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Peiqiang Xu, Lin Wang, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The British–Baikal Corridor (BBC) pattern, a new teleconnection along the summertime upper-tropospheric polar front jet (PFJ), is investigated based on observational and reanalysis datasets. The BBC pattern consists of four geographically fixed centers over the west of the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, western Siberia, and Lake Baikal, respectively. It features a zonally oriented and meridionally confined wavelike structure with a zonal wavenumber 5, and it influences the climate along its route significantly. The BBC pattern forms from the trapped effect of the PFJ waveguide that is characterized by a strong meridional gradient of stratification. As a preferred dynamical mode inherent in the PFJ, it is maintained through the baroclinic energy conversion from the basic flow and the feedback forcing of high-frequency transient eddies. Meanwhile, its geographical location is determined by the barotropic energy conversion, which is sensitive to the configuration of the basic flow. The interannual variability of the BBC pattern is dominated by atmospheric internal dynamics considering its loose relation with immediate atmospheric external forcing. Further analyses suggest that the BBC pattern is excited by the active multiscale interactions among the climatological mean flow, the low-frequency flow, and the synoptic-scale transient eddies in the exit region of the North Atlantic jet, which may also determine the preferential upstream forcing region and anchor the BBC pattern geographically. Budget analyses on vorticity, temperature, and water vapor are performed to interpret the physical nature of the BBC pattern. The possible linkage to the North Atlantic Oscillation is also discussed.

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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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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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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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Ching-Sen Chen, Wen-Sheen Chen, and Zensing Deng

Abstract

The field program TAMEX (Taiwan Area Mesoscale Experiment) was held during May and June 1987. One of its objectives was to study the cited of terrain on precipitation systems. On 7 June 1987 a band of radar echo, orientated from north to south, developed during the afternoon along the western slope and mountainous area of Taiwan island. Before this system moved eastward toward the Pacific Ocean in the late afternoon, it dumped more than 100 mm of precipitation at a few stations in only a few hours. The analysis of radar data from CAA radar revealed that the precipitation occurred over western-sloped terrain and a mountain plateau in the early afternoon. The system was wider than 60 km in the east-west direction, and the echo top was higher than 10 km. The maximum reflectivity was over 50 dBZ along the steep slope and near the mountain peak. The precipitation system over the mountain area extended eastward with the passage of time; meanwhile, new echoes continually formed along the western-sloped area and moved eastward. They intensified as they moved toward the mountain peak merging with the precipitation system. Through this mechanism the precipitation system could maintain itself for several hours and produce a large amount of rainfall.

A two-dimensional numerical cloud model with a terrain-following coordinate system, similar to the one developed by Durran and Klemp, was used to investigate the topographic effect on the precipitation system. A smoother terrain feature was used for the lower boundary, with a 30-km-wide mountain plateau (of less than 1 km in height) and sloped terrain on the western and eastern sides. Surface heating and boundary-layer moisture supply were parameterized in the model. Simulation results indicated that during the early simulation a cell formed near the foothills of the west slope and moved eastward. As it climbed up the sloping terrain it intensified. Its speed decreased and its high intensity was maintained over the slope and the mountain plateau. At the same time, a new cell formed west of the older cell and moved eastward. Finally this new cell merged into the western side of the older one near the mountain peak to form one precipitation system and moved eastward slowly. Thus, the intensity of the merged system was enhanced over the mountain plateau. While this system maintained its high intensity and moved eastward, new cells continually formed along the western slope and moved eastward to merge into the western side of the precipitation system over the mountainous area. The intensity of the precipitation system was enhanced for a few hours over the mountain itself and became a long-lasting system. Toward the end of the simulation, this long-lasting system had moved near the eastern slope and had still maintained its intensity. At the same time, the low-level temperature decreased over the mountainous area as a result of precipitation evaporation. When new cells, forming over the western slope, moved toward the mountain plateau, they entered their decaying stage 45 min after their occurrence. They did not merge into the existing system on the eastern part of the mountain; therefore, the precipitation over the mountain plateau became weaker.

Several sensitivity tests have been made to study the effect of varying the magnitude of surface heating, the boundary-layer moisture supply, the height of the terrain, and the temperature, moisture, and wind profiles on the simulation result. The result indicated that low-level and midlevel moisture were important for the formation of new cells over the western slope and a long-lasting system over the mountain area, respectively. The initial wind speed of 7 m s−1 below 4 km and calm wind above 4 km was used in the model; then a long-lasting precipitation system over the mountainous area appeared. If the wind speed was reduced to 3.5 m s−1, only new cells formed over the western slope. If the maximum height of the terrain was decreased from 1 to 0.5 km, then only new cells formed over the slope area. Hence, sensitivity tests indicated that the combination of the adequate thermodynamic structure, the westerly wind pattern, and the correct size of the mountain could help form both the new cells over the sloped terrain and a long-lasting system over mountain areas as in northern Taiwan on 7 June 1987 during TAMEX. The surface heating effect played the role of creating the upslope wind and augmentation of this precipitation system.

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Xi Cao, Tim Li, Melinda Peng, Wen Chen, and Guanghua Chen

Abstract

The effects of intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) of the western North Pacific (WNP) monsoon trough on tropical cyclone (TC) formation were investigated using the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW) Model. A weak vortex was specified initially and inserted into the background fields containing climatological-mean anomalies associated with active and inactive phases of monsoon trough ISOs.

The diagnosis of simulations showed that monsoon trough ISO can modulate TC development through both dynamic and thermodynamic processes. The dynamic impact is attributed to the lower–midtropospheric large-scale vorticity associated with monsoon trough ISO. Interactions between cyclonic vorticity in the lower middle troposphere during the active ISO phase and a vortex lead to the generation of vortex-scale outflow at the midlevel, which promotes the upward penetration of friction-induced ascending motion and thus upward moisture transport. In addition, the low-level convergence associated with active ISO also helps the upward moisture transport. Both processes contribute to stronger diabatic heating and thus promote a positive convection–circulation–moisture feedback. On the other hand, the large-scale flow associated with inactive ISO suppresses upward motion near the core by inducing the midlevel inflow and the divergence forcing within the boundary layer, both inhibiting TC development. The thermodynamic impact comes from greater background specific humidity associated with active ISO that allows a stronger diabatic heating. Experiments that separated the dynamic and thermodynamic impacts of the ISO showed that the thermodynamic anomaly from active ISO contributes more to TC development, while the dynamic anomalies from inactive ISO can inhibit vortex development completely.

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Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, Wen Chen, and Shuailei Yao

Abstract

The present study reveals a marked enhancement in the relationship between Eurasian winter and spring atmospheric interannual variability since the early 1990s. Specifically, the dominant mode of winter Eurasian 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies, with same-sign anomalies over southern Europe and East Asia and opposite-sign anomalies over north-central Eurasia, is largely maintained to the following spring after the early 1990s, but not before the early 1990s. The maintenance of the dominant atmospheric circulation anomaly pattern after the early 1990s is associated with a triple sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic that is sustained from winter to the subsequent spring. This triple SST anomaly pattern triggers an atmospheric wave train over the North Atlantic through Eurasia during winter through spring. Atmospheric model experiments verify the role of the triple SST anomaly in maintaining the Eurasian atmospheric circulation anomalies. By contrast, before the early 1990s, marked SST anomalies related to the winter dominant mode only occur in the tropical North Atlantic during winter and they disappear during the following spring. The triple SST anomaly pattern after the early 1990s forms in response to a meridional atmospheric dipole over the North Atlantic induced by a La Niña–like cooling over tropical Pacific, and its maintenance into the following spring may be via a positive air–sea interaction process over the North Atlantic. Results of this analysis suggest a potential source for the seasonal prediction of the Eurasian spring climate.

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Xiuzhen Li, Zhiping Wen, Deliang Chen, and Zesheng Chen

Abstract

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle has a great impact on the summer moisture circulation over East Asia (EA) and the western North Pacific [WNP (EA-WNP)] on an interannual time scale, and its modulation is mainly embedded in the leading mode. In contrast to the stable influence of the mature phase of ENSO, the impact of synchronous eastern Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) on summer moisture circulation is negligible during the 1970s–80s, while it intensifies after 1991. In response, the interannual variation of moisture circulation exhibits a much more widespread anticyclonic/cyclonic pattern over the subtropical WNP and a weaker counterpart to the north after 1991. Abnormal moisture moves farther northward with the enhanced moisture convergence, and thus precipitation shifts from the Yangtze River to the Huai River valley. The decadal shift in the modulation of ENSO on moisture circulation arises from a more rapid evolution of the bonding ENSO cycle and its stronger coupling with circulation over the Indian Ocean after 1991. The rapid development of cooling SSTAs over the central-eastern Pacific, and warming SSTAs to the west over the eastern Indian Ocean–Maritime Continent (EIO-MC) in summer, stimulates abnormal descending motion over the western-central Pacific and ascending motion over the EIO-MC. The former excites an anticyclone over the WNP as a Rossby wave response, sustaining and intensifying the WNP anticyclone; the latter helps anchor the anticyclone over the tropical–subtropical WNP via an abnormal southwest–northeast vertical circulation between EIO-MC and WNP.

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Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, Wen Chen, and Kai Li

Abstract

This study reveals a pronounced out-of-phase relationship between surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies over northeast Eurasia in boreal winter and the following summer during 1980–2017. A colder (warmer) winter over northeast Eurasia tends to be followed by a warmer (cooler) summer of next year. The processes for the out-of-phase relation of winter and summer SAT involve the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the air–sea interaction in the North Atlantic Ocean, and a Eurasian anomalous atmospheric circulation pattern induced by the North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Winter negative AO/North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like atmospheric circulation anomalies lead to continental cooling over Eurasia via anomalous advection and a tripolar SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic. The North Atlantic SST anomaly pattern switches to a dipolar pattern in the following summer via air–sea interaction processes and associated surface heat flux changes. The summer North Atlantic dipolar SST anomaly pattern induces a downstream atmospheric wave train, including large-scale positive geopotential height anomalies over northeast Eurasia, which contributes to positive SAT anomalies there via enhancement of downward surface shortwave radiation and anomalous advection. Barotropic model experiments verify the role of the summer North Atlantic SST anomalies in triggering the atmospheric wave train over Eurasia. Through the above processes, a colder winter is followed by a warmer summer over northeast Eurasia. The above processes apply to the years when warmer winters are followed by cooler summers except for opposite signs of SAT, atmospheric circulation, and SST anomalies.

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Shangfeng Chen, Wen Chen, Renguang Wu, and Linye Song

Abstract

Previous studies indicated that spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) can influence the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). This study reveals that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) has a pronounced modulation of the spring AO–EASM connection. Spring AO has a close relation with the EASM during the negative AMO (−AMO) phase. However, during the positive AMO (+AMO) phase, the spring AO–EASM connection is weak. During the −AMO phase, a marked dipole atmospheric anomaly pattern (with an anticyclonic anomaly over the midlatitudes and a cyclonic anomaly over the subtropics) and a pronounced tripole sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern is formed in the North Pacific during positive spring AO years. The cyclonic anomaly, SST, and precipitation anomalies over the subtropical western North Pacific (WNP) maintain and propagate southwestward in the following summer via a positive air–sea feedback, which further impacts the EASM variation. During the +AMO phase, the Pacific center of the spring AO (i.e., the anticyclonic anomaly over the midlatitudes) is weak. As such, the cyclonic anomaly cannot be induced over the subtropical WNP by the spring AO via wave–mean flow interaction. Hence, the spring AO–EASM connection disappears during the +AMO phase. The AMO impacts the Pacific center of the spring AO via modulating the Aleutian low intensity and North Pacific storm track intensity. The observed AMO modulation of the spring AO–EASM connection and Pacific center of the spring AO can be captured by the long historical simulation in a coupled global climate model.

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