividing the arctic sea ice reduction region into two dominant subregions: the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS) and the North American high-latitude (NAH) region (Baffin and Hudson Bay, Davis Strait, and Labrador Sea). It is found that atmospheric response to arctic sea ice loss resembles a negative Arctic response oscillation with a dominant positive height anomaly over the Eurasian subarctic region. Regression analyses of the two subregions further show that the sea ice loss over the BKS corresponds to the UB pattern together with a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO+) and is followed by a WACE anomaly, while the sea ice reduction in the NAH region corresponds to a negative NAO (NAO) pattern with a cold anomaly over northern Eurasia.

Further analyses reveal that the UB pattern is more persistent during the period 2000–13 (P2) than 1979–99 (P1) because of the reduced middle-to-high-latitude mean westerly winds over Eurasia associated with the intense BKS warming. During P2 the establishment of the UB becomes a slow process because of the role of the BKS warming, while its decay is slightly rapid. In the presence of the long-lived UB that often occurs with the NAO+, the BKS-warming-induced DJF-mean anticyclonic anomaly is intensified and widened and then expands southward during P2 to amplify the WACE pattern and induce the southward displacement of its cold anomaly and the further loss of the BKS sea ice. Thus, midlatitude Eurasian cold events should be more frequent as the sea ice loss continues over the BKS.

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Yijia Hu, Yimin Zhu, Zhong Zhong, and Yao Ha

Abstract

The prediction of mei-yu onset date (MOD) in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River valley (MLYRV) is an important and challenging task for those making seasonal climate predictions in China. In this paper, the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the preceding winter and spring related to MOD are analyzed. It is found that the MOD is associated with the intensity of the Ural high and the East Asian trough in high latitudes, with the intensity of the upper-level westerly jet in middle latitudes, and with the contrast of land–sea temperature and pressure in the preceding winter and spring, which are proxies for the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). It is suggested that the intensity of the EAWM is the most crucial factor affecting the MOD. Years with an early MOD usually correspond to strong EAWMs in the preceding winter, and vice versa. The EAWM can affect the MOD by influencing the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) through tropical ocean–atmosphere and tropical–extratropical interactions. Based on the above analysis, a physics-based statistical forecast model is established using multivariable linear regression techniques. The hindcast of MOD during the 13 yr from 1998 to 2010 is carried out to evaluate the performance of this forecast model. The MOD can be predicted successfully in 8 out of the 13 yr. The forecast model predicts the MOD in the years with strong mei-yu intensity more accurately than in those with weak mei-yu intensity, especially for cases of extreme flooding. This is useful in the prevention of flooding disasters.

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Bowen Zhou, Shiwei Sun, Kai Yao, and Kefeng Zhu

Abstract

Turbulent mixing in the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) is carried out by organized nonlocal updrafts and smaller local eddies. In the upper mixed layer of the CBL, heat fluxes associated with nonlocal updrafts are directed up the local potential temperature gradient. To reproduce such countergradient behavior in parameterizations, a class of planetary boundary layer schemes adopts a countergradient correction term in addition to the classic downgradient eddy-diffusion term. Such schemes are popular because of their simple formulation and effective performance. This study reexamines those schemes to investigate the physical representations of the gradient and countergradient (GCG) terms, and to rebut the often-implied association of the GCG terms with heat fluxes due to local and nonlocal (LNL) eddies. To do so, large-eddy simulations (LESs) of six idealized CBL cases are performed. The GCG fluxes are computed a priori with horizontally averaged LES data, while the LNL fluxes are diagnosed through conditional sampling and Fourier decomposition of the LES flow field. It is found that in the upper mixed layer, the gradient term predicts downward fluxes in the presence of positive mean potential temperature gradient but is compensated by the upward countergradient correction flux, which is larger than the total heat flux. However, neither downward local fluxes nor larger-than-total nonlocal fluxes are diagnosed from LES. The difference reflects reduced turbulence efficiency for GCG fluxes and, in terms of physics, conceptual deficiencies in the GCG representation of CBL heat fluxes.

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Yuan Sun, Lan Yi, Zhong Zhong, and Yao Ha

Abstract

The latest version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRFV3.5) is used to evaluate the performance of the Grell and Freitas (GF13) cumulus parameterization scheme on the model convergence in simulations of a tropical cyclone (TC) at gray-zone resolutions. The simulated TC intensity converges to a finite limit as the grid spacing varies from 7.5 to 1 km. The reasons for the model convergence are investigated from perspectives of subgrid-scale processes and thermodynamic and dynamic structures. It is found that the impacts of above factors are notably different with varying model resolutions. The convective heating and drying increase as the grid spacing decreases, which inhibits the explicit microphysical parameterization preventing the simulated TC from overly intensifying. As the grid spacing decreases from 7.5 to 5 km, the TC intensity increases because of a stronger secondary circulation, a larger magnitude and proportion of strong eyewall updraft, and a greater amount of latent heating in the eyewall. As the grid spacing decreases from 5 to 3 km, the radius of maximum wind (RMW) decreases and the radial pressure gradient increases leading to an increase in TC intensity. The simulated TC intensity changes slightly as the grid spacing decreases from 3 to 1 km since the RMW and the storm structure both change little. The slight changes in the simulated TC intensity at such high resolutions indicate a great model convergence. Therefore, the GF13 presents an appropriate option that increases the model convergence in the TC intensity simulation at gray-zone resolution.

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Haijun Yang, Qin Wen, Jie Yao, and Yuxing Wang

Abstract

Using a coupled Earth climate model, freshwater forcing experiments are performed to study the Bjerknes compensation (BJC) between meridional atmosphere heat transport (AHT) and meridional ocean heat transport (OHT). Freshwater hosing in the North Atlantic weakens the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and thus reduces the northward OHT in the Atlantic significantly, leading to a cooling (warming) in the surface layer in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. This results in an enhanced Hadley cell and northward AHT. Meanwhile, the OHT in the Indo-Pacific is increased in response to the Hadley cell change, partially offsetting the reduced OHT in the Atlantic. Two compensations occur here: compensation between the AHT and the Atlantic OHT, and that between the Indo-Pacific OHT and the Atlantic OHT. The AHT change undercompensates the OHT change by about 60% in the extratropics, while the former overcompensates the latter by about 30% in the tropics due to the Indo-Pacific change. The BJC can be understood from the viewpoint of large-scale circulation change. However, the intrinsic mechanism of BJC is related to the climate feedback of the Earth system. The authors’ coupled model experiments confirm that the occurrence of BJC is an intrinsic requirement of local energy balance, and local climate feedback determines the extent of BJC, consistent with previous theoretical results. Even during the transient period of climate change, the BJC is well established when the ocean heat storage is slowly varying and its change is much weaker than the net local heat flux change at the ocean surface. The BJC can be deduced from the local climate feedback. Under the freshwater forcing, the overcompensation in the tropics is mainly caused by the positive longwave feedback related to clouds, and the undercompensation in the extratropics is due to the negative longwave feedback related to surface temperature change. Different dominant feedbacks determine different BJC scenarios in different regions, which are in essence constrained by local energy balance.

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Haijun Yang, Xingchen Shen, Jie Yao, and Qin Wen

Abstract

As the most extensive highland in the world, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) plays an important role in shaping the global climate. Quantifying the effect of the TP on global climate is the first step for a full understanding of the TP’s standing on planet Earth. Through coupled model sensitivity experiments, we draw a panorama of the TP’s global impact in this paper. Our model results show that the absence of the TP would result in a 4°C colder and 10% drier climate in the Northern Hemisphere (NH). The TP has a striking remote effect on the North Atlantic. Removing the TP would enhance the westerlies in the mid- to high latitudes of the NH and weaken the easterlies over the tropical Pacific. More moisture would be relocated from the tropical Pacific to the North Atlantic, shutting down the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, which would eventually result in more than 15°C colder and 20% drier climate over the North Atlantic. Our model results suggest that the presence of the TP may have contributed greatly to the hospitable modern climate in the NH, by promoting the establishment of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic, and therefore enhancing the northward ocean heat transport and atmosphere moisture transport across the equator.

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T. Yao, Howard J. Freeland, and Lawrence A. Mysak

Abstract

Six current-meter mooring were deployed in a line approximately 600 km in length along the continental shelf of British Columbia. Analysis of the low frequency (periods exceeding a day) fluctuations in current for the winter 1981–82 period is discussed. Alongshore currents off Vancouver Island are mutually correlated with time lag less than a day. The region of mutual correlation does not extend north of Vancouver Island, across Queen Charlotte Sound. Coherence is observed between currents south and north of Queen Charlotte Sound only in a frequency band where there is mutual coherence with local wind. A comparison is made between observation and free coastal-trapped wave theory. Off northern Vancouver Island, where the shelf is narrower than off southern Vancouver Island, there is increased vertical shear, a feature of the second coastal-trapped wave mode. A consistency test is applied using the cross spectral matrix of alongshore components of velocity. In the dominant energy-containing frequency bands (periods ≳10 days), the structure of alongshore currents off Vancouver Island is consistent with the two lowest free coastal-trapped wave modes locked in phase.

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Zhigang Yao, Jun Li, Jinlong Li, and Hong Zhang

Abstract

An accurate land surface emissivity (LSE) is critical for the retrieval of atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles along with land surface temperature from hyperspectral infrared (IR) sounder radiances; it is also critical to assimilating IR radiances in numerical weather prediction models over land. To investigate the impact of different LSE datasets on Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) sounding retrievals, experiments are conducted by using a one-dimensional variational (1DVAR) retrieval algorithm. Sounding retrievals using constant LSE, the LSE dataset from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), and the baseline fit dataset from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are performed. AIRS observations over northern Africa on 1–7 January and 1–7 July 2007 are used in the experiments. From the limited regional comparisons presented here, it is revealed that the LSE from the IASI obtained the best agreement between the retrieval results and the ECMWF reanalysis, whereas the constant LSE gets the worst results when the emissivities are fixed in the retrieval process. The results also confirm that the simultaneous retrieval of atmospheric profile and surface parameters could reduce the dependence of soundings on the LSE choice and finally improve sounding accuracy when the emissivities are adjusted in the iterative retrieval. In addition, emissivity angle dependence is investigated with AIRS radiance measurements. The retrieved emissivity spectra from AIRS over the ocean reveal weak angle dependence, which is consistent with that from an ocean emissivity model. This result demonstrates the reliability of the 1DVAR simultaneous algorithm for emissivity retrieval from hyperspectral IR radiance measurements.

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Yunjun Yao, Shunlin Liang, Qiming Qin, and Kaicun Wang

Abstract

Monitoring land surface drought using remote sensing data is a challenge, although a few methods are available. Evapotranspiration (ET) is a valuable indicator linked to land drought status and plays an important role in surface drought detection at continental and global scales. In this study, the evaporative drought index (EDI), based on the estimated actual ET and potential ET (PET), is described to characterize the surface drought conditions. Daily actual ET at 4-km resolution for April–September 2003–05 across the continental United States is estimated using a simple improved ET model with input solar radiation acquired by Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at a spatial resolution of 4 km and input meteorological parameters from NCEP Reanalysis-2 data at a spatial resolution of 32 km. The PET is also calculated using some of these data. The estimated actual ET has been rigorously validated with ground-measured ET at six Enhanced Facility sites in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) of the Atmosphere Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) and four AmeriFlux sites. The validation results show that the bias varies from −11.35 to 27.62 W m−2 and the correlation coefficient varies from 0.65 to 0.86. The monthly composites of EDI at 4-km resolution during April–September 2003–05 are found to be in good agreement with the Palmer Z index anomalies, but the advantage of EDI is its finer spatial resolution. The EDI described in this paper incorporates information about energy fluxes in response to soil moisture stress without requiring too many meteorological input parameters, and performs well in assessing drought at continental scales.

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