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Wen Chen, Juan Feng, and Renguang Wu

Abstract

The present study investigates the roles of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) in the relationship between the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). The variability of the EAWM is divided into an ENSO-related part named EAWMEN and an ENSO-unrelated part named EAWMres. Corresponding to a weak EAWMEN, an anomalous low-level anticyclone forms over the western North Pacific (WNP) and persists from winter to the following summer. This anticyclone enhances southerlies over the coast of East Asia in summer. Hence, a weak EAWMEN tends to be followed by a strong EASM and vice versa. As such, a link is established between the EAWMEN and the EASM. The persistence of this WNP anticyclone may be mainly attributed to the sea surface temperature anomalies associated with the ENSO-related EAWM part in the tropical Indian Ocean and the extratropical North Pacific. In contrast, corresponding to a weak EAWMres, the anomalous WNP anticyclone is only seen in winter, and there is no obvious relationship between the EAWMres and the following EASM. Therefore, the observed EAWM–EASM relationship is dominated by the winter monsoon variability associated with ENSO. It is found that the EAWMEN–EASM relationship is modulated by the PDO. There tends to be a much stronger EASM after a weak EAWMEN during the positive PDO phases than during the negative PDO phases.

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Shu-Hua Chen and Wen-Yih Sun

Abstract

An explicit one-dimensional time-dependent tilting cloud model has been developed for use in cumulus parameterizations. The tilting axis is not necessarily orthogonal to the (r, θ) plane, making the horizontal axisymmetric assumption more reasonable. This explicit time-dependent tilting model (ETTM) consists of an updraft and a downdraft, which are governed by the same dynamic and thermodynamic equations. The updraft is initiated by a moist thermal bubble, while the downdraft is consequently induced by evaporative cooling and the drag force of precipitation separating from the tilting updraft instead of being arbitrarily initialized.

The updraft is capable of reproducing the major features of a deep cloud such as overshooting cooling above the cloud top, evaporative cooling near the surface, and drying in the lower atmosphere at dissipating stages. The entrainment–detrainment rate in this model is well defined, and its time variation is quite significant. Moreover, the vertical profile of the air inside the updraft does not follow the moist adiabat after deep convection. For the downdraft, the total precipitation and mass flux at low levels contributed from the downdraft cannot be neglected in this case study. In addition, the downdraft can bring dry air from middle levels to lower levels.

Three sensitivity tests—the environmental sounding, the tilting angle, and the radius of the updraft–downdraft— have also been conducted. The cooling–warming of a downdraft near the surface is sensitive to the environmental sounding, consistent with results from Srivastava. The cloud life span, maximum vertical velocity, precipitation amount, and vertical mass flux are strongly influenced by the tilting angle and the radius of the cloud.

The results from the ETTM simulation are quite reasonable and promising. However, some deficiencies of this model still exist, and more research will be conducted to improve its performance. The final goal is to implement this 1D model in a mesoscale model's cumulus parameterization scheme.

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Ruidan Chen, Zhiping Wen, and Riyu Lu

Abstract

Southern China, located in the tropical–subtropical East Asian monsoonal region, presents a unique anticyclonic–cyclonic circulation pattern during extreme heat (EH), obviously different from the typical anticyclone responsible for EH in many other regions. Associated with the evolution of EH in southern China, the anticyclonic–cyclonic anomalies propagate northwestward over the Philippines and southern China. Before the EH onsets, the anticyclonic anomaly dominates southern China, resulting in stronger subsidence over southern China and stronger southerly (southwesterly) flow over the western (northern) margins of southern China. The southerly (southwesterly) flow transports more water vapor to the north of southern China, thus, together with the local stronger subsidence, resulting in drier air condition and accordingly favoring the occurrence of EH. Conversely, after the EH onsets, the cyclonic component approaches southern China and offsets the high temperature.

The oscillations of temperature and circulation anomalies over southern China exhibit a periodicity of about 10 days and indicate the influence of a quasi-biweekly oscillation, which originates from the tropical western Pacific and propagates northwestward. Therefore, the 5–25-day-filtered data are extracted to further analyze the quasi-biweekly oscillation. It turns out that the evolution of the filtered circulation remarkably resembles the original anomalies with comparable amplitudes, indicating that the quasi-biweekly oscillation is critical for the occurrence of EH in southern China. The quasi-biweekly oscillation could explain more than 50% of the intraseasonal variance of daily maximum temperature T max and vorticity over southern China and 80% of the warming amplitude of EH onsets. The close relationship between the circulation of the quasi-biweekly oscillation and the EH occurrence indicates the possibility of medium-range forecasting for high temperature in southern China.

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Weiwen Wang, Wen Zhou, and Deliang Chen

Abstract

This study investigates summer high temperature extremes (HTEs) in southeast China and their linkage with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and atmospheric circulations in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). An interdecadal change in HTEs associated with the abrupt shift of the ENSO–monsoon climate in the late 1980s is demonstrated. Before this interdecadal shift, the interannual variability of HTEs was linked mainly to temperature adjustments associated with the meridional displacement of the East Asian jet stream (EAJS), whereas after the shift HTEs were found to follow an ENSO cycle, which may be due to intensified and persistent ENSO activities, tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming, and changes in atmospheric teleconnections. Impacts of the EAJS, the South Asian high (SAH), and the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) on HTEs are further investigated based on empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. It is found that mainly the first leading EOF mode with a homogeneous spatial pattern shows dominance before the interdecadal shift, whereas both of the first two leading EOF modes show dominance after the interdecadal shift. A possible mechanism of how HTEs in southeast China are linked to the EAJS, the SAH, and the WNPSH in the ENSO–monsoon coupled system is proposed.

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Xiuzhen Li, Yongqin David Chen, and Wen Zhou

Abstract

The response of moisture circulation to the daily evolution of the India–Burma Trough (IBT) and the modulation of disturbances along the South Asian waveguide are analyzed to seek a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. Daily observational precipitation and reanalysis data from ERA-Interim during 1979–2012 are employed. It is found that moisture circulation in response to the IBT is part of the zonally oriented wave trains along the South Asian waveguide, but it persists longer and migrates farther eastward than other lobes. Cyclonic moisture transport enhances the moisture supply to south China as a strong IBT develops, and shifts eastward abruptly after the peak of IBT with enhanced precipitation shifting from southwest to southeast China. This response is a joint effect of synoptic, intraseasonal, and interannual components that show similar wave train structures, whereas slight differences still occur. The synoptic component shows a shorter wavelength, more southerly path, faster phase speed, and group velocity, with the signal from the North Atlantic to the Bay of Bengal (BoB) in 6 days, implying that a disturbance over the North Atlantic is a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. The synoptic moisture convergence is more intensive than that at other scales upstream except over Southeast Asia, where all components are comparable. This might result from the constrained moisture source from BoB at the synoptic scale because of a short wavelength, while widespread sources from BoB–western North Pacific (WNP) at other scales as wavelengths are longer.

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Xiuzhen Li, Wen Zhou, and Yongqin David Chen

Abstract

A combination of Ward’s and k-means clustering was applied to a 3-month standardized precipitation index (SPI-03), and eight divisions of homogeneous drought variation throughout China were identified from the perspective of meteorological and agricultural droughts. A greater meridional gradient appeared over eastern China (six divisions) than over western China (two divisions).

The climate division facilitated the evaluating of not only regional but also widespread droughts. Trend evaluation showed that western north China (WNC) has become increasingly wet in recent decades, while northern northeast China (NNE) has become increasingly dry. The Yangtze River valley (YZ) tended to experience less and weaker drought after the late 1970s. Southern northeast China (SNE) and the southwestern China–Tibetan Plateau (SW-TP) showed a decreasing trend in long-term but not short-term SPIs, implying that long-term drought conditions might develop continuously, thus allowing the following droughts to develop more rapidly and with a stronger intensity. Examination of the drought risk under El Niño revealed that northern regions were likely to suffer from drought rather than flood in the developing phase and the reverse in the decaying phase. Southeastern China (SE) and the YZ were vulnerable to flood rather than drought in the mature and decaying spring, with SE subjected to drought in the decaying summer. Such a distinctive regional pattern of drought risks was closely connected with the abnormal moisture supply patterns modulated by ENSO in different phases.

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Wen-Dar Chen and Ronald B. Smith

Abstract

A method of computing low-level trajectories from observed sea level pressure is shown to be capable of distinguishing cases of blocked and non-blocked flow around the Alps. A flow-splitting parameter (S), derived from the trajectories, is found to be a reasonable criterion for distinguishing blocked from nonblocked cases, with a value of S = 1.5 serving as a useful threshold for classification. In considering eight cases of postfrontal cold flow against the Alps, only a few can be clearly identified as blocking or noblocking, and even these identifications may not pertain to all levels and all segments of the Alpine chain.

The trajectory-based classification scheme compares well with sounding and flight level data from the NOAA P-3 research aircraft. The degree of blocking is shown to be related to the upstream Froude number and the strength of the upstream pressure nose.

A remarkable result is that the observed surface wind patterns appear blocked in all cases considered here. We refer to this as “boundary layer blocking”

Unsteady effects tend to stretch out streaklines east to west along the northern foothhills of the Alps.

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Ruidan Chen, Zhiping Wen, and Riyu Lu

Abstract

South China experiences extreme heat (EH) most frequently in eastern China. This study specifically explores the large-scale circulation anomalies associated with long-lived EH events in south China. The results show that there is an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) and active (inactive) convection over south China (the western Pacific) before the EH onset; then, an anticyclone develops and moves northwestward and dominates over south China on the onset day. The anomalous anticyclone maintains its strength over south China and then diminishes and is replaced by another cyclone migrating from the western Pacific after the final day of the EH event. Consequently, the temperature increases over south China around the onset day and is anomalously warm for approximately 10 days on average and then decreases shortly thereafter. The fluctuating anomalies over south China and the western Pacific are intimately related to two intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) modes, namely, the 5–25- and 30–90-day oscillations, which originate from the tropical western Pacific and propagate northwestward. The 5–25-day oscillation is vital to triggering and terminating EH, accounting for approximately half of the original temperature and circulation anomaly transitions. The 30–90-day oscillation favors the persistent warming during EH events, accounting for approximately one-third of the original prolonged warming and anticyclonic anomaly. This result suggests that different ISO modes play crucial roles at different stages of the events. Moreover, a higher annual frequency of long-lived EH days in south China is associated with the transition phase from El Niño to La Niña. It is suggested that both medium-range and interannual forecasting of long-lived EH in south China are possible.

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Shuoyi Ding, Bingyi Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The present study investigated dominant characteristics of autumn Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) interannual variations and impacts of September–October (SO) mean SIC anomalies in the East Siberian–Chukchi–Beaufort (EsCB) Seas on winter Eurasian climate variability. Results showed that the decreased SO EsCB sea ice is favorable for tropospheric warming and positive geopotential height anomaly over the Arctic region one month later through transporting much more heat flux to the atmosphere from the open water. When entering the early winter (November–January), enhanced upward propagation of quasi-stationary planetary waves in the mid-high latitudes generates anomalous Eliassen–Palm flux convergence in the upper troposphere, which decelerates the westerly winds and maintains the positive geopotential height anomaly in the Arctic region. This anticyclonic anomaly extends southward into central-western Eurasia and leads to evident surface cooling there. Two months later, it further develops downstream accompanied by a deepened trough, making northeastern China experience a colder late winter (January–March). Meanwhile, an anticyclonic anomaly over the eastern North Pacific excites a horizontal eastward wave train and contributes to a positive (negative) geopotential height anomaly around Greenland (Europe), favoring a negative surface temperature anomaly over western Europe. In addition, the stratospheric polar vortex is also significantly weakened in the wintertime, which is attributed to a decreased meridional temperature gradient, and decelerated westerly winds provide a favorable condition for more quasi-stationary planetary waves propagating into the stratosphere. Some major features of atmospheric responses to EsCB sea ice loss are well reproduced in the CAM4 sensitivity experiments.

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Juan Feng, Wen Chen, and Xiaocong Wang

Abstract

The El Niño Modoki–induced anomalous western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC) undergoes an interesting reintensification process in the El Niño Modoki decaying summer, the period when El Niño Modoki decays but warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies over the tropical North Atlantic (TNA) and cold SST anomalies over the central-eastern Pacific (CEP) dominate. In this study, the region (TNA or CEP) in which the SST anomalies exert a relatively important influence on reintensification of the WNPAC is investigated. Observational analysis demonstrates that when only anomalous CEP SST cooling occurs, the WNPAC experiences a weak reintensification. In contrast, when only anomalous TNA SST warming emerges, the WNPAC experiences a remarkable reintensification. Numerical simulation analysis demonstrates that even though the same magnitude of CEP SST cooling and TNA warming is respectively set to force the atmospheric general circulation model, the response of the WNPAC is still much stronger in the TNA warming experiment than in the CEP cooling experiment. Further analysis demonstrates that this difference is caused by the distinct location of the effective tropical forcing between the CEP SST cooling and TNA SST warming for producing a WNPAC. The CEP cooling-induced effective anomalous diabatic cooling is located in the central Pacific, by which the forced anticyclone becomes gradually weak from the central Pacific to the western North Pacific. Thus, a weak WNPAC is produced. In contrast, as the TNA SST warming–induced effective anomalous diabatic cooling is just located in the western North Pacific via a Kelvin wave–induced Ekman divergence process, the forced anticyclone is significant and powerful in the western North Pacific.

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