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Satoshi Endo
,
Taro Shinoda
,
Tetsuya Hiyama
,
Hiroshi Uyeda
,
Kenji Nakamura
,
Hiroki Tanaka
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to clarify the characteristics of the convective boundary layer (CBL) over a humid terrestrial area, the Huaihe River basin in China, which is covered by a large, nearly flat plain with uniform farmland. Data were collected in early summer 2004 using a 32-m flux tower and a 1290-MHz wind profiler radar. When mature wheat fields or bare fields dominated (the first period), the sensible heat flux (SHF) from the land surface was nearly equal to the latent heat flux (LHF). After vegetation changed to paddy fields (the second period), the LHF was much larger than the SHF. Two clear days from the first and second periods were selected and are referred to as the dry case and wet case, respectively. For the dry case, a deep CBL developed rapidly from the early morning, and thermal updrafts in the CBL were vigorous. For the wet case, a shallow CBL developed slowly from late morning, and thermals were weak. To study the thermodynamic process in the CBL, a large-eddy simulation (LES) was conducted. The simulation adequately reproduced the surface heat flux and the CBL development for both the dry case and the wet case. For the dry case, sensible heat contributed to nearly all of the buoyancy flux. In contrast, for the wet case, heat and moisture made equal contributions. The large contribution of moisture to the buoyancy is one of the main characteristics of the CBL over humid terrestrial areas.

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Sachie Kanada
,
Tetsuya Takemi
,
Masaya Kato
,
Shota Yamasaki
,
Hironori Fudeyasu
,
Kazuhisa Tsuboki
,
Osamu Arakawa
, and
Izuru Takayabu

Abstract

Intense tropical cyclones (TCs) sometimes cause huge disasters, so it is imperative to explore the impacts of climate change on such TCs. Therefore, the authors conducted numerical simulations of the most destructive historical TC in Japanese history, Typhoon Vera (1959), in the current climate and a global warming climate. The authors used four nonhydrostatic models with a horizontal resolution of 5 km: the cloud-resolving storm simulator, the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) operational nonhydrostatic mesoscale model, and the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Initial and boundary conditions for the control simulation were provided by the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis dataset. Changes between the periods of 1979–2003 and 2075–99 were estimated from climate runs of a 20-km-mesh atmospheric general circulation model, and these changes were added to the initial and boundary conditions of the control simulation to produce the future climate conditions.

Although the representation of inner-core structures varies largely between the models, all models project an increase in the maximum intensity of future typhoons. It is found that structural changes only appeared around the storm center with sudden changes in precipitation and near-surface wind speeds as the radius of maximum wind speed (RMW) contracted. In the future climate, the water vapor mixing ratio in the lower troposphere increased by 3–4 g kg−1. The increased water vapor allowed the eyewall updrafts to form continuously inside the RMW and contributed to rapid condensation in the taller and more intense updrafts.

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Soichiro Hirano
,
Kosuke Ito
,
Hiroyuki Yamada
,
Satoki Tsujino
,
Kazuhisa Tsuboki
, and
Chun-Chieh Wu

Abstract

The sporadic formation of short-lived convective clouds in the eye of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Trami (2018) is investigated using dropsonde data and simulation results from a coupled atmosphere–ocean model. According to the satellite data, top height of the convective clouds exceeds 9 km above mean sea level, considerably taller than that of typical hub clouds (2–3 km). These clouds are located 10–30 km away from the TC center. Hence, these convective clouds are called deep eye clouds (DECs) in this study. The dropsonde data reveal an increase in relative humidity in the eye region during the formation of DECs. Short-lived convective clouds are simulated up to the middle troposphere in the eye region in the coupled model. Investigation of thermodynamic conditions shows a weakened low-level warm core and associated favorable conditions for convection in the eye region during the formation of DECs. DECs are formed after the weakening and outward displacement of convective heating within the eyewall. To elucidate the influence of the changes in convective heating within the eyewall on the formation of DECs, we calculate secondary circulation and associated adiabatic warming induced by convective heating within the eyewall using the Sawyer–Eliassen equation. In the eye region, weakening of subsidence and associated vertical potential temperature advection is observed as DECs are formed. This suggests that the weakening and outward displacement of convective heating within the eyewall create favorable conditions for the sporadic formation of DECs.

Open access
Satoki Tsujino
,
Kazuhisa Tsuboki
,
Hiroyuki Yamada
,
Tadayasu Ohigashi
,
Kosuke Ito
, and
Norio Nagahama

Abstract

Knowledge of the development and maintenance processes of double warm cores in tropical cyclones is important for full understanding of the dynamics of storm intensity changes. During its mature stage, Typhoon Lan (2017) had a clear double warm-core structure, which was observed by dropsondes. In this study, to investigate the intensification and maintenance of the double warm-core structure, a numerical simulation of the storm is performed with a cloud-resolving model and verified by dropsonde and satellite observations. A potential temperature budget and backward trajectories are diagnosed to examine intensification and maintenance processes in the simulated eye. The budget analysis indicates that, during the most rapidly intensifying stage, a double warm core is enhanced by axisymmetric subsidence warming in the eye. In the mature stage, upper-core warming is mostly canceled by ventilation due to vertical wind shear, but the lower core continues to warm by asymmetric advection, possibly associated with dynamical instability in the eyewall. The results raise a topic of interest: it is difficult to fully explain the axisymmetric subsidence warming process during the most rapidly intensifying stage by the dynamical response in an axisymmetric balanced vortex. The back-trajectory analysis indicates that the air mass associated with the subsidence is partly induced by inward acceleration in subgradient regions (unbalanced processes) in the eyewall.

Open access
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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Chung-Chieh Wang
,
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Yu-Han Chen
,
Shin-Hau Chen
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan during 7–9 August 2009 and became the deadliest tropical cyclone (TC) in five decades by producing up to 2635 mm of rain in 48 h, breaking the world record. The extreme rainfall of Morakot resulted from the strong interaction among several favorable factors that occurred simultaneously. These factors from large scale to small scale include the following: 1) weak environmental steering flow linked to the evolution of the monsoon gyre and consequently slow TC motion; 2) a strong moisture surge due to low-level southwesterly flow; 3) asymmetric rainfall and latent heating near southern Taiwan to further reduce the TC’s forward motion as its center began moving away from Taiwan; 4) enhanced rainfall due to steep topography; 5) atypical structure with a weak inner core, enhancing its susceptibility to the latent heating effect; and 6) cell merger and back building inside the rainbands associated with the interaction between the low-level jet and convective updrafts. From a forecasting standpoint, the present-day convective-permitting or cloud-resolving regional models are capable of short-range predictions of the Morakot event starting from 6 August. At longer ranges beyond 3 days, larger uncertainty exists in the track forecast and an ensemble approach is necessary. Due to the large computational demand at the required high resolution, the time-lagged strategy is shown to be a feasible option to produce useful information on rainfall probabilities of the event.

Open access
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Satoki Tsujino
,
Chien-Chang Huang
,
Chung-Chieh Wang
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Before landfall in the Philippines, Supertyphoon Haiyan in 2013 experienced a period of rapid intensification (RI) with the maximum wind speed increasing by 31 m s−1 in 24 h. A 2-km horizontal resolution full-physics cloud-resolving model is used to study the RI of Haiyan. To aid in the diagnosis of RI, we employ a dynamic efficiency factor (DEF), which is based on axisymmetric gradient wind vortex theory. The DEF measures the efficacy of convective heating at any point in generating kinetic energy. The DEF is large in the presence of strong baroclinicity near the eyewall. The simulated tropical cyclone (TC) becomes more symmetric and resembles the observations of Haiyan during the RI period. Our results highlight the nonlinear feedback process in which deep convection becomes collocated with the large DEF area near the eyewall. With the intensity increase, the eyewall convection results in significant subsidence warming at the edge of the eye rather than at the center of the eye. The overall eye warming enhances the baroclinicity near the eyewall and the system DEF in the eye-core region is increased by 33% before and after the RI onset. The vortex intensity increase during the RI period also leads to large unbalanced radial inflow in the boundary layer. The large radial inflow causes the deep convection to occur in the region of large inertial stability inside the radius of maximum wind. The deep convection further efficiently intensifies the TC. Our simulation emphasizes the importance of model resolution in simulating the internal nonlinear processes of RI.

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Chung-Chieh Wang
,
Hung-Chi Kuo
,
Yu-Han Chen
,
Hsiao-Ling Huang
,
Chao-Hsuan Chung
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan during 6–9 August 2009, and it produced the highest rainfall (approaching 3000 mm) and caused the worst damage in the past 50 yr. Typhoon–monsoon flow interactions with mesoscale convection, the water vapor supply by the monsoon flow, and the slow moving speed of the storm are the main reasons for the record-breaking precipitation. Analysis of the typhoon track reveals that the steering flow, although indeed slow, still exceeded the typhoon moving speed by approximately 5 km h−1 (1 km h−1 = 0.28 m s−1) during the postlandfall period on 8 August, when the rainfall was the heaviest. The Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulator (CReSS) is used to study the dynamics of the slow storm motion toward the north-northwest upon leaving Taiwan. The control simulations with 3-km grid size compare favorably with the observations, including the track, slow speed, asymmetric precipitation pattern, mesoscale convection, and rainfall distribution over Taiwan. Sensitivity tests with reduced moisture content reveal that not only did the model rainfall decrease but also the typhoon translation speed increased. Specifically, the simulations consistently show a discernible impact on storm motion by as much as 50%, as the storms with full moisture move slower (~5 km h−1), while those with limited moisture (≤25%) move faster (~10 km h−1). Thus, in addition to a weak steering flow, the prolonged asymmetric precipitation in Typhoon Morakot also contributed to its very slow motion upon leaving Taiwan, and both lengthened the heavy-rainfall period and increased the total rainfall amount. The implications of a realistic representation of cloud microphysics from the standpoint of tropical cyclone track forecasts are also briefly discussed.

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Takeharu Kouketsu
,
Hiroshi Uyeda
,
Tadayasu Ohigashi
,
Mariko Oue
,
Hiroto Takeuchi
,
Taro Shinoda
,
Kazuhisa Tsuboki
,
Mamoru Kubo
, and
Ken-ichiro Muramoto

Abstract

A fuzzy-logic-based hydrometeor classification (HC) method for X-band polarimetric radar (X-pol), which is suitable for observation of solid hydrometeors under moist environments producing little or no hail, is constructed and validated. This HC method identifies the most likely hydrometeor at each radar sampling volume from eight categories: 1) drizzle, 2) rain, 3) wet snow aggregates, 4) dry snow aggregates, 5) ice crystals, 6) dry graupel, 7) wet graupel, and 8) rain–hail mixture. Membership functions are defined on the basis of previous studies. The HC method uses radar reflectivity Z h , differential reflectivity Z dr, specific differential phase K dp, and correlation coefficient ρ hv as its main inputs, and temperature with some consideration of relative humidity as supplemental information. The method is validated against ground and in situ observations of solid hydrometeors (dry graupel, dry snow aggregates, and ice crystals) under a moist environment. Observational data from a ground-based imaging system are used to validate the HC method for dry graupel and dry snow aggregates. For dry snow aggregates and ice crystals, the HC method is validated using simultaneous observations from a balloonborne instrument [hydrometeor videosonde (HYVIS)] and an X-pol range–height indicator directed toward the HYVIS. The HC method distinguishes effectively between dry graupel, dry snow aggregates, and ice crystals, and is therefore valid for HC under moist environments.

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