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Ji-Won Kim
,
Ting-Huai Chang
,
Ching-Teng Lee
, and
Jin-Yi Yu

Abstract

Using observational data and model hindcasts produced by a coupled climate model, we examine the response of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) to three types of El Niño: eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific I (CP-I) and II (CP-II) El Niños. The observational analysis shows that all three El Niño types weaken the EAWM with varying degrees of impact. The EP El Niño has the largest weakening effect, while the CP-II El Niño has the second largest, and the CP-I El Niño has the smallest. We find that diverse El Niño types impact the EAWM by altering the responses of two anomalous anticyclones during El Niño mature winter: the western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC) and Kuroshio anticyclone (KAC). The WNPAC responses are controlled by the Gill response and Indian Ocean warming processes that both respond to the eastern-to-central tropical Pacific precipitation anomalies. The KAC responses are controlled by a poleward wave propagation responding to the northwestern tropical Pacific precipitation anomalies. We find that the model hindcasts significantly underestimate the weakening effect during the EP and CP-II El Niños. These underestimations are related to a model deficiency in which it produces a too-weak WNPAC response during the EP El Niño and completely misses the KAC response during both types of El Niño. The too-weak WNPAC response is caused by the model deficiency of simulating too-weak eastern-to-central tropical Pacific precipitation anomalies. The lack of KAC response arises from the unrealistic response of the model’s extratropical atmosphere to the northwestern tropical Pacific precipitation anomalies.

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Kewei Lyu
,
Xuebin Zhang
,
John A. Church
,
Jianyu Hu
, and
Jin-Yi Yu

Abstract

Low-frequency sea level variations with periods longer than interannual time scales have been receiving much attention recently, with the aim of distinguishing the anthropogenic regional sea level change signal from the natural fluctuations. Based on the available sea level products, this study finds that the dominant low-frequency sea level mode in the Pacific basin has both quasi-decadal variations and a multidecadal trend reversal in the early 1990s. The dominant sea level modes on these two time scales have different tropical structures: a west–east seesaw in the tropical Pacific on the multidecadal time scale and a dipole between the western and central tropical Pacific on the quasi-decadal time scale. These two sea level modes in the Pacific basin are closely related to the ENSO-like low-frequency climate variability on respective time scales but feature distinct surface wind forcing patterns and subbasin climate processes. The multidecadal sea level mode is associated with the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and Aleutian low variations in the North Pacific and tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies toward the eastern basin, while the quasi-decadal sea level mode is accompanied by tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies centered in the central basin along with the North Pacific part, which resembles the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and its oceanic expressions [i.e., the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) and the Victoria mode]. The authors further conclude that the ENSO-like low-frequency variability, which has dominant influences on the Pacific sea level and climate, comprises at least two distinct modes with different spatial structures on quasi-decadal and multidecadal time scales, respectively.

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Yu-Chiao Liang
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Eric S. Saltzman
, and
Fan Wang

Abstract

During 2013–15, prolonged near-surface warming in the northeastern Pacific was observed and has been referred to as the Pacific warm blob. Here, statistical analyses are conducted to show that the generation of the Pacific blob is closely related to the tropical Northern Hemisphere (TNH) pattern in the atmosphere. When the TNH pattern stays in its positive phase for extended periods of time, it generates prolonged blob events primarily through anomalies in surface heat fluxes and secondarily through anomalies in wind-induced ocean advection. Five prolonged (≥24 months) blob events are identified during the past six decades (1948–2015), and the TNH–blob relationship can be recognized in all of them. Although the Pacific decadal oscillation and El Niño can also induce an arc-shaped warming pattern near the Pacific blob region, they are not responsible for the generation of Pacific blob events. The essential feature of Pacific blob generation is the TNH-forced Gulf of Alaska warming pattern. This study also finds that the atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with the TNH pattern in the North Atlantic can induce SST variability akin to the so-called Atlantic cold blob, also through anomalies in surface heat fluxes and wind-induced ocean advection. As a result, the TNH pattern serves as an atmospheric conducting pattern that connects some of the Pacific warm blob and Atlantic cold blob events. This conducting mechanism has not previously been explored.

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Chang-Hoi Ho
,
Jong-Jin Baik
,
Joo-Hong Kim
,
Dao-Yi Gong
, and
Chung-Hsiung Sui

Abstract

The present work examines interdecadal variations of typhoon tracks in the western North Pacific (WNP) during the boreal summer (June–September) for the period 1951–2001. Typhoon tracks are expressed as percentage values of the total number of typhoon passages into a 5° × 5° latitude–longitude grid box with respect to the total number of typhoons formed in the WNP. The analysis period is divided into two interdecadal periods: ID1 (1951–79) and ID2 (1980–2001). From ID1 to ID2, typhoon passage frequency decreased significantly in the East China Sea and Philippine Sea, but increased slightly in the South China Sea. The time series of typhoon passage frequency over the East China Sea and South China Sea further reveal a regime shift in the late 1970s, while those over the Philippine Sea indicate a continuous downward trend of −9% decade−1.

The interdecadal changes in typhoon tracks are associated with the westward expansion of the subtropical northwestern Pacific high (SNPH) in the late 1970s. The expansion of the SNPH to the southeast coast of Asia may result in a larger elliptic pathway of typhoon migration. This is consistent with the westward shift of the typhoon tracks from ID1 to ID2, resulting in an increase of typhoon passage frequency in the South China Sea and a decrease in the East China Sea. The change of typhoon tracks is partly due to the westward shift of major typhoon formation regions associated with a warmer sea surface temperature in the South China Sea. The decreasing typhoon passage frequency over the Philippine Sea is due to less typhoon formation in recent decades. This is consistent with the decreasing cyclonic relative vorticity in the lower troposphere.

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Mei Hou
,
Lan Cuo
,
Amirkhamza Murodov
,
Jin Ding
,
Yi Luo
,
Tie Liu
, and
Xi Chen

Abstract

Transboundary rivers are often the cause of water-related international disputes. One example is the Amu Darya River, with a catchment area of 470 000 km2, which passes through five countries and provides water resources for 89 million people. Intensified human activities and climate change in this region have altered hydrological processes and led to water-related conflicts and ecosystem degradation. Understanding streamflow composition and quantifying the change impacts on streamflow in the Amu Darya basin (ADB) are imperative to water resources management. Here, a degree-day glacier-melt scheme coupled offline with the Variable Infiltration Capacity hydrological model (VIC-glacier), forced by daily precipitation, maximum and minimum air temperature, and wind speed, is used to examine streamflow composition and changes during 1953–2019. Results show large differences in streamflow composition among the tributaries. There is a decrease in the snowmelt component (−260.8 m3 s−1) and rainfall component (−30.1 m3 s−1) at Kerki but an increase in the glacier melt component (160.0 m3 s−1) during drought years. In contrast, there is an increase in the snowmelt component (378.6 m3 s−1) and rainfall component (12.0 m3 s−1) but a decrease in the glacier melt component (−201.8 m3 s−1) during wet years. Using the VIC-glacier and climate elasticity approach, impacts of human activities and climate change on streamflow at Kerki and Kiziljar during 1956–2015 are quantified. Both methods agree and show a dominant role played by human activities in streamflow reduction, with contributions ranging 103.2%–122.1%; however, the contribution of climate change ranges from −22.1% to −3.2%.

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Yi Jin
,
Steven E. Koch
,
Yuh-Lang Lin
,
F. Martin Ralph
, and
Chaing Chen

Abstract

Numerical simulations of a gravity current in an environment characterized by complex stratification and vertical wind shear have been performed using a nonhydrostatic, two-dimensional, dry, primitive-equation model. Data from one of the most complete documentations to date of gravity waves associated with a gravity current, presented in an earlier study, are used both to prescribe the gravity current's environment and for validation of the simulated gravity current and its associated gravity waves. These comparisons indicate that the gravity current observed by a Doppler wind profiler and sodars was well simulated in terms of depth, density contrast, and propagation speed and that the model produced a variety of gravity waves similar in many ways to these observed.

Because uncertainties remained concerning the gravity wave generation mechanisms derived from the observations (e.g., wavelengths were not observed), the validated simulations are used to test these tentative hypotheses. The simulations confirm that trapped lee-type gravity waves formed in response to flow over the head of the gravity current and that Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) waves were created because of shear atop the cold air within the gravity current. The 2.8-km wavelength of the simulated KH waves agrees with the 2- to 3-km wavelength inferred from the observations. However, the 6.4-km wavelength of the simulated lee-type waves is significantly shorter than the 12.5-km wavelength inferred from the observational data, even though wave periods (20-23 minutes) are nearly identical. Sensitivity tests indicate that the curvature in the wind profile associated with the low-level opposing inflow and an elevated isothermal layer worked together to support the development of the trapped lee-type waves. The model produces a deep vertically propagating wave above the gravity current head that was not present in the observations. As deduced in the earlier study, sensitivity tests indicate that the prefrontal, near-surface stable layer was too shallow to support the generation of a bore; that is, conditions were supercritical. Synthesis of detailed observations and numerical simulations of these mesoscale phenomena thus offers the broadest examination possible of the complex physical processes.

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David R. Ryglicki
,
James D. Doyle
,
Yi Jin
,
Daniel Hodyss
, and
Joshua H. Cossuth

Abstract

We investigate a class of tropical cyclones (TCs) that undergo rapid intensification (RI) in moderate vertical wind shear through analysis of a series of idealized model simulations. Two key findings derived from observational analysis are that the average 200–850-hPa shear value is 7.5 m s−1 and that the TCs displayed coherent cloud structures, deemed tilt-modulated convective asymmetries (TCA), which feature pulses of deep convection with periods of between 4 and 8 h. Additionally, all of the TCs are embedded in an environment that is characterized by shear associated with anticyclones, a factor that limits depth of the strongest environmental winds in the vertical. The idealized TC develops in the presence of relatively shallow environmental wind shear of an anticyclone. An analysis of the TC tilt in the vertical demonstrates that the source of the observed 4–8-h periodicity of the TCAs can be explained by smaller-scale nutations of the tilt on the longer, slower upshear precession. When the environmental wind shear occurs over a deeper layer similar to that of a trough, the TC does not develop. The TCAs are characterized as collections of updrafts that are buoyant throughout the depth of the TC since they rise into a cold anomaly caused by the tilting vortex. At 90 h into the simulation, RI occurs, and the tilt nutations (and hence the TCAs) cease to occur.

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Caren Marzban
,
Xiaochuan Du
,
Scott Sandgathe
,
James D. Doyle
,
Yi Jin
, and
Nicholas C. Lederer

Abstract

A methodology is proposed for examining the effect of model parameters (assumed to be continuous) on the spatial structure of forecasts. The methodology involves several statistical methods of sampling and inference to assure the sensitivity results are statistically sound. Specifically, Latin hypercube sampling is employed to vary the model parameters, and multivariate multiple regression is used to account for spatial correlations in assessing the sensitivities. The end product is a geographic “map” of p values for each model parameter, allowing one to display and examine the spatial structure of the sensitivity. As an illustration, the effect of 11 model parameters in a mesoscale model on forecasts of convective and grid-scale precipitation, surface air temperature, and water vapor is studied. A number of spatial patterns in sensitivity are found. For example, a parameter that controls the fraction of available convective clouds and precipitation fed back to the grid scale influences precipitation forecasts mostly over the southeastern region of the domain; another parameter that modifies the surface fluxes distinguishes between precipitation forecasts over land and over water. The sensitivity of surface air temperature and water vapor forecasts also has distinct spatial patterns, with the specific pattern depending on the model parameter. Among the 11 parameters examined, there is one (an autoconversion factor in the microphysics) that appears to have no influence in any region and on any of the forecast quantities.

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John A. Knaff
,
Charles R. Sampson
,
Patrick J. Fitzpatrick
,
Yi Jin
, and
Christopher M. Hill

Abstract

In 1980 the Holland tropical cyclone (TC) wind profile model was introduced. This simple model was originally intended to estimate the wind profile based on limited surface pressure information alone. For this reason and its relative simplicity, the model has been used in many practical applications. In this paper the potential of a simplified version of the Holland B parameter, which is related to the shape of the tangential wind profile, is explored as a powerful diagnostic tool for monitoring TC structure. The implementation examined is based on the limited information (maximum wind, central pressure, radius and pressure of the outer closed isobar, radii of operationally important wind radii, etc.) that is typically available in operational models and routine analyses of TC structure. This “simplified Holland B” parameter is shown to be sensitive to TC intensity, TC size, and the rate of radial decay of the tangential winds, but relatively insensitive to the radius of maximum winds. A climatology of the simplified Holland B parameter based on historical best-track data is also developed and presented, providing the expected natural ranges of variability. The relative simplicity, predictable variability, and desirable properties of the simplified Holland B parameter make it ideal for a variety of applications. Examples of how the simplified Holland B parameter can be used for improving forecaster guidance, developing TC structure tools, diagnosing TC model output, and understanding and comparing the climatological variations of TC structure are presented.

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Ming Cai
,
Yueyue Yu
,
Yi Deng
,
Huug M. van den Dool
,
Rongcai Ren
,
Suru Saha
,
Xingren Wu
, and
Jin Huang

Abstract

Extreme weather events such as cold-air outbreaks (CAOs) pose great threats to human life and the socioeconomic well-being of modern society. In the past, our capability to predict their occurrences has been constrained by the 2-week predictability limit for weather. We demonstrate here for the first time that a rapid increase of air mass transported into the polar stratosphere, referred to as the pulse of the stratosphere (PULSE), can often be predicted with a useful degree of skill 4–6 weeks in advance by operational forecast models. We further show that the probability of the occurrence of continental-scale CAOs in midlatitudes increases substantially above normal conditions within a short time period from 1 week before to 1–2 weeks after the peak day of a PULSE event. In particular, we reveal that the three massive CAOs over North America in January and February of 2014 were preceded by three episodes of extreme mass transport into the polar stratosphere with peak intensities reaching a trillion tons per day, twice that on an average winter day. Therefore, our capability to predict the PULSEs with operational forecast models, in conjunction with its linkage to continental-scale CAOs, opens up a new opportunity for 30-day forecasts of continental-scale CAOs, such as those occurring over North America during the 2013/14 winter. A real-time forecast experiment inaugurated in the winter of 2014/15 has given support to the idea that it is feasible to forecast CAOs 1 month in advance.

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