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Ruiyang Ma, Dong Zheng, Yijun Zhang, Wen Yao, Wenjuan Zhang, and Deqing Cuomu

Abstract

Herein, we compared data on the spatiotemporal distribution of lightning activity obtained from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) with that from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). The WWLLN and LIS both suggest intense lightning activity over the central and southeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP) during May–September. Meanwhile, the WWLLN indicates relatively weak lightning activity over the northeastern TP, where the LIS suggests very intense lightning activity, and it also indicates a high-density lightning center over the southwestern TP that is not suggested by the LIS. Furthermore, the WWLLN lightning peaks in August in terms of monthly variation and in late August in terms of 10-day variation, unlike the corresponding LIS lightning peaks of July and late June, respectively. Other observation data were also introduced into the comparison. The blackbody temperature (TBB) data from the Fengyun-2E geostationary satellite (as a proxy of deep convection) and thunderstorm-day data support the spatial distribution of the WWLLN lightning more. Meanwhile, for seasonal variation, the TBB data are more analogous to the LIS data, whereas the cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data from a local CG lightning location system are closer to the WWLLN data. It is speculated that the different WWLLN and LIS observation modes may cause their data to represent different dominant types of lightning, thereby leading to differences in the spatiotemporal distributions of their data. The results may further imply that there exist regional differences and seasonal variations in the electrical properties of thunderstorms over the TP.

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Xiaoxin Yang, Tandong Yao, Wulin Yang, Baiqing Xu, You He, and Dongmei Qu

Abstract

The onset of the Asian summer monsoon is noticeably controversial, spatially and temporally. The stable oxygen isotope δ 18O in precipitation has long been used to trace water vapor source, particularly to capture the summer monsoon precipitation signal. The abrupt decrease of precipitation δ 18O in the Asian summer monsoon region closely corresponds to the summer monsoon onset. Two stations have therefore been set up at Guangzhou and Lulang in the East Asian summer monsoon domain to clarify the summer monsoon onset dates. Event-based precipitation δ 18O during 2007/08 is much lower at Lulang than at Guangzhou and is attributable mainly to the altitude effect offset by different isotopic compositions in marine moisture sources. The earlier appearance of low δ 18Owt at Lulang than at Guangzhou confirms the earlier summer monsoon onset in the Bay of Bengal. Isotopically identified summer monsoon evolutions from precipitation δ 18O at both stations are verifiable with NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data, indicating that precipitation δ 18O offers an alternative approach to studying the summer monsoon circulation from precipitation δ 18O.

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Qiang Wang, Lili Zeng, Jian Li, Ju Chen, Yunkai He, Jinglong Yao, Dongxiao Wang, and Weidong Zhou

Abstract

Cross-shelf flow induced by mesoscale eddies has been investigated in the northern South China Sea (NSCS) using velocity observations from Long Ranger ADCP moorings. Mesoscale eddies influenced the three mooring stations during almost all the observation period. Four quadrants have been defined with the mooring location as the origin, and it is found that warm (cold) mesoscale eddies induce onshore (offshore) movement in the eastern two quadrants and offshore (onshore) movement in the western two quadrants. When an eddy propagates past a mooring station, net cross-shelf flow at the mooring station can be induced by asymmetry in the horizontal and vertical structure of the eddy and by its evolution. As an eddy propagates westward, its shape changes continually and the vertical modes also transform from high to lower modes, which contributes to the net cross-shelf flow. Based on the quasigeostrophic potential vorticity equation, it is confirmed that the net cross-shelf flow is mainly induced by the eddy evolution and suppressed by nonlinear effect. Because of dispersion characteristics of the mesoscale eddy, barotropic mode will restructure at the baroclinic mode area after separating from the baroclinic mode, which will be enhanced by topography slope.

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Anthony D. Del Genio, Jingbo Wu, Audrey B. Wolf, Yonghua Chen, Mao-Sung Yao, and Daehyun Kim

Abstract

Two recent activities offer an opportunity to test general circulation model (GCM) convection and its interaction with large-scale dynamics for observed Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) events. This study evaluates the sensitivity of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM to entrainment, rain evaporation, downdrafts, and cold pools. Single Column Model versions that restrict weakly entraining convection produce the most realistic dependence of convection depth on column water vapor (CWV) during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement MJO Investigation Experiment at Gan Island. Differences among models are primarily at intermediate CWV where the transition from shallow to deeper convection occurs. GCM 20-day hindcasts during the Year of Tropical Convection that best capture the shallow–deep transition also produce strong MJOs, with significant predictability compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission data. The dry anomaly east of the disturbance on hindcast day 1 is a good predictor of MJO onset and evolution. Initial CWV there is near the shallow–deep transition point, implicating premature onset of deep convection as a predictor of a poor MJO simulation. Convection weakly moistens the dry region in good MJO simulations in the first week; weakening of large-scale subsidence over this time may also affect MJO onset. Longwave radiation anomalies are weakest in the worst model version, consistent with previous analyses of cloud/moisture greenhouse enhancement as the primary MJO energy source. The authors’ results suggest that both cloud-/moisture-radiative interactions and convection–moisture sensitivity are required to produce a successful MJO simulation.

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Chao-Lin Wang, Shao-Bo Zhong, Guan-Nan Yao, and Quan-Yi Huang

Abstract

Drought disasters cause great economic losses in China every year, especially in its southwest, and they have had a major influence on economic development, lives, and property. In this study, precipitation and drought hazards were examined for a region covering Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi Provinces to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of different drought hazard grades in this region. Annual precipitation data from 90 meteorological stations in or around the study area were collected and organized for the period of 1964–2013. A spatiotemporal covariance model was calculated and fitted. The Bayesian maximum entropy (BME) method, which considers physical knowledge bases to reduce errors, was used to provide an optimal estimation of annual precipitation. Regional annual precipitation distributions were determined. To analyze the spatiotemporal patterns of the drought hazard, the annual standardized precipitation index was used to measure drought severity. A method that involves space–time scan statistics was used to detect the most likely spatiotemporal clusters of the drought hazards. Test-significance p values for all of the calculated clusters were less than 0.001, indicating a high significance level. The results showed that Yunnan Province was a drought-prone area, especially in its northwest and center, followed by Guizhou Province. In addition, Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces were cluster areas of severe and extreme drought. The most likely cluster year was 1966; it was clustered five times during the study period. In this study, the evolutionary process of drought hazards, including spatiotemporal distribution and spatiotemporal clustering characteristics, was considered. The results may be used to provide support for prevention and mitigation of drought in the study area such as optimizing the distribution of drought-resisting resources, drought monitoring, and evaluating potential drought impacts.

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Xudong Liang, Yanxin Xie, Jinfang Yin, Yi Luo, Dan Yao, and Feng Li

Abstract

Dealiasing is a common procedure in radar radial velocity quality control. Generally, there are two dealiasing steps: a continuity check and a reference check. In this paper, a modified version that uses azimuthal variance of radial velocity is introduced based on the integrating velocity–azimuth process (IVAP) method, referred to as the V-IVAP method. The new method can retrieve the averaged winds within a local area instead of averaged wind within a full range circle by the velocity–azimuth display (VAD) or the modified VAD method. The V-IVAP method is insensitive to the alias of the velocity, and provides a better way to produce reference velocities for a reference check. Instead of a continuity check, we use the IVAP method for a fine reference check because of its high-frequency filtering function. Then a dealiasing procedure with two steps of reference check is developed. The performance of the automatic dealiasing procedure is demonstrated by retrieving the wind field of a tornado. Using the dealiased radar velocities, the retrieved winds reveal a clear mesoscale vortex. A test based on radar network observations also has shown that the two-step dealiasing procedure based on V-IVAP and IVAP methods is reliable.

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Dan-Qing Huang, Jian Zhu, Yao-Cun Zhang, and An-Ning Huang

Abstract

To investigate the concurrent impacts of the East Asian polar front jet (EAPJ) and subtropical jet (EASJ) on the summer rainfall over eastern China, positive (strengthened EAPJ with weakened EASJ) and negative (weakened EAPJ with strengthened EASJ) configurations are identified. In the positive configuration, rainfall decreases in the northern part of eastern China and increases in the southern part, vice versa in the negative configuration. The possible mechanisms maintaining the two jet configurations are further proposed from the perspectives of sea surface temperature (SST) and synoptic-scale transient eddy activities (STEA). In the positive configuration, meridional distributed cold–warm SST anomalies over the eastern North Pacific may induce regional circulation and meridional temperature gradient anomalies, which can strengthen the EAPJ and weaken the EASJ. The central Pacific La Niña–like SST anomalies are related with the Arctic vortexlike anomalies in the stratosphere, which may strengthen the EAPJ. Furthermore, the divergence of Eliassen–Palm vectors and the conversion from eddy kinetic energy to mean kinetic energy over the active region of the EAPJ may strengthen the EAPJ, vice versa for the weakened EASJ. In the negative configuration, associated with the warm SST anomalies over the western North Pacific, the enhanced convective activities may lead to a strengthened EASJ via meridional teleconnection. The teleconnection may be intensified by the strengthened easterly vertical shear. Additionally, eastern Pacific La Niña–like SST anomalies may intensify the Walker circulation, which may strengthen the EASJ via the Hadley circulation. The STEA-related anomalies are almost opposite those in the positive configuration, especially for the weakened EAPJ.

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Meilin Zhu, Lonnie G. Thompson, Huabiao Zhao, Tandong Yao, Wei Yang, and Shengqiang Jin

Abstract

Glacier changes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) have been spatially heterogeneous in recent decades. The understanding of glacier mass changes in western Tibet, a transitional area between the monsoon-dominated region and the westerlies-dominated region, is still incomplete. For this study, we used an energy-mass balance model to reconstruct annual mass balances from October 1967 to September 2019 to explore the effects of local climate and large-scale atmospheric circulation on glacier mass changes in western Tibet. The results showed Xiao Anglong Glacier is close to a balanced condition, with an average value of -53±185 mm w.e. a-1 for 1968-2019. The interannual mass balance variability during 1968-2019 was primary driven by ablation-season precipitation, which determined changes in the snow accumulation and strongly influenced melt processes. The interannual mass balance variability during 1968-2019 was less affected by ablation-season air temperature, which only weakly affected snowfall and melt energy. Further analysis suggests that the southward (or northward) shift of the westerlies caused low (or high) ablation-season precipitation, and therefore low (or high) annual mass balance for glaciers in western Tibet. In addition, the average mass balance for Xiao Anglong Glacier was 83±185, -210±185, and -10±185 mm w.e. a-1 for 1968-1990, 1991-2012, and 2013-2019, respectively. These mass changes were associated with the variations in precipitation and air temperature during the ablation season on interdecadal time scales.

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Jeng-Lin Tsai, Ben-Jei Tsuang, Po-Sheng Lu, Ken-Hui Chang, Ming-Hwi Yao, and Yuan Shen

Abstract

The aerodynamic roughness, Bowen ratio, and friction velocity were measured over a rice paddy using tethersonde and eddy covariance (EC) systems. In addition, the height ranges of the atmospheric inertial sublayer (ISL) were derived using the tethersonde data. Comparison of the friction velocity, latent and sensible heat fluxes, and Bowen ratio estimated from these systems show their correlation coefficients to be >0.7. This difference between the observational systems can be associated with their respective footprint areas. The aerodynamic roughness was observed to be about 0.03 m for wind blowing from a paddy-dominated area (PDA) and about 0.37 m from a rice paddy interspersed with buildings (PIB) based on the ISL profile. Results are close to the effective roughness length model of Mason, having the same shear stresses at the blending height. In contrast, both the geometric mean model of Taylor and the arithmetic mean model of Tsai and Tsuang underestimate the effective roughness over the PIB. During daylight hours, the height range of the ISL ranged from a few meters to 25 m above ground level (AGL) for wind blowing from the PDA and 14–42 m for wind blowing from the PIB.

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Yuhong Zhang, Yan Du, W. N. D. S Jayarathna, Qiwei Sun, Ying Zhang, Fengchao Yao, and Ming Feng

Abstract

A prolonged high-salinity event in the northern Arabian Sea, to the east of the Gulf of Oman, during 2014–17 was identified based on Argo datasets. The prolonged event was manifested as enhanced spreading of the surface Arabian Sea high-salinity water and the intermediate Persian Gulf water. We used satellite altimetric data and geostrophic current data to understand the oceanic processes and the salt budget associated with the high-salinity event. The results indicated that the strengthened high-salinity advection from the Gulf of Oman was one of the main causes of the salinity increase in the northern Arabian Sea. The changes of the seasonally dependent eddies near the mouth of the Gulf of Oman dominated the strengthened high-salinity advection during the event as compared with the previous 4-yr period: the westward shifted cyclonic eddy during early winter stretched to the remote western Gulf of Oman, which carried the higher-salinity water to the northern Arabian Sea along the south coast of the Gulf. An anomalous eddy dipole during early summer intensified the eastward Ras Al Hadd Jet and its high-salinity advection into the northern Arabian Sea. In addition, the weakened low-salinity advection by coastal currents along the Omani coast caused by the weakened southwest monsoon contributed to the maintenance of the high-salinity event. This prolonged high-salinity event reflects the upper-ocean responses to the monsoon change and may affect the regional hydrography and biogeochemistry extensively.

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