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Jing-Wu Liu
,
Su-Ping Zhang
, and
Shang-Ping Xie

Abstract

Effects of the sea surface temperature (SST) front along the East China Sea Kuroshio on sea surface winds at different time scales are investigated. In winter and spring, the climatological vector wind is strongest on the SST front while the scalar wind speed reaches a maximum on the warm flank of the front and is collocated with the maximum difference between sea surface temperature and surface air temperature (SST − SAT). The distinction is due to the change in relative importance of two physical processes of SST–wind interaction at different time scales. The SST front–induced sea surface level pressure (SLP) adjustment (SF–SLP) contributes to a strong vector wind above the front on long time scales, consistent with the collocation of baroclinicity in the marine boundary layer and corroborated by the similarity between the thermal wind and observed wind shear between 1000 and 850 hPa. In contrast, the SST modulation of synoptic winds is more evident on the warm flank of the SST front. Large thermal instability of the near-surface layer strengthens temporal synoptic wind perturbations by intensifying vertical mixing, resulting in a scalar wind maximum. The vertical mixing and SF–SLP mechanisms are both at work but manifest more clearly at the synoptic time scale and in the long-term mean, respectively. The cross-frontal variations are 1.5 m s−1 in both the scalar and vector wind speeds, representing the vertical mixing and SF–SLP effects, respectively. The results illustrate the utility of high-frequency sampling by satellite scatterometers.

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Jing-Wu Liu
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Joel R. Norris
, and
Su-Ping Zhang

Abstract

A sharp sea surface temperature front develops between the warm water of the Gulf Stream and cold continental shelf water in boreal winter. This front has a substantial impact on the marine boundary layer. The present study analyzes and synthesizes satellite observations and reanalysis data to examine how the sea surface temperature front influences the three-dimensional structure of low-level clouds. The Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite captures a sharp low-level cloud transition across the Gulf Stream front, a structure frequently observed under the northerly condition. Low-level cloud top (<4 km) increases by about 500 m from the cold to the warm flank of the front. The sea surface temperature front induces a secondary low-level circulation through sea level pressure adjustment with ascending motion over the warm water and descending motion over cold water. The secondary circulation further contributes to the cross-frontal transition of low-level clouds. Composite analysis shows that surface meridional advection over the front plays an important role in the development of the marine atmospheric boundary layer and low-level clouds. Under cold northerly advection over the Gulf Stream front, strong near-surface instability leads to a well-mixed boundary layer over the Gulf Stream, causing southward deepening of low-level clouds across the sea surface temperature front. Moreover, the front affects the freezing level by transferring heat to the atmosphere and therefore influences the cross-frontal variation of the cloud phase.

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Jing-Wu Liu
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Shuang Yang
, and
Su-Ping Zhang

Abstract

The East China Sea Kuroshio (ECSK) flows in the East Asian monsoon region where the background atmospheric circulation varies significantly with season. A sea surface temperature (SST) front associated with the ECSK becomes narrower and sharper from winter to spring. The present study investigates how low clouds respond to the ECSK front in different seasons by synthesizing spaceborne lidar and surface visual observations. The results reveal prominent cross-frontal transitions in low clouds, which exhibit distinct behavior between winter and spring. In winter, cloud responses are generally confined below 4 km by the strong background descending motion and feature a gradual cloud-top elevation from the cold to the warm flank of the front. The ice clouds on the cold flank of the ECSK front transform into liquid water clouds and rain on the warm flank. The springtime clouds, by contrast, are characterized by a sharp cross-frontal transition with deep clouds reaching up to 7 km over the ECSK. In both winter and spring, the low-cloud morphology exhibits a large transformation from the cold to the warm flank of the ECSK front, including increases in cloud-top height, a decline in smoothness of cloud top, and the transition from stratiform to convective clouds. All this along with the atmospheric soundings indicates that the decoupling of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL) is more prevalent on the warm flank of the front. Thus, long-term observations reveal prominent cross-frontal low-cloud transitions in morphology associated with MABL decoupling that resemble a large-scale cloud-regime transition over the eastern subtropical Pacific.

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Ben Jong-Dao Jou
,
Wen-Chau Lee
,
Su-Ping Liu
, and
Yu-Cheng Kao

Abstract

The primary circulation of atmospheric vortices, such as tropical cyclones and tornadoes, can be estimated from single-Doppler radar observations using the ground-based velocity track display (GBVTD) algorithm. The GBVTD algorithm has limitations in the following four areas: 1) distortion in the retrieved asymmetric wind fields, 2) a limited analysis domain, 3) the inability to resolve the cross-beam component of the mean wind, and 4) the inability to separate the asymmetric tangential and radial winds. This paper presents the generalized velocity track display (GVTD) algorithm, which eliminates the first two limitations inherent in the GBVTD technique and demonstrates the possibility of subjectively estimating the mean wind vector when its signature is visible beyond the influence of the vortex circulation.

In this new paradigm, the GVTD algorithm fits the atmospheric vortex circulation to a new variable VdD/RT in a linear azimuth angle (θ′), rather than the Doppler velocity Vd in a nonlinear angle (ψ), which is used in GBVTD. Key vortex kinematic structures (e.g., mean wind, axisymmetric tangential wind, etc.) in the VdD/RT space simplify the interpretation of the radar signature and eliminate the geometric distortion inherent in the Vd display. This is a significant improvement in diagnosing vortex structures in both operations and research. The advantages of using VdD/RT are illustrated using analytical atmospheric vortices, and the properties are compared with GBVTD. The characteristics of the VdD/RT display of Typhoon Gladys (1994) can be approximated by a constant mean wind plus an axisymmetric vortex.

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Hong-Hai Zhang
,
Gui-Peng Yang
,
Chun-Ying Liu
, and
Lu-Ping Su

Abstract

The total suspended particulate (TSP) samples over the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea were collected to determine the major compositions of water-soluble ionic species during two cruises in autumn 2007. The aerosol compositions exhibited an obvious regional variation between the two cruises, with higher concentrations (except Na+ and Mg2+) over the northern Yellow Sea during the first cruise. The concentrations of the secondary ions [non–sea salt sulfate (nss- ), , and ] were 11 ± 4.9, 3.1 ± 2.1, and 3.7 ± 2.6 μg m−3, respectively, which together contributed over 72% of the total determined ion concentrations. Significant correlations between these secondary ions were found within each sampling period, while nss-K+ and nss-Ca2+ showed strong correlation with each other. The calculated results of equivalent concentrations of anions (nss- and ) and cations ( and Ca2+) showed that the acidic species were mostly neutralized with the alkaline species over the study areas. The mass ratio of nss- / was 1.4 during the investigation period. In addition, the concentrations of MSA were 0.011 ± 0.044 and 0.0081 ± 0.0047 μg m−3 during the two cruises, respectively. Based on the measured MSA, nss- , and their ratios, the relative biogenic sulfur contribution to the total nss- was estimated to be only 2.0% during the two cruises, further suggesting the major contribution of anthropogenic source to sulfur budget over the marginal seas of China.

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Su-Ping Zhang
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Qin-Yu Liu
,
Yu-Qiang Yang
,
Xin-Gong Wang
, and
Zhao-Peng Ren

Abstract

Sea fog is frequently observed over the Yellow Sea, with an average of 50 fog days on the Chinese coast during April–July. The Yellow Sea fog season is characterized by an abrupt onset in April in the southern coast of Shandong Peninsula and an abrupt, basin-wide termination in August. This study investigates the mechanisms for such steplike evolution that is inexplicable from the gradual change in solar radiation. From March to April over the northwestern Yellow Sea, a temperature inversion forms in a layer 100–350 m above the sea surface, and the prevailing surface winds switch from northwesterly to southerly, both changes that are favorable for advection fog. The land–sea contrast is the key to these changes. In April, the land warms up much faster than the ocean. The prevailing west-southwesterlies at 925 hPa advect warm continental air to form an inversion over the western Yellow Sea. The land–sea differential warming also leads to the formation of a shallow anticyclone over the cool Yellow and northern East China Seas in April. The southerlies on the west flank of this anticyclone advect warm and humid air from the south, causing the abrupt fog onset on the Chinese coast. The lack of such warm/moist advection on the east flank of the anticyclone leads to a gradual increase in fog occurrence on the Korean coast. The retreat of Yellow Sea fog is associated with a shift in the prevailing winds from southerly to easterly from July to August. The August wind shift over the Yellow Sea is part of a large-scale change in the East Asian–western Pacific monsoons, characterized by enhanced convection over the subtropical northwest Pacific and the resultant teleconnection into the midlatitudes, the latter known as the western Pacific–Japan pattern. Back trajectories for foggy and fog-free air masses support the results from the climatological analysis.

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