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

Abstract

Topographic Rossby waves (TRWs) are reported to make a significant contribution to the deep-ocean current variability. On the northern South China Sea (NSCS) continental slope, TRWs with peak spectral energy at ~14.5 days are observed over about a year at deep moorings aligned east–west around the Dongsha Islands. The TRWs with a group velocity of O(10) cm s−1 contribute more than 40% of total bottom velocity fluctuations at the two mooring stations. The energy propagation and source are further identified using a ray-tracing model. The TRW energy mainly propagates westward along the NSCS continental slope with a slight downslope component. The possible energy source is upper-ocean 10–20-day fluctuations on the east side of the Dongsha Islands, which are transferred through the first baroclinic mode (i.e., the second EOF mode). These 10–20-day fluctuations in the upper ocean are associated with mesoscale eddies. However, to the west of the Dongsha Islands, the 10–20-day fluctuations in the upper ocean are too weak to effectively generate TRWs locally. This work provides an interesting insight toward understanding the NSCS deep current variability and the linkage between the upper- and deep-ocean currents.

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Lanqiang Bai, Zhiyong Meng, Ling Huang, Lijun Yan, Zhaohui Li, Xuehu Mai, Yipeng Huang, Dan Yao, and Xi Wang

Abstract

This work presents an integrated damage, visual, and radar analysis of a tropical cyclone (TC) tornado that has not been documented as detailed as midlatitude tornadoes. On 4 October 2015, an enhanced Fujita 3 (EF3) tornado spawned into Typhoon Mujigae and hit Foshan, Guangdong Province, China. This tornado was generated in a minisupercell ∼350 km northeast of the TC center and lasted about 32 minutes, leaving a southeast-to-northwest damage swath 30.85 km long and 20–570 m wide. Near-surface wind patterns and the size of the tornado, juxtaposition of the condensation funnel with the damage swath and radar signatures, and consistency between near-surface wind speed estimated from visual observations and that estimated using EF scale were revealed based on ground and aerial surveys, radar and surface observations, photographs, and tornado videos. Tornado videos showed two occurrences of vertical subvortices followed by the formation of a horizontal vortex. Some features of the tornado, the parent supercell and mesocyclone, and the convective environment were compared to their U.S. counterparts. This work provides a case review of a tornado with the most comprehensive information ever in China. Damage indicators used to estimate the tornado intensity in this Chinese case were compared with those in the United States, demonstrating the potential applicability of the EF scale in tornado damage surveys outside the United States.

Open access
Yingbin He, Dongmei Liu, Yanmin Yao, Qing Huang, Jianping Li, Youqi Chen, Shuqin Shi, Li Wan, Shikai Yu, and Deying Wang

Abstract

In this paper, an integrated indicator-based system is established to map the suitability of spring soybean cultivation in northeast China. The indicator system incorporates both biophysical and socioeconomic factors, including the effects of temperature, precipitation, and sunshine on the individual development stages of the spring soybean life cycle. Spatial estimates of crop suitability derived using this indicator system are also compared with spring soybean planting areas to identify locations where there is scope for structural adjustment in soybean farming. Results of this study indicate that northeast China is moderately suited to spring soybean cultivation. Areas classified as suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable for soybean cultivation, respectively, occupy approximately 9.09 × 104, 11.45 × 104, and 7.99 × 104 km2, accounting for 11.5%, 10.11%, and 14.49% of the total area of northeast China. The Songnen and Sanjiang Plains are identified as the most and least suitable places, respectively, for spring soybean growth. A comparative analysis indicates that the suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable areas account for 24.78%, 46.30%, and 28.92%, respectively, of the total area presently under soybean cultivation. The analysis suggests that soybean cultivation in Heilongjiang Province is generally unfavorable, with equivalent percentages of 15.39%, 51.70%, and 32.91%. Results suggest that agricultural structural adjustment may be required to encourage farmers to grow spring soybeans. It is anticipated that this study will provide a basis for follow-up studies on crop cultivation suitability.

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Shizuo Liu, Qigang Wu, Steven R. Schroeder, Yonghong Yao, Yang Zhang, Tongwen Wu, Lei Wang, and Haibo Hu

Abstract

Previous studies show that there are substantial influences of winter–spring Tibetan Plateau (TP) snow anomalies on the Asian summer monsoon and that autumn–winter TP heavy snow can lead to persisting hemispheric Pacific–North America-like responses. This study further investigates global atmospheric responses to realistic extensive spring TP snow anomalies using observations and ensemble transient model integrations. Model ensemble simulations are forced by satellite-derived observed March–May TP snow cover extent and snow water equivalent in years with heavy or light TP snow. Heavy spring TP snow causes simultaneous significant local surface cooling and precipitation decreases over and near the TP snow anomaly. Distant responses include weaker surface cooling over most Asian areas surrounding the TP, a weaker drying band extending east and northeast into the North Pacific Ocean, and increased precipitation in a region surrounding this drying band. Also, there is tropospheric cooling from the TP into the North Pacific and over most of North America and the North Atlantic Ocean. The TP snow anomaly induces a negative North Pacific Oscillation/western Pacific–like teleconnection response throughout the troposphere and stratosphere. Atmospheric responses also include significantly increased Pacific trade winds, a strengthened intertropical convergence zone over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and an enhanced local Hadley circulation. This result suggests a near-global impact of the TP snow anomaly in nearly all seasons.

Open access
Robert S. Schrom, Marcus van Lier-Walqui, Matthew R. Kumjian, Jerry Y. Harrington, Anders A. Jensen, and Yao-Sheng Chen

Abstract

The potential for polarimetric Doppler radar measurements to improve predictions of ice microphysical processes within an idealized model–observational framework is examined. In an effort to more rigorously constrain ice growth processes (e.g., vapor deposition) with observations of natural clouds, a novel framework is developed to compare simulated and observed radar measurements, coupling a bulk adaptive-habit model of vapor growth to a polarimetric radar forward model. Bayesian inference on key microphysical model parameters is then used, via a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampler, to estimate the probability distribution of the model parameters. The statistical formalism of this method allows for robust estimates of the optimal parameter values, along with (non-Gaussian) estimates of their uncertainty. To demonstrate this framework, observations from Department of Energy radars in the Arctic during a case of pristine ice precipitation are used to constrain vapor deposition parameters in the adaptive habit model. The resulting parameter probability distributions provide physically plausible changes in ice particle density and aspect ratio during growth. A lack of direct constraint on the number concentration produces a range of possible mean particle sizes, with the mean size inversely correlated to number concentration. Consistency is found between the estimated inherent growth ratio and independent laboratory measurements, increasing confidence in the parameter PDFs and demonstrating the effectiveness of the radar measurements in constraining the parameters. The combined Doppler and polarimetric observations produce the highest-confidence estimates of the parameter PDFs, with the Doppler measurements providing a stronger constraint for this case.

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Hui Zhou, Hengchang Liu, Shuwen Tan, Wenlong Yang, Yao Li, Xueqi Liu, Qiang Ren, and William K. Dewar

Abstract

The structure and variations of the North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC) in the far western Pacific Ocean during 2014–16 are investigated using repeated in situ hydrographic data, altimeter data, Argo data, and reanalysis data. The NECC shifted ~1° southward and intensified significantly with its transport exceeding 40 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), nearly double its climatology value, during the developing phase of the 2015/16 El Niño event. Observations show that the 2015/16 El Niño exerted a comparable impact on the NECC with that of the extreme 1997/98 El Niño in the far western Pacific Ocean. Baroclinic instability provided the primary energy source for the eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in the 2015/16 El Niño, which differs from the traditional understanding of the energy source of EKE as barotropic instability in low-latitude ocean. The enhanced vertical shear and the reduced density jump between the NECC layer and the North Equatorial Subsurface Current (NESC) layer renders the NECC–NESC system baroclinically unstable in the western Pacific Ocean during El Niño developing phase. The eddy–mean flow interactions here are diverse associated with various states of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Open access
Y. Cheng, V. M. Canuto, A. M. Howard, A. S. Ackerman, M. Kelley, A. M. Fridlind, G. A. Schmidt, M. S. Yao, A. Del Genio, and G. S. Elsaesser

Abstract

We formulate a new second-order closure turbulence model by employing a recent closure for the pressure–temperature correlation at the equation level. As a result, we obtain new heat flux equations that avoid the long-standing issue of a finite critical Richardson number. The new, structurally simpler model improves on the Mellor–Yamada and Galperin et al. models; a key feature includes enhanced mixing under stable conditions facilitating agreement with observational, experimental, and high-resolution numerical datasets. The model predicts a planetary boundary layer height deeper than predicted by models with low critical Richardson numbers, as demonstrated in single-column model runs of the GISS ModelE general circulation model.

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Yingbin He, Yanmin Yao, Huajun Tang, Youqi Chen, Jianping Li, Peng Yang, Zhongxin Chen, Xiaoping Xin, Limin Wang, Dandan Li, and Hui Deng

Abstract

To understand agro-climatic suitability for spring soybean growth in north China, an integrated crop-response-function method was developed. This method includes crop-response functions for temperature, precipitation, and sunshine and is assessed by a weighting method based on the coefficient of determination. The results show that the most suitable area (S1) for spring soybean growth occupied approximately 21.35% of the total area of north China. Among three types of spring soybeans of early maturity, middle maturity, and late maturity, middle maturity was the most suitable variety to grow in the study area, covering nearly 1.133 × 106 km2 or about 99.75% of the total area of S1. As a result of this study, the authors suggest that breeders pay more attention to middle-maturity cultivars in north China. The findings from this study may provide useful information for policy makers issuing guidelines for agricultural production.

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Daehyun Kim, Adam H. Sobel, Anthony D. Del Genio, Yonghua Chen, Suzana J. Camargo, Mao-Sung Yao, Maxwell Kelley, and Larissa Nazarenko

Abstract

The tropical subseasonal variability simulated by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies general circulation model, Model E2, is examined. Several versions of Model E2 were developed with changes to the convective parameterization in order to improve the simulation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). When the convective scheme is modified to have a greater fractional entrainment rate, Model E2 is able to simulate MJO-like disturbances with proper spatial and temporal scales. Increasing the rate of rain reevaporation has additional positive impacts on the simulated MJO. The improvement in MJO simulation comes at the cost of increased biases in the mean state, consistent in structure and amplitude with those found in other GCMs when tuned to have a stronger MJO. By reinitializing a relatively poor-MJO version with restart files from a relatively better-MJO version, a series of 30-day integrations is constructed to examine the impacts of the parameterization changes on the organization of tropical convection. The poor-MJO version with smaller entrainment rate has a tendency to allow convection to be activated over a broader area and to reduce the contrast between dry and wet regimes so that tropical convection becomes less organized. Besides the MJO, the number of tropical-cyclone-like vortices simulated by the model is also affected by changes in the convection scheme. The model simulates a smaller number of such storms globally with a larger entrainment rate, while the number increases significantly with a greater rain reevaporation rate.

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Zhiyong Meng, Lanqiang Bai, Murong Zhang, Zhifang Wu, Zhaohui Li, Meijuan Pu, Yongguang Zheng, Xiaohua Wang, Dan Yao, Ming Xue, Kun Zhao, Zhaoming Li, Siqi Peng, and Liye Li

Abstract

An EF4 supercellular tornado hit Funing County, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, China, from about 1410 to 1500 local standard time 23 June 2016, causing 98 fatalities and 846 injuries. It was the deadliest tornado in the past 40 years in China. This paper documents the storm environment, evolution of the radar signatures, real-time operational tornado warning services, and the damage distribution during this event. The tornado was spawned from a supercell that developed ahead of an upper-level trough extending southwestward from a low pressure vortex in northeast China and dissipated following the occlusion of the tornado vortex. The radar-based rotational velocity of the mesocyclone peaked at 42.2 m s−1. The strength of the tornado vortex signature (gate-to-gate azimuthal radial velocity difference) peaked at 84.5 m s−1. Surface observations at 1-min intervals from a mesoscale network of in situ surface weather stations revealed the surface wind pattern associated with the mesocyclone, such as convergent and rotational flows. The tornado formed after the peak updraft strength of the supercell, producing a damage swath that was 34.5 km long and with a maximum width of 4.1 km. The review of the tornado warning process for this event reveals that there is much work to be done to develop operational tornado forecast and warning services for China.

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