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Hae-Kyung Lee Drbohlav and Bin Wang

Abstract

The structures and mechanism of the northward-propagating boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) in the southern Asian monsoon region are simulated and investigated in a three-dimensional intermediate model (3D model). The horizontal structure of the intraseasonal variability in the 3D model depicts the Kelvin–Rossby wave–type disturbance, which may or may not produce the northward-propagating disturbance in the Indian Ocean, depending on the seasonal-mean background winds.

Two experiments are conducted in order to identify what characteristic of seasonal-mean background can induce the northwestward-tilted band in the Kelvin–Rossby wave, whose overall eastward movement gives the impression of the northward propagation at a given longitude. When the prescribed boreal summer mean winds are excluded in the first experiment, the phase difference between the barotropic divergence tendency and convection disappears. Consequently, the Rossby wave–type convection forms a zonally elongated band. As a result, the northward propagation of convection at a given longitude disappears. When the easterly vertical shear is introduced in the second experiment, the horizontal and the vertical structures of BSISO become similar to that of the northward-propagating one. The reoccurrence of the northwestward-directed convective band and the phase difference between the barotropic divergence tendency and the convection suggest that the summer mean zonal winds in the boreal Indian summer monsoon region are a critical condition that causes the horizontal and vertical structures of northward-propagating BSISO in the southern Asian monsoon region.

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Chengsi Liu, Qingnong Xiao, and Bin Wang

Abstract

An ensemble-based four-dimensional variational data assimilation (En4DVAR) algorithm and its performance in a low-dimension space with a one-dimensional shallow-water model have been presented in Part I. This algorithm adopts the standard incremental approach and preconditioning in the variational algorithm but avoids the need for a tangent linear model and its adjoint so that it can be easily incorporated into variational assimilation systems. The current study explores techniques for En4DVAR application in real-dimension data assimilation. The EOF decomposed correlation function operator and analysis time tuning are formulated to reduce the impact of sampling errors in En4DVAR upon its analysis. With the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW-WRF) model, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are designed and their performance in real-dimension data assimilation is examined. It is found that the designed En4DVAR localization techniques can effectively alleviate the impacts of sampling errors upon analysis. Most forecast errors and biases in ARW are reduced by En4DVAR compared to those in a control experiment. En3DVAR cycling experiments are used to compare the ensemble-based sequential algorithm with the ensemble-based retrospective algorithm. These experiments indicate that the ensemble-based retrospective assimilation, En4DVAR, produces an overall better analysis than the ensemble-based sequential algorithm, En3DVAR, cycling approach.

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Sihua Huang, Bin Wang, and Zhiping Wen

Abstract

The upper-level tropical easterly jet (TEJ) is a crucial component of the summer monsoon system and tropical general circulation. The simulation and projection of the TEJ, however, have not been assessed. Here we evaluate models’ fidelity and assess the future change of the TEJ by utilizing 16 models that participated in phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Most of the models can reproduce the TEJ reasonably well in terms of climatology, seasonal evolution, and interannual variability. Nevertheless, underestimation of the TEJ’s intensity and extent is identified, with the maximum bias occurring in the jet centers over the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) and the tropical eastern Pacific (EP). Under the shared socioeconomic pathway 5–8.5, the multimodel ensemble projects a remarkable reduction in the central TEJ intensity by about 18% over the IO and 77% over the EP toward the end of the twenty-first century. The mean intensity of TEJ will weaken by about 11%, and the extent will reduce by 6%, suggesting a significantly weakened upper-level monsoon circulation in the future climate. The projected El Niño–like warming pattern over the tropical Pacific may play a critical role in the future weakening of the TEJ via inducing suppressed rainfall over the tropical eastern IO and Central America. The model uncertainties in the projected TEJ changes may arise from the uncertainties in the models’ projected tropical EP warming. The sensitivity of future projections to model selection is also examined. Results show that the selection of models based on different physical considerations does not yield a significantly different projection.

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Qingnong Xiao, Xiaolei Zou, and Bin Wang

Abstract

The bogus data assimilation (BDA) scheme designed by Zou and Xiao to specify initial structures of tropical cyclones was tested further on the simulation of a landfalling hurricane—Hurricane Fran (1996). The sensitivity of the simulated hurricane track and intensity to the specified radius of maximum wind of the bogus vortex, the resolution of the BDA assimilation model, and the bogus variables specified in the BDA are studied. In addition, the simulated hurricane structures are compared with the available observations, including the surface wind analysis and the radar reflectivity captured onshore during Fran’s landfall.

The sensitivity study of the BDA scheme showed that the simulations of the hurricane track and intensity were sensitive to the size of the specified bogus vortex. Hurricanes with a larger radius of maximum sea level pressure gradient are prone to a more westward propagation. The larger the radius, the weaker the predicted hurricane. Results of the hurricane initial structures and prediction were also sensitive to the bogus variables specified in the BDA. Fitting the model to the bogused pressure data reproduced the hurricane structure of all model variables more efficiently than when fitting it to bogused wind data. Examining the initial conditions produced by the BDA, it is found that the generation and intensity of hurricane warm-core structure in the model initial state was a key factor for the hurricane intensity prediction.

Initialized with the initial conditions obtained by the BDA scheme, the model successfully simulated Hurricane Fran’s landfall, the intensity change, and some inner-core structures. Verified against the surface wind analysis, the model reproduced the distribution of the maximum wind streaks reasonably well. The model-predicted reflectivity field during the landfall of Hurricane Fran resembled the observed radar reflectivity image onshore.

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Hyung-Jin Kim, Bin Wang, and Qinghua Ding

Abstract

The global monsoon climate variability during the second half of the twentieth century simulated by 21 coupled global climate models (CGCMs) that participated in the World Climate Research Programme’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) is evaluated. Emphasis was placed on climatology, multidecadal trend, and the response of the global monsoon precipitation to volcanic aerosols. The impact of the atmospheric model’s horizontal resolution on the group ensemble mean (GEM; obtained from the three resolution groups) simulations of global monsoon climate is also examined.

The CMIP3 CGCMs’ multimodel ensemble simulates a reasonably realistic climatology of the global monsoon precipitation and circulation. The GEMs are also able to capture the gross features of the global monsoon precipitation and westerly domains. However, the spreading among the rainfall GEMs is large, particularly at the windward side of narrow mountains (e.g., the western coast of India, the Philippines, Mexico, and the steep slope of the Tibetan Plateau). Main common biases in modeling rainfall climatology include a northeastward shift of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in the tropical North Pacific and a southward migration of the North Atlantic ITCZ during boreal winter.

The trend in the Northern Hemisphere land monsoon index (NHMI) detected in the CMIP3 models is generally consistent with the observations, albeit with much weaker magnitude. The significant decreasing NHMI trend during 1951–85 and 1951–99 occurs mainly in the models with volcanic aerosols (VOL models). This volcanic signal is detectable by comparison of the forced and free runs. It is estimated that from about one-quarter to one-third of the drying trend in the Northern Hemisphere land monsoon precipitation over the latter half of the twentieth century was likely due to the effects of the external volcanic forcings. On the other hand, the significant increasing trend in the global ocean monsoon index (GOMI) during 1980–99 appears chiefly in those models that are free of volcanic aerosols (No-VOL models). The exclusion of the volcanic aerosols is significant in simulating the positive GOMI trend against the internal variability of each model. These results suggest the climatic importance of the volcanic forcings in the global monsoon precipitation variability.

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Liguang Wu, Bin Wang, and Scott A. Braun

Abstract

While the previous studies of the impacts of air–sea interaction on tropical cyclones (TCs) generally agree on significant reduction in intensity and little change in track, they did not further explore the relative roles of the weak symmetric and strong asymmetric sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies relative to the TC center. These issues are investigated numerically with a coupled hurricane–ocean model in this study.

Despite the relatively small magnitude compared to the asymmetric component of the resulting cooling, the symmetric cooling plays a decisive role in weakening TC intensity. A likely reason is that the symmetric cooling directly reduces the TC intensity, while the asymmetric cooling affects the intensity through the resulting TC asymmetries, which are mainly confined to the lower boundary and much weaker than those resulting from large-scale environmental influences.

The differences in TC tracks between the coupled and fixed SST experiments are generally small because of the competing processes associated with the changes in TC asymmetries and the beta drift induced by air–sea interaction. The symmetric component of the SST drop weakens the TC intensity and outer strength, leading to a more northward beta drift. On the other hand, since the asymmetric component of the SST cooling is negative in the rear and positive in the front of a TC in the coupled experiments, the enhanced diabatic heating is on the southern side of a westward-moving TC, tending to shift the TC southward. In the coupled model the westward TCs with relatively weak (strong) outer strength tend to turn to the north (south) of the corresponding TCs without air–sea interaction.

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Bin Wang and Johnny C. L. Chan

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An analysis of 35-yr (1965–99) data reveals vital impacts of strong (but not moderate) El Niño and La Niña events on tropical storm (TS) activity over the western North Pacific (WNP). Although the total number of TSs formed in the entire WNP does not vary significantly from year to year, during El Niño summer and fall, the frequency of TS formation increases remarkably in the southeast quadrant (0°–17°N, 140°E–180°) and decreases in the northwest quadrant (17°–30°N, 120°–140°E). The July–September mean location of TS formation is 6° latitude lower, while that in October–December is 18° longitude eastward in the strong warm versus strong cold years. After the El Niño (La Niña), the early season (January–July) TS formation in the entire WNP is suppressed (enhanced). In strong warm (cold) years, the mean TS life span is about 7 (4) days, and the mean number of days of TS occurrence is 159 (84) days. During the fall of strong warm years, the number of TSs, which recurve northward across 35°N, is 2.5 times more than during strong cold years. This implies that El Niño substantially enhances poleward transport of heat–moisture and impacts high latitudes through changing TS formation and tracks.

The enhanced TS formation in the SE quadrant is attributed to the increase of the low-level shear vorticity generated by El Niño–induced equatorial westerlies, while the suppressed TS generation over the NW quadrant is ascribed to upper-level convergence induced by the deepening of the east Asian trough and strengthening of the WNP subtropical high, both resulting from El Niño forcing. The WNP TS activities in July–December are noticeably predictable using preceding winter–spring Niño-3.4 SST anomalies, while the TS formation in March–July is exceedingly predictable using preceding October–December Niño-3.4 SST anomalies. The physical basis for the former is the phase lock of ENSO evolution to the annual cycle, while for the latter it is the persistence of Philippine Sea wind anomalies that are excited by ENSO forcing but maintained by local atmosphere–ocean interaction.

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Hiroyuki Murakami, Bin Wang, and Akio Kitoh

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Projected future changes in tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the western North Pacific (WNP) under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B emission scenario were investigated using a 20-km-mesh, very-high-resolution Meteorological Research Institute (MRI)–Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) atmospheric general circulation model. The present-day (1979–2003) simulation yielded reasonably realistic climatology and interannual variability for TC genesis frequency and tracks.

The future (2075–99) projection indicates (i) a significant reduction (by about 23%) in both TC genesis number and frequency of occurrence primarily during the late part of the year (September–December), (ii) an eastward shift in the positions of the two prevailing northward-recurving TC tracks during the peak TC season (July–October), and (iii) a significant reduction (by 44%) in TC frequency approaching coastal regions of Southeast Asia.

The changes in occurrence frequency are due in part to changes in large-scale steering flows, but they are due mainly to changes in the locations of TC genesis; fewer TCs will form in the western portion of the WNP (west of 145°E), whereas more storms will form in the southeastern quadrant of the WNP (10°–20°N, 145°–160°E). Analysis of the genesis potential index reveals that the reduced TC genesis in the western WNP is due mainly to in situ weakening of large-scale ascent and decreasing midtropospheric relative humidity, which are associated with the enhanced descent of the tropical overturning circulation. The analysis also indicates that enhanced TC genesis in the southeastern WNP is due to increased low-level cyclonic vorticity and reduced vertical wind shear. These changes appear to be critically dependent on the spatial pattern of future sea surface temperature; therefore, it is necessary to conduct ensemble projections with a range of SST spatial patterns to understand the degree and distribution of uncertainty in future projections.

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Juan Li, Bin Wang, and Young-Min Yang

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The distinctive monsoon climate over East Asia, which is affected by the vast Eurasian continent and Pacific Ocean basin and the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau, provides arguably the best testbed for evaluating the competence of Earth system climate models. Here, a set of diagnostic metrics, consisting of 14 items and 7 variables, is specifically developed. This physically intuitive set of metrics focuses on the essential features of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM), and includes fields that depict the climatology, the major modes of variability, and unique characteristics of the EASM. The metrics are applied to multimodel historical simulations derived from 20 models that participated in phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 and CMIP5, respectively), along with the newly developed Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology Earth System Model, version 3. The CMIP5 models show significant improvements over the CMIP3 models in terms of the simulated East Asian monsoon circulation systems on a regional scale, major modes of EAWM variability, the monsoon domain and precipitation intensity, and teleconnection associated with the heat source over the Philippine Sea. Clear deficiencies persist from CMIP3 to CMIP5 with respect to capturing the major modes of EASM variability, as well as the relationship between the EASM and ENSO during El Niño developing and decay phases. The possible origins that affect models’ performance are also discussed. The metrics provide a tool for evaluating the performance of Earth system climate models, and facilitating the assessment of past and projected future changes of the East Asian monsoon.

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Ying Zhao, Bin Wang, and Juanjuan Liu

Abstract

In this study, a new data assimilation system based on a dimension-reduced projection (DRP) technique was developed for the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) modeling system. As an initial step to test the newly developed system, observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) were conducted using a simulated sea level pressure (SLP) field as “observations” and assimilation experiments using a specified SLP field to evaluate the effects of the new DRP–four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVar) method, initialization, and simulation of a tropical storm—Typhoon Bilis (2006) over the western North Pacific. In the OSSEs, the “nature” run, which was assumed to represent the “true” atmosphere, was simulated by the MM5 model, which was initialized with the 1.0° × 1.0° NCEP final global tropospheric analyses and integrated for 120 h. The simulated SLP field was then used as the observations in the data assimilation. It is shown that the MM5 DRP–4DVar system can successfully assimilate the (simulated) model output (used as observations) because the OSSEs resulted in improved storm-track forecasts. In addition, compared with an experiment that assimilated the SLP data fixed at the end of a 6-h assimilation window, the experiment that assimilated the SLP data every 3 min in a 30-min assimilation window further improved the typhoon-track forecasts, especially in terms of the initial vortex location and landfall location. Finally, the assimilation experiments with a specified SLP field have demonstrated the effectiveness of the new method.

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