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Nasreen Akter
and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Cyclone Sidr, one of the most devastating tropical cyclones that resulted in several thousand deaths and substantial damages, developed in the north Indian Ocean and made landfall over the Bangladesh coast on 15 November 2007. Observation and simulation results show that Sidr was embedded in a nonuniform environment and contained an intense outer rainband to the east of its center and a significant frontal band to the northwest. A detailed study of the outer rainband is performed by numerical simulation.

The eastern band was a long, quasi-straight shape in the meridional direction that remained stationary relative to the cyclone center. This band was composed of convective cells that developed southeast of the center within a synoptic-scale convergence zone and propagated along the band toward the northeast quadrant. The speed of the downwind-propagating cells was greater than that of the cyclone, which resulted in a convective cluster northeast of the center. Only the downwind portion of the band consisted of convection with stratiform rain, whereas the upwind and middle portions contained active convective cells without stratiform rain.

The band was located between the synoptic-scale flows of a weakly sheared, gradient-balanced westerly and a strongly sheared, nongradient-balanced prevailing southerly caused by the complex terrain of the Bay of Bengal’s southeast region. Low-level convergence along the band was dominated by cross-band flow from both sides of the band and was confined below 3 km. As the cyclone moved northward, the convergence zone resulted in the extension of band length up to ~800 km. The southerly at the eastern side of the center gradually accelerated and was directed toward the center by a strong pressure gradient force. The flow accumulated a substantial amount of water vapor from the sea in addition to the increased moisture in the lower troposphere, resulting in further intensification of the convective cells.

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Yukari Shusse
and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Dimension characteristics in precipitation properties of cumulonimbus clouds are basic parameters in understanding the vertical transport of water vapor in the atmosphere. In this study, the dimension characteristics and precipitation efficiency of cumulonimbus clouds observed in the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Asian Monsoon Experiment (GAME) Huaihe River Basin Experiment (HUBEX) are studied using data from X-band Doppler radars and upper-air soundings. The maximum echo area (EAmax) of the cumulonimbus clouds ranged from 0.5 to 470 km2, and the maximum echo top (ETmax) ranged from 2 to 19 km. The total number of cells (TNC) within the cumulonimbus clouds over their lifetime was from 1 to 25.

The ETmax, TNC, area time integral (ATI), and total rainfall amount (R tot) strongly correlate with the EAmax of the cumulonimbus clouds. The cell-averaged ATI (ATIcell = ATI/TNC), maximum rainfall intensity (RImax), and cell-averaged rainfall amount (R cell = R tot/TNC) increase when the EAmax is smaller than 100 km2. On the other hand, they are almost constant when the EAmax is larger than 100 km2. The rain productivity of small clouds (<100 km2 in EAmax) increases not only by the increase of the TNC but also by the intensification of cells, while that of large cumulonimbus clouds (>100 km2 in EAmax) increases by the increase of the TNC rather than by the intensification of cells.

In the present study, precipitation efficiency (εp ) is defined as the ratio of the total rainfall amount (R tot) to the total water vapor amount ingested into the cloud through the cloud base (V tot). The εp was calculated for six clouds whose vertical velocity data at the cloud-base level were deduced by dual-Doppler analysis throughout their lifetime. The εp ranged from 0.03% to 9.31% and exhibited a strong positive correlation with the EAmax. This indicates that more than 90% of the water vapor that enters the clouds through the cloud base is consumed to moisten the atmosphere and less than 10% is converted to precipitation and returned to the ground. The cumulonimbus clouds in the region far south from the mei-yu front over the eastern Asian continent efficiently transport water vertically and humidify the upper troposphere.

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Chung-Chieh Wang
,
George Tai-Jen Chen
,
Shan-Chien Yang
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

Following an earlier diagnostic study, the present paper performs numerical simulations of the rare wintertime supercell storms during 19–20 December 2002 in a subtropical environment near Taiwan. Using Japan Meteorology Agency (JMA) 20-km analyses and horizontal grid spacing of 1.5 and 0.5 km, the Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulator (CReSS) of Nagoya University successfully reproduced the three major storms at the correct time and location, but the southern storm decayed too early over the Taiwan Strait. The two experiments produce similar overall results, suggesting that the 1.5-km grid spacing is sufficient even for storm dynamics. Model results are further used to examine the storm structure, kinematics, splitting process, and the variation in the mesoscale environment. Over the Taiwan Strait, the strong surface northeasterly flow enhanced low-level vertical shear and helped the storms evolve into isolated supercells. Consistent with previous studies, the vorticity budget analysis indicates that midlevel updraft rotation arose mainly from the tilting effect, and was reinforced by vertical stretching at the supercell stage. As the ultimate source of vorticity generation, the horizontal vorticity (vertical shear) was altered by the baroclinic (solenoidal) effect around the warm-core updraft, as well as the tilting of vertical vorticity onto, and rotation of vortex tubes in the xy plane, forming a counterclockwise pattern that pointed generally northward (westward) at the right (left) flanks of the updraft. In both runs, model storms travel about 15°–20° to the left of the actual storms, and they are found to be quite sensitive to the detailed low-level thermodynamic structure of the postfrontal atmosphere and the intensity of the storms themselves, in particular whether or not the existing instability can be released by forced uplift at the gust front. In this regard, the finer 0.5-km grid did produce stronger storms that maintained longer across the strait. The disagreement in propagation direction between the model and real storms is partially attributed to the differences in environment, while the remaining part is most likely due to differences not reflected in gridded analyses. Since the conditions (in both the model and real atmosphere) over the Taiwan Strait are not uniform and depend on many detailed factors, it is anticipated that a successful simulation that agrees with the observation in all aspects over data-sparse regions like this one will remain a challenging task in the foreseeable future.

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Yoshio Asuma
,
Soshi Iwata
,
Katsuhiro Kikuchi
,
G. W. Kent Moore
,
Ryuji Kimura
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

In the fall of 1994, the Beaufort and Arctic Storms Experiment (BASE) was held to collect information on the structure and evolution of mesoscale weather systems over the southern Beaufort Sea and the Mackenzie River delta of the western Canadian Arctic. As part of the experiment, X-band Doppler radar observations were carried out at Tuktoyaktuk, a village on the shore of the Beaufort Sea. In this paper, the precipitation features, structure, and moisture transport associated with two distinctly different weather systems that were observed during BASE are described with a variety of datasets. Climatologies of storm activity in the area suggest these two types of different weather systems, the so-called Pacific origin and storm track disturbances, are the most frequently observed in this region during the fall months.

The characteristic feature of a Pacific origin weather system is a pronounced layering of the air masses. In the upper layer, the air mass is of Pacific origin and is associated with a deep low in the Gulf of Alaska. As a result it is moist and is capable of producing precipitation. In contrast, the lower layer is initially of continental origin and is associated with a secondary lee cyclogenesis event in the Mackenzie River basin. As the secondary disturbance moves to the east, there is a shift in the wind direction that advects air from the Beaufort Sea into the lower layer. This results in a moistening of the lower layer that allows precipitation from the upper layer that had previously evaporated in the lower layer to be enhanced and reach the surface. The detailed structure of this type of storm is strongly affected by the topography of the region and the presence of open water in the southern Beaufort Sea.

The storm track weather system is markedly different and is associated with the passage of a mesoscale low over the southern Beaufort Sea. In this sort of system, there is a well-defined frontal structure of a type previously identified in the midlatitudes. Two different precipitation regimes are identified that are associated with the passage of the warm and cold front. In this sort of system, the sources of moisture are the Bering Sea and the open water in the southern Beaufort Sea.

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Chung-Chieh Wang
,
George Tai-Jen Chen
,
Tzu-Chin Chen
, and
Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

During the morning hours on 23 May 2002, a convective line associated with a mei-yu front brought heavy rainfall along the coast of central Taiwan under favorable synoptic conditions of warm air advection and large convective available potential energy (CAPE) of over 3000 m2 s−2. Doppler radar observations indicated that deep convection was organized into a linear shape with a northeast–southwest orientation along the front about 70 km offshore from Taiwan over the northern Taiwan Strait. The system then moved toward Taiwan at a slow speed of about 4 m s−1. In the present study, the effects of Taiwan topography on this convective line and subsequent rainfall distribution were investigated through numerical modeling using the Nagoya University Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulator (CReSS) at a 2-km horizontal grid size. Experiments with different terrain heights of Taiwan, including full terrain (FTRN), half terrain (HTRN), and no terrain (NTRN), were performed. The control run using full-terrain and cold rain explicit microphysics realistically reproduced the evolution of the convective line and the associated weather with many fine details.

Two low-level convergence zones were found to be crucial in the development of this convective line and the subsequent rainfall distribution over Taiwan. The first was along the mei-yu front and forced mainly by the front, but was terrain enhanced off the northwestern coast of Taiwan due to the blocking of air on the windward side of the Central Mountain Range (CMR). After formation, convective cells along this zone propagated southeastward and produced rainfall over the northwestern coast. As the front moved closer to Taiwan, a second arc-shaped convergence zone with a nearly north–south orientation along about 120°E formed ahead of the front between the prevailing flow and near-surface offshore flow induced by the blocking. This second zone was terrain induced, and convection initiated near its northern end was found to be responsible for the rainfall maximum observed near the coast of central Taiwan. Its intensity and position were highly sensitive to terrain height. In the HTRN run where the terrain was reduced by half, a weaker zone closer to the CMR (by about 50 km) was produced, and the rain fell mostly over the windward slope of the terrain instead of over the coastal plain. When the terrain was removed in the NTRN run, no such zone with the correct orientation formed. It was also found that the frontal movement near northern Taiwan was slightly delayed with the presence of terrain, and this affected the timing and distribution of local rainfall during the later stages of this event.

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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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