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Chung-Chieh Wang
,
Shin-Yi Huang
,
Shin-Hau Chen
,
Chih-Sheng Chang
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

In this study, the performance of a new ensemble quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) system for Taiwan, with a cloud-resolving grid spacing of 2.5 km, a large domain of 1860 km × 1360 km, and an extended range of 8 days, is evaluated for six typhoons during 2012–13. Obtaining the probability (ensemble) information through a time-lagged approach, this system combines the strengths of high resolution (for QPF) and longer lead time (for hazard preparation) in an innovative way. For the six typhoons, in addition to short ranges (≤3 days), the system produced a decent QPF at a longest range up to days 8, 4, 6, 3, 6, and 7, providing greatly extended lead times, especially for slow-moving storms that pose higher threats. Moreover, since forecast uncertainty (reflected in the spread) is reduced with lead time, this system can provide a wide range of rainfall scenarios across Taiwan with longer lead times, each highly realistic for the associated track, allowing for advanced preparation for worst-case scenarios. Then, as the typhoon approaches and the predicted tracks converge, the government agencies can make adjustments toward the scenario of increasing likelihood. This strategy fits well with the conventional wisdom of “hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst” when facing natural hazards. Overall, the system presented herein compares favorably in usefulness to a typical 24-member ensemble (5-km grid size, 750 km × 900 km, 3-day forecasts) currently in operation using similar computational resources. Requiring about 1500 cores to execute four 8-day runs per day, it is not only powerful but also affordable and feasible.

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Haosheng Huang
,
Nan D. Walker
,
Ya Hsueh
,
Yi Chao
, and
Robert R. Leben

Abstract

The Loop Current frontal eddies (LCFEs) refer to cyclonic cold eddies moving downstream along the outside edge of the Loop Current in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. They have been observed by in situ measurements and satellite imagery, mostly downstream of the Campeche Bank continental shelf. Their evolution, simulated by a primitive equation ⅙° and 37-level Atlantic Ocean general circulation numerical model, is described in detail in this study. Some of the simulated LCFEs arise, with the passage through the Yucatan Channel of a Caribbean anticyclonic eddy, as weak cyclones with diameters less than 100 km near the Yucatan Channel. They then grow to fully developed eddies with diameters on the order of 150–200 km while moving along the Loop Current edge. Modeled LCFEs have a very coherent vertical structure with isotherm doming seen from 50- to ~1000-m depth. The Caribbean anticyclone and LCFE are two predominant features in this numerical model simulation, which account for 22% and 10%, respectively, of the short-term (period less than 100 days) temperature variance at 104.5 m in the complex empirical orthogonal function (CEOF) analysis. The source water inside the LCFEs that are generated by Caribbean anticyclonic eddy impingement can be traced back, using a backward-in-time Lagrangian particle-tracking method, to the western edge of the Caribbean Current in the northwest Caribbean Sea and to coastal waters near the northern Yucatan Peninsula. The model results indicating a pairing of anticyclonic and cyclonic eddies within and north of the Yucatan Channel are supported by satellite altimetry measurements during February 2002 when several altimeters were operational.

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Zhixia Wang
,
Shengzhi Huang
,
Qiang Huang
,
Weili Duan
,
Guoyong Leng
,
Yi Guo
,
Xudong Zheng
,
Mingqiu Nie
,
Zhiming Han
,
Haixia Dong
, and
Jian Peng

Abstract

In the propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought, there are time-lag and step-abrupt effects, quantified in terms of propagation time and threshold, which play an important role in hydrological drought early warning. However, seasonal drought propagation time and threshold and their dynamics as well as the corresponding driving mechanism remain unknown in a changing environment. To this end, the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized runoff index (SRI) were used respectively to characterize meteorological and hydrological droughts and to determine the optimal propagation time. Then, a seasonal drought propagation framework based on Bayesian network was proposed for calculating the drought propagation threshold with SPI. Finally, the seasonal dynamics and preliminary attribution of propagation characteristics were investigated based on the random forest model and correlation analysis. The results show that 1) relatively short propagation time (less than 9 months) and large propagation threshold (from −3.18 to −1.19) can be observed in the Toxkan River basins (subbasin II), especially for spring, showing low drought resistance; 2) drought propagation time shows an extended trend in most seasons, while the drought propagation threshold displays an increasing trend in autumn and winter in the Aksu River basin (subbasins I–II), and the opposite characteristics in the Hotan and Yarkant River basins (subbasins III–V); and 3) the impacts of precipitation, temperature, potential evapotranspiration, and soil moisture on drought propagation dynamics are inconsistent across subbasins and seasons, noting that reservoirs serve as a buffer to regulate the propagation from meteorological to hydrological droughts. The findings of this study can provide scientific guidelines for watershed hydrological drought early warning and risk management.

Significance Statement

The aim of this study is to better understand how the delayed and step-abrupt effects of propagation from meteorological drought to hydrological drought can be characterized through propagation time and threshold. These response indicators determine the resistance of a catchment to hydrological droughts and meteorological droughts. They can help water resources management agencies to mitigate hydrological droughts by taking measures such as water storage, increasing revenue, and reducing expenditure. The findings of this study can provide scientific guidelines for watershed hydrological drought early warning and risk management.

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Jin-Yi Yu
,
Pei-ken Kao
,
Houk Paek
,
Huang-Hsiung Hsu
,
Chih-wen Hung
,
Mong-Ming Lu
, and
Soon-Il An

Abstract

The ocean–atmosphere coupling in the northeastern subtropical Pacific is dominated by a Pacific meridional mode (PMM), which spans between the extratropical and tropical Pacific and plays an important role in connecting extratropical climate variability to the occurrence of El Niño. Analyses of observational data and numerical model experiments were conducted to demonstrate that the PMM (and the subtropical Pacific coupling) experienced a rapid strengthening in the early 1990s and that this strengthening is related to an intensification of the subtropical Pacific high caused by a phase change of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). This PMM strengthening favored the development of more central Pacific (CP)-type El Niño events. The recent shift from more conventional eastern Pacific (EP) to more CP-type El Niño events can thus be at least partly understood as a Pacific Ocean response to a phase change in the AMO.

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Vidhi Bharti
,
Eric Schulz
,
Christopher W. Fairall
,
Byron W. Blomquist
,
Yi Huang
,
Alain Protat
,
Steven T. Siems
, and
Michael J. Manton

Abstract

Given the large uncertainties in surface heat fluxes over the Southern Ocean, an assessment of fluxes obtained by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) product, the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) routine observations, and the Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Heat Fluxes (OAFlux) project hybrid dataset is performed. The surface fluxes are calculated using the COARE 3.5 bulk algorithm with in situ data obtained from the NOAA Physical Sciences Division flux system during the Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, Radiation, and Atmospheric Composition over the Southern Ocean (CAPRICORN) experiment on board the R/V Investigator during a voyage (March–April 2016) in the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean (43°–53°S). ERA-Interim and OAFlux data are further compared with the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) air–sea flux moored surface float deployed for a year (March 2015–April 2016) at ~46.7°S, 142°E. The results indicate that ERA-Interim (3 hourly at 0.25°) and OAFlux (daily at 1°) estimate sensible heat flux H s accurately to within ±5 W m−2 and latent heat flux H l to within ±10 W m−2. ERA-Interim gives a positive bias in H s at low latitudes (<47°S) and in H l at high latitudes (>47°S), and OAFlux displays consistently positive bias in H l at all latitudes. No systematic bias with respect to wind or rain conditions was observed. Although some differences in the bulk flux algorithms are noted, these biases can be largely attributed to the uncertainties in the observations used to derive the flux products.

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Chuanhao Wu
,
Pat J.-F. Yeh
,
Jiali Ju
,
Yi-Ying Chen
,
Kai Xu
,
Heng Dai
,
Jie Niu
,
Bill X. Hu
, and
Guoru Huang

Abstract

Drought projections are accompanied with large uncertainties due to varying estimates of future warming scenarios from different modeling and forcing data. Using the standardized precipitation index (SPI), this study presents a global assessment of uncertainties in drought characteristics (severity S and frequency Df) projections based on the simulations of 28 general circulation models (GCMs) from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). A hierarchical framework incorporating a variance-based global sensitivity analysis was developed to quantify the uncertainties in drought characteristics projections at various spatial (global and regional) and temporal (decadal and 30-yr) scales due to 28 GCMs, three representative concentration pathway scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5), and two bias-correction (BC) methods. The results indicated that the largest uncertainty contribution in the globally projected S and Df is from the GCM uncertainty (>60%), followed by BC (<35%) and RCP (<16%) uncertainty. Spatially, BC reduces the spreads among GCMs particularly in Northern Hemisphere (NH), leading to smaller GCM uncertainty in the NH than the Southern Hemisphere (SH). In contrast, the BC and RCP uncertainties are larger in the NH than the SH, and the BC uncertainty can be larger than GCM uncertainty for some regions (e.g., southwest Asia). At the decadal and 30-yr time scales, the contributions for three uncertainty sources show larger variability in S than Df projections, especially in the SH. The GCM and BC uncertainties show overall decreasing trends with time, while the RCP uncertainty is expected to increase over time and even can be larger than BC uncertainty for some regions (e.g., northern Asia) by the end of this century.

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Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Arun Kumar
,
Bohua Huang
,
Jieshun Zhu
,
Michelle L’Heureux
,
Michael J. McPhaden
, and
Jin-Yi Yu

Abstract

Following the interdecadal shift of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) properties that occurred in 1976/77, another regime shift happened in 1999/2000 that featured a decrease of variability and an increase in ENSO frequency. Specifically, the frequency spectrum of Niño-3.4 sea surface temperature shifted from dominant variations at quasi-quadrennial (~4 yr) periods during 1979–99 to weaker fluctuations at quasi-biennial (~2 yr) periods during 2000–18. Also, the spectrum of warm water volume (WWV) index had almost no peak in 2000–18, implying a nearly white noise process. The regime shift was associated with an enhanced zonal gradient of the mean state, a westward shift in the atmosphere–ocean coupling in the tropical Pacific, and an increase in the static stability of the troposphere. This shift had several important implications. The whitening of the subsurface ocean temperature led to a breakdown of the relationship between WWV and ENSO, reducing the efficacy of WWV as a key predictor for ENSO and thus leading to a decrease in ENSO prediction skill. Another consequence of the higher ENSO frequency after 1999/2000 was that the forecasted peak of sea surface temperature anomaly often lagged that observed by several months, and the lag increased with the lead time. The ENSO regime shift may have altered ENSO influences on extratropical climate. Thus, the regime shift of ENSO in 1999/2000 as well as the model default may account for the higher false alarm and lower skill in predicting ENSO since 1999/2000.

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Hong-Yi Li
,
L. Ruby Leung
,
Augusto Getirana
,
Maoyi Huang
,
Huan Wu
,
Yubin Xu
,
Jiali Guo
, and
Nathalie Voisin

Abstract

Accurately simulating hydrological processes such as streamflow is important in land surface modeling because they can influence other land surface processes, such as carbon cycle dynamics, through various interaction pathways. This study aims to evaluate the global application of a recently developed Model for Scale Adaptive River Transport (MOSART) coupled with the Community Land Model, version 4 (CLM4). To support the global implementation of MOSART, a comprehensive global hydrography dataset has been derived at multiple resolutions from different sources. The simulated runoff fields are first evaluated against the composite runoff map from the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC). The simulated streamflow is then shown to reproduce reasonably well the observed daily and monthly streamflow at over 1600 of the world’s major river stations in terms of annual, seasonal, and daily flow statistics. The impacts of model structure complexity are evaluated, and results show that the spatial and temporal variability of river velocity simulated by MOSART is necessary for capturing streamflow seasonality and annual maximum flood. Other sources of the simulation bias include uncertainties in the atmospheric forcing, as revealed by simulations driven by four different climate datasets, and human influences, based on a classification framework that quantifies the impact levels of large dams on the streamflow worldwide.

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Fang Pan
,
Xianglei Huang
,
Stephen S. Leroy
,
Pu Lin
,
L. Larrabee Strow
,
Yi Ming
, and
V. Ramaswamy

Abstract

Global-mean radiances observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit A (AMSU-A) are analyzed from 2003 to 2012. The focus of this study is on channels sensitive to emission and absorption in the stratosphere. Optimal fingerprinting is used to obtain estimates of changes of stratospheric temperature in five vertical layers due to external forcing in the presence of natural variability. Natural variability is estimated using synthetic radiances based on the 500-yr GFDL CM3 and 240-yr HadGEM2-CC control runs. The results show a cooling rate of 0.65 ± 0.11 (2σ) K decade−1 in the upper stratosphere above 6 hPa, approximately 0.46 ± 0.24 K decade−1 in two midstratospheric layers between 6 and 30 hPa, and 0.39 ± 0.32 K decade−1 in the lower stratosphere (30–60 hPa). The cooling rate in the lowest part of the stratosphere (60–100 hPa) is −0.014 ± 0.22 K decade−1, which is smallest among all five layers and statistically insignificant. The synergistic use of well-calibrated passive infrared and microwave radiances permits disambiguation of trends of carbon dioxide and stratospheric temperature, increases vertical resolution of detected stratospheric temperature trends, and effectively reduces uncertainties of estimated temperature trends.

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Fukai Liu
,
Jian Lu
,
Oluwayemi A. Garuba
,
Yi Huang
,
L. Ruby Leung
,
Bryce E. Harrop
, and
Yiyong Luo

Abstract

A large set of Green’s function-type experiments is performed with q-flux forcings mimicking the effects of the ocean heat uptake (OHU) to examine the global surface air temperature (SAT) sensitivities to the location of the forcing. The result of the experiments confirms the earlier notion derived from experiments with different model complexities that the global mean SAT is far more sensitive to the oceanic forcing from high latitudes than the tropics. Remarkably, no matter in which latitude the q-flux forcings are placed, the SAT response is always characterized by a feature of polar amplification, implicating that it is intrinsic to our climate system. Considerable zonal asymmetry is also present in the efficacy of the tropical OHU, with the tropical eastern Pacific being much more efficient than the Indian Ocean and tropical Atlantic in driving global SAT warming by exciting the leading neutral mode of the SAT that projects strongly onto global mean warming. Using a radiative kernel, feedback analysis is also conducted to unravel the underlying processes responsible for the spatial heterogeneity in the global OHU efficacy, the polar amplification structures, and the tropical altruism of sharing the warmth with remote latitudes. Warming “altruism” for a q flux at a given latitude is also investigated in terms of the ratio of the induced remote latitudes versus the directly forced local warming. It is found that the tropics are much more altruistic than higher latitudes because of the high-energy transport efficiency of the Hadley circulation.

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