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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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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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Yuanyuan Guo, Zhiping Wen, Renguang Wu, Riyu Lu, and Zesheng Chen

Abstract

The leading mode of boreal winter precipitation variability over the tropical Pacific for the period 1980–2010 shows a west–east dipole pattern with one center over the western North Pacific (WNP) and Maritime Continent and the other center over the equatorial central Pacific (CP). Observational evidence shows that the variability of the East Asian upper-tropospheric subtropical westerly jet (EAJ) has a significant correlation with precipitation anomalies over the WNP and CP and that tropical precipitation anomalies over WNP and CP have a distinct influence on the variation of the EAJ. A series of numerical experiments based on a linear baroclinic model are performed to confirm the influence of the heating anomalies associated with precipitation perturbations over the WNP and CP on the EAJ. The results of numerical experiments indicate that a heat source over the WNP can excite a northward-propagating Rossby wave train in the upper troposphere over East Asia and facilitate a poleward eddy momentum flux. It results in the acceleration of the westerlies between 30° and 45°N, which favors a northward displacement of the EAJ. The response induced by a heat sink over the CP features a zonal easterly band between 25° and 40°N, suggesting that the response to heat sink associated with negative precipitation anomalies over the CP may weaken the EAJ. A strengthened relationship was found between tropical Pacific precipitation and the EAJ since 1979. The modeling results suggest that the shift of mean states might be responsible for the strengthened EAJ–rainfall relationship after 1979.

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Shuoyi Ding, Wen Chen, Juan Feng, and Hans-F. Graf

Abstract

Combined impacts of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and two types of La Niña on climate anomalies in Europe are studied. Particularly, the conjunction of the negative PDO phase and two different types of La Niña events favors strong and significant North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern anomalies with opposite polarity. For the central Pacific (CP) La Niña, a clear positive NAO signal can be detected, which is accompanied by positive surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly and a dipolar structure of precipitation anomalies in Europe. In addition, a typical negative Pacific–North America (PNA) teleconnection pattern forms, including a high pressure anomaly over the southeastern United States, which may contribute to the development and maintenance of the NAO anomaly by strengthening the baroclinicity and the local eddy–mean flow interaction. However, for the eastern Pacific (EP) La Niña, a zonal wave train in the high latitudes can be observed, which is quite different from the typical PNA structure. Here, an anomalous anticyclone over southern Greenland supports a negative NAO pattern through the local eddy–mean flow interaction and the associated vorticity advection. Hence, reversed SAT and precipitation anomalies occur over Europe. Further analyses indicate that the wave trains emanating from the North Pacific and the synoptic eddy–mean flow interaction play essential roles in forming the anomalous NAO phases. The different wave trains for the CP and EP La Niña events may be attributed to the differences in the location and intensity of anomalous convection induced by different types of SST anomaly as well as by the corresponding background westerly wind anomalies in the upper troposphere.

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Hainan Gong, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Renguang Wu, Wen Zhou, Lin Liu, Debashis Nath, and Xiaoqing Lan

Abstract

The wintertime Arctic Oscillation (AO) pattern in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate models displays notable differences from the reanalysis. The North Pacific center of the AO pattern is larger in the ensemble mean of 27 models than in the reanalysis, and the magnitude of the North Pacific center of the AO pattern varies largely among the models. This study investigates the plausible sources of the diversity of the AO pattern in the models. Analysis indicates that the amplitude of the North Pacific center is associated with the coupling between the North Pacific and North Atlantic, which in turn is primarily modulated by the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex. A comparative analysis is conducted for the strong polar vortex (SPV) and weak polar vortex (WPV) models. It reveals that a stronger stratospheric polar vortex induces more planetary waves to reflect from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic and more wave activity fluxes to propagate from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic in the SPV models than in the WPV models. Thus, the coupling of atmospheric circulation between the North Pacific and North Atlantic is stronger in the SPV models, which facilitates more North Pacific variability to be involved in the AO variability and induces a stronger North Pacific center in the AO pattern. The increase in vertical resolution may improve the simulation of the stratospheric polar vortex and thereby reduces the model biases in the North Pacific–North Atlantic coupling and thereby the amplitude of the North Pacific center of the AO pattern in models.

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Wen Zhou, Johnny C. L. Chan, Wen Chen, Jian Ling, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Yaping Shao

Abstract

In January 2008, central and southern China experienced persistent low temperatures, freezing rain, and snow. The large-scale conditions associated with the occurrence and development of these snowstorms are examined in order to identify the key synoptic controls leading to this event. Three main factors are identified: 1) the persistent blocking high over Siberia, which remained quasi-stationary around 65°E for 3 weeks, led to advection of dry and cold Siberian air down to central and southern China; 2) a strong persistent southwesterly flow associated with the western Pacific subtropical high led to enhanced moisture advection from the Bay of Bengal into central and southern China; and 3) the deep inversion layer in the lower troposphere associated with the extended snow cover over most of central and southern China. The combination of these three factors is likely responsible for the unusual severity of the event, and hence a long return period.

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Shangfeng Chen, Wen Chen, Renguang Wu, Bin Yu, and Hans-F. Graf

Abstract

The present study reveals a close relation between the interannual variation of Aleutian low intensity (ALI) in March and the subsequent winter El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). When March ALI is weaker (stronger) than normal, an El Niño (a La Niña)–like sea surface temperature (SST) warming (cooling) tends to appear in the equatorial central-eastern Pacific during the subsequent winter. The physical process linking March ALI to the following winter ENSO is as follows. When March ALI is below normal, a notable atmospheric dipole pattern develops over the North Pacific, with an anticyclonic anomaly over the Aleutian region and a cyclonic anomaly over the subtropical west-central Pacific. The formation of the anomalous cyclone is attributed to feedback of the synoptic-scale eddy-to-mean-flow energy flux and associated vorticity transportation. Specifically, easterly wind anomalies over the midlatitudes related to the weakened ALI are accompanied by a decrease in synoptic-scale eddy activity, which forces an anomalous cyclone to its southern flank. The accompanying westerly wind anomalies over the tropical west-central Pacific induce SST warming in the equatorial central-eastern Pacific during the following summer–autumn via triggering eastward-propagating warm Kelvin waves, which may sustain and develop into an El Niño event during the following winter via positive air–sea feedback. The relation of March ALI with the following winter ENSO is independent of the preceding tropical Pacific SST, the preceding-winter North Pacific Oscillation, and the spring Arctic Oscillation. The results of this analysis may provide an additional source for the prediction of ENSO.

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Jiepeng Chen, Xin Wang, Wen Zhou, Chunzai Wang, Qiang Xie, Gang Li, and Sheng Chen

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that the anomalous western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC) can generally persist from an El Niño mature winter to the subsequent summer, influencing southern China precipitation significantly, where southern China includes the Yangtze River valley and South China. Since the late 1970s, three extreme El Niño events have been recorded: 1982/83, 1997/98, and 2015/16. There was a sharp contrast in the change in southern China rainfall and corresponding atmospheric circulations in the decaying August between the 2015/16 extreme El Niño event and the earlier two extreme El Niño events. Enhanced rainfall in the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River and suppressed rainfall over South China resulted from basinwide warming in the tropical Indian Ocean induced by the extreme El Niño in August 1983 and 1998, which was consistent with previous studies. However, an anomalous western North Pacific cyclone emerged in August 2016 and then caused positive rainfall anomalies over South China and negative rainfall anomalies from the Yangtze River to the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Without considering the effect of the long-term global warming trend, in August 2016 the negative SST anomalies over the western Indian Ocean and cooling in the north tropical Atlantic contributed to the anomalous western North Pacific cyclone and a rainfall anomaly pattern with opposite anomalies in South China and the Yangtze River region. Numerical experiments with the CAM5 model are conducted to confirm that cooler SST in the western Indian Ocean contributed more than cooler SST in the north tropical Atlantic to the anomalous western North Pacific cyclone and anomalous South China rainfall.

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Hui-Wen Lai, Hans W. Chen, Julia Kukulies, Tinghai Ou, and Deliang Chen

Abstract

Precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has major societal impacts in South and East Asia, but its spatiotemporal variations are not well understood, mainly because of the sparsely distributed in situ observation sites. With the help of the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite product IMERG and the ERA5 dataset, distinct precipitation seasonality features over the TP were objectively classified using a self-organizing map algorithm fed with 10-day averaged precipitation from 2000 to 2019. The classification reveals three main precipitation regimes with distinct seasonality of precipitation: the winter peak, centered at the western plateau; the early summer peak, found on the eastern plateau; and the late summer peak, mainly located on the southwestern plateau. On a year-to-year basis, the winter peak regime is relatively robust, whereas the early summer and late summer peak regimes tend to shift mainly between the central and northern TP but are robust in the eastern and southwestern TP. A composite analysis shows that the winter peak regime experiences larger amounts of precipitation in winter and early spring when the westerly jet is anomalously strong to the north of the TP. Precipitation variations in the late summer peak regime are associated with intensity changes in the South Asian high and Indian summer monsoon. The precipitation in the early summer peak regime is correlated with the Indian summer monsoon together with anticyclonic circulation over the western North Pacific. The results provide a basic understanding of precipitation seasonality variations over the TP and associated large-scale conditions.

Open access
Peiqiang Xu, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Guosen Chen, and In-Sik Kang

Abstract

The British–Baikal Corridor (BBC) pattern is the dominant waveguide mode trapped along the summertime polar front jet over northern Eurasia. It consists of four geographically fixed centers over the west of the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, western Siberia, and Lake Baikal, respectively. Its intraseasonal variations and dynamics are investigated based on reanalysis datasets. The BBC pattern has a life cycle of about two weeks. Its precursor could be traced back to an upstream wave packet propagating along the Atlantic jet 10 days before its peak, and its life cycle resembles the evolution of a quasi-stationary Rossby wave train. Diagnosis of the streamfunction tendency equation suggests that the growth and decay of the BBC pattern are primarily driven by the nonlinear processes, whereas the quasi-stationary feature of the BBC pattern arises from the cancellation among the linear processes. Energetics analysis indicates that the energy cycle with the transient eddies (TEs) plays an essential role in the growth and decay of the BBC pattern. The BBC pattern first feeds on the barotropic energy provided by the TEs and then returns the energy to TEs in the form of baroclinic energy. It is this nonlinear interaction with the TEs that poses a tough challenge to the current state-of-the-art models to capture the BBC pattern reasonably.

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