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Shoichi Shige, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Wei-Kuo Tao

Abstract

The spectral latent heating (SLH) algorithm was developed to estimate apparent heat source (Q 1) profiles for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) in Parts I and II of this study. In this paper, the SLH algorithm is used to estimate apparent moisture sink (Q 2) profiles. The procedure of Q 2 retrieval is the same as that of heating retrieval except for using the Q 2 profile lookup tables derived from numerical simulations of tropical cloud systems from the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) utilizing a cloud-resolving model (CRM). The Q 2 profiles were reconstructed from CRM-simulated parameters with the COARE table and then compared with CRM-simulated “true” Q 2 profiles, which were computed directly from the water vapor equation in the model. The consistency check indicates that discrepancies between the SLH-reconstructed and CRM-simulated profiles for Q 2, especially at low levels, are larger than those for Q 1 and are attributable to moistening for the nonprecipitating region that SLH cannot reconstruct. Nevertheless, the SLH-reconstructed total Q 2 profiles are in good agreement with the CRM-simulated ones. The SLH algorithm was applied to PR data, and the results were compared with Q 2 profiles derived from the budget study. Although discrepancies between the SLH-retrieved and sounding-based profiles for Q 2 for the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX) are larger than those for heating, key features of the vertical profiles agree well. The SLH algorithm can also estimate differences of Q 2 between the western Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, consistent with the results from the budget study.

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Takeshi Horinouchi, Shinji Matsumura, Tomoaki Ose, and Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Through extensive modeling efforts, it has been established that the ongoing global warming will increase the overall precipitation associated with the East Asian summer monsoon, but the future change of its spatial distribution has not reached a consensus. In this study, meridional shifts of the mei-yu–baiu rainband are studied in association with the subtropical jet by using outputs from atmosphere–ocean coupled climate models provided by CMIP5. The models reproduce observed associations between the jet and precipitation over wide time scales from synoptic to interannual. The same relation is found in intermodel differences in simulated climatology, so that the meridional locations of the jet and baiu precipitation are positively correlated. The multimodel-mean projection suggests that the both are shifted southward by the late twenty-first century. This shift is not inconsistent with the projected tropical expansion, not only because the change is local but also because the projected tropical expansion occurs mainly in the Southern Hemisphere. No significant future change in the continental mei-yu precipitation location is identified, which might be because the jet change is weak there. For comparison, the summertime Atlantic jet position, which shifts northward, is investigated briefly. This study suggests that the future change of the subtropical jet is an important aspect to investigate possible future changes of the baiu rainband, and it prompts further studies including the role of the ocean.

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Chie Yokoyama, Yukari N. Takayabu, Osamu Arakawa, and Tomoaki Ose

Abstract

This study estimates future changes in the early summer precipitation characteristics around Japan using changes in the large-scale environment, by combining Global Precipitation Measurement precipitation radar observations and phase 5 of the Coupled Models Intercomparison Project climate model large-scale projections. Analyzing satellite-based data, we first relate precipitation in three types of rain events (small, organized, and midlatitude), which are identified via their characteristics, to the large-scale environment. Two environmental fields are chosen to determine the large-scale conditions of the precipitation: the sea surface temperature and the midlevel large-scale vertical velocity. The former is related to the lower-tropospheric thermal instability, while the latter affects precipitation via moistening/drying of the midtroposphere. Consequently, favorable conditions differ between the three types in terms of these two environmental fields. Using these precipitation–environment relationships, we then reconstruct the precipitation distributions for each type with reference to the two environmental indices in climate models for the present and future climates. Future changes in the reconstructed precipitation are found to vary widely between the three types in association with the large-scale environment. In more than 90% of models, the region affected by organized-type precipitation will expand northward, leading to a substantial increase in this type of precipitation near Japan along the Sea of Japan, and in northern and eastern Japan on the Pacific side, where its present amount is relatively small. This result suggests an elevated risk of heavy rainfall in those regions because the maximum precipitation intensity is more intense in organized-type precipitation than in the other two types.

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Nagio Hirota, Yukari N. Takayabu, Masahiro Watanabe, and Masahide Kimoto

Abstract

Precipitation reproducibility over the tropical oceans in climate models is examined. Models participating in phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) and the current (fifth) version Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC5) developed by the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, National Institute for Environmental Studies, and Research Institute for Global Change (AORI/NIES/RIGC) are analyzed. Scores of a pattern similarity between precipitation in the models and that in observations are evaluated. The low score models (LSMs) overestimate (underestimate) precipitation over large-scale subsidence (ascending) regions compared to the high score models (HSMs). The sensitivity of deep convection to sea surface temperature (SST) and large-scale subsidence is examined; analysis suggests that dynamical suppression of deep convection by the entrainment of environmental dry air over the subsidence region is very weak, and deep convection follows SST closely in LSMs. For example, deep convective activity is identified over the southeastern Pacific in LSMs, which corresponds to the double intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) problem. It is suggested that the double ITCZ is associated not only with the local SST but also with the precipitation schemes that control deep convection over the entire tropical oceans. The current version, MIROC5, reproduces precipitation distributions significantly better than the older versions. Precipitation in MIROC5 has a weaker correlation with SST and a stronger correlation with environmental humidity than that in LSMs. The realistic representation of entrainment in regions with dynamical suppression is suggested to be a key factor for better reproducibility of precipitation distributions.

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Chuntao Liu, Shoichi Shige, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Edward Zipser

Abstract

Latent heating (LH) from precipitation systems with different sizes, depths, and convective intensities is quantified with 15 years of LH retrievals from version 7 Precipitation Radar (PR) products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Organized precipitation systems, such as mesoscale convective systems (MCSs; precipitation area > 2000 km2), contribute to 88% of the LH above 7 km over tropical land and 95% over tropical oceans. LH over tropical land is mainly from convective precipitation, and has one vertical mode with a peak from 4 to 7 km. There are two vertical modes of LH over tropical oceans. The shallow mode from about 1 to 4 km results from small, shallow, and weak precipitation systems, and partially from congestus clouds with radar echo top between 5 and 8 km. The deep mode from 5 to 9 km is mainly from stratiform precipitation in MCSs.

MCSs of different regions and seasons have different LH vertical structure mainly due to the different proportion of stratiform precipitation. MCSs over ocean have a larger fraction of stratiform precipitation and a top-heavy LH structure. MCSs over land have a higher percentage of convective versus stratiform precipitation, which results in a relatively lower-level peak in LH compared to MCSs over the ocean. MCSs during monsoons have properties of LH in between those typical land and oceanic MCSs.

Consistent with the diurnal variation of precipitation, tropical land has a stronger LH diurnal variation than tropical oceans with peak LH in the late afternoon. Over tropical oceans in the early morning, the shallow mode of LH peaks slightly earlier than the deep mode. There are almost no diurnal changes of MCSs LH over oceans. However, the small convective systems over land contribute a significant amount of LH at all vertical levels in the afternoon, when the contribution of MCSs is small.

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Yukari N. Takayabu, Shoichi Shige, Wei-Kuo Tao, and Nagio Hirota

Abstract

Three-dimensional distributions of the apparent heat source (Q 1) − radiative heating (QR) estimated from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) utilizing the spectral latent heating (SLH) algorithm are analyzed. Mass-weighted and vertically integrated Q 1QR averaged over the tropical oceans is estimated as ∼72.6 J s−1 (∼2.51 mm day−1) and that over tropical land is ∼73.7 J s−1 (∼2.55 mm day−1) for 30°N–30°S. It is shown that nondrizzle precipitation over tropical and subtropical oceans consists of two dominant modes of rainfall systems: deep systems and congestus. A rough estimate of the shallow-heating contribution against the total heating is about 46.7% for the average tropical oceans, which is substantially larger than the 23.7% over tropical land.

Although cumulus congestus heating linearly correlates with SST, deep-mode heating is dynamically bounded by large-scale subsidence. It is notable that a substantial amount of rain, as large as 2.38 mm day−1 on average, is brought from congestus clouds under the large-scale subsiding circulation. It is also notable that, even in the region with SSTs warmer than 28°C, large-scale subsidence effectively suppresses the deep convection, with the remaining heating by congestus clouds.

The results support that the entrainment of mid–lower-tropospheric dry air, which accompanies the large-scale subsidence, is the major factor suppressing the deep convection. Therefore, a representation of the realistic entrainment is very important for proper reproduction of precipitation distribution and the resultant large-scale circulation.

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Kaya Kanemaru, Takuji Kubota, Toshio Iguchi, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Riko Oki

Abstract

Precipitation observation with the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission’s (TRMM’s) precipitation radar (PR) lasted for more than 17 years. To study the changes in the water and energy cycle related to interannual and decadal variabilities of climate, homogeneity of long-term PR data is essential. The aim of the study is to develop a precipitation climate record from the 17-yr PR observation. The focus was on mitigating the discontinuities associated with the switching to redundant electronics in the PR in June 2009. In version 7 of the level-1 PR product, a discontinuity in noise power is found at this timing, indicating a change in the signal-to-noise ratio. To mitigate the effect of this discontinuity on climate studies, the noise power of the B-side PR obtained after June 2009 is artificially increased to match that of the A-side PR. Simulation results show that the storm height and the precipitation frequency detected by the PR relatively decrease by 2.17% and 5.15% in the TRMM coverage area (35°S–35°N), respectively, and that the obvious discontinuity of the time series by the storm height and the precipitation fraction caused by the switching to the redundancy electronics is mitigated. Differences in the statistics of other precipitation parameters caused by the switching are also mitigated. The unconditional precipitation rate derived from the adjusted data obtained over the TRMM coverage area decreases by 0.90% as compared with that determined from the original data. This decrease is mainly caused by reductions in the detection of light precipitation.

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Shoichi Shige, Yukari N. Takayabu, Wei-Kuo Tao, and Chung-Lin Shie

Abstract

The spectral latent heating (SLH) algorithm was developed for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) in Part I of this study. The method uses PR information [precipitation-top height (PTH), precipitation rates at the surface and melting level, and rain type] to select heating profiles from lookup tables. Heating-profile lookup tables for the three rain types—convective, shallow stratiform, and anvil rain (deep stratiform with a melting level)—were derived from numerical simulations of tropical cloud systems from the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) utilizing a cloud-resolving model (CRM). To assess its global application to TRMM PR data, the universality of the lookup tables from the TOGA COARE simulations is examined in this paper. Heating profiles are reconstructed from CRM-simulated parameters (i.e., PTH, precipitation rates at the surface and melting level, and rain type) and are compared with the true CRM-simulated heating profiles, which are computed directly by the model thermodynamic equation. CRM-simulated data from the Global Atmospheric Research Program Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE), South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX), and Kwajalein Experiment (KWAJEX) are used as a consistency check. The consistency check reveals discrepancies between the SLH-reconstructed and Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE)-simulated heating above the melting level in the convective region and at the melting level in the stratiform region that are attributable to the TOGA COARE table. Discrepancies in the convective region are due to differences in the vertical distribution of deep convective heating due to the relative importance of liquid and ice water processes, which varies from case to case. Discrepancies in the stratiform region are due to differences in the level separating upper-level heating and lower-level cooling. Based on these results, improvements were made to the SLH algorithm. Convective heating retrieval is now separated into upper-level heating due to ice processes and lower-level heating due to liquid water processes. In the stratiform region, the heating profile is shifted up or down by matching the melting level in the TOGA COARE lookup table with the observed one. Consistency checks indicate the revised SLH algorithm performs much better for both the convective and stratiform components than does the original one. The revised SLH algorithm was applied to PR data, and the results were compared with heating profiles derived diagnostically from SCSMEX sounding data. Key features of the vertical profiles agree well—in particular, the level of maximum heating. The revised SLH algorithm was also applied to PR data for February 1998 and February 1999. The results are compared with heating profiles derived by the convective–stratiform heating (CSH) algorithm. Because observed information on precipitation depth is used in addition to precipitation type and intensity, differences between shallow and deep convection are more distinct in the SLH algorithm in comparison with the CSH algorithm.

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Masafumi Hirose, Yukari N. Takayabu, Atsushi Hamada, Shoichi Shige, and Munehisa K. Yamamoto

Abstract

Observations of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Precipitation Radar (TRMM PR) over 16 yr yielded hundreds of large precipitation systems (≥100 km) for each 0.1° grid over major rainy regions. More than 90% of the rainfall was attributed to large systems over certain midlatitude regions such as La Plata basin and the East China Sea. The accumulation of high-impact snapshots reduced the significant spatial fluctuation of the rain fraction arising from large systems and allowed the obtaining of sharp images of the geographic rainfall pattern. Widespread systems were undetected over low-rainfall areas such as regions off Peru. Conversely, infrequent large systems brought a significant percentage of rainfall over semiarid tropics such as the Sahel. This demonstrated an increased need for regional sampling of extreme phenomena. Differences in data collected over a period of 16 yr were used to examine sampling adequacy. The results indicated that more than 10% of the 0.1°-scale sampling error accounted for half of the TRMM domain even for a 10-yr data accumulation period. Rainfall at the 0.1° scale was negatively biased in the first few years for over more than half of the areas because of a lack of high-impact samples. The areal fraction of the 0.1°-scale climatology with a 50% accuracy exceeded 95% in the ninth year and in the fifth year for those areas with rainfall >2 mm day−1. A monotonic increase in the degree of similarity of finescale rainfall to the best estimate with an accuracy of 10% illustrated the need for further sampling.

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Nagio Hirota, Yukari N. Takayabu, Masahiro Watanabe, Masahide Kimoto, and Minoru Chikira

Abstract

The authors demonstrate that an appropriate treatment of convective entrainment is essential for determining spatial distributions of and temporal variations in precipitation. Four numerical experiments are performed using atmospheric models with different entrainment characteristics: a control experiment (Ctl), a no-entrainment experiment (NoEnt), an original Arakawa–Schubert experiment (AS), and an AS experiment with a simple empirical suppression of convection depending on cloud-layer humidity (ASRH). The fractional entrainment rates of AS and ASRH are constant for each cloud type and are very small in the lower troposphere compared with those in the Ctl, in which half of the buoyancy-generated energy is consumed by entrainment. Spatial and temporal variations in the observed precipitation are satisfactorily reproduced in the Ctl, but their amplitudes are underestimated with a so-called double intertropical convergence zone bias in the NoEnt and AS. The spatial variation is larger in the Ctl because convection is more active over humid ascending regions and more suppressed over dry subsidence regions. Feedback processes involving convection, the large-scale circulation, free tropospheric moistening by congestus, and radiation enhance the variations. The temporal evolution of precipitation events is also more realistic in the Ctl, because congestus moistens the midtroposphere, and large precipitation events occur once sufficient moisture is available. The large entrainment in the lower troposphere, increasing free tropospheric moistening by congestus and enhancing the coupling of convection to free tropospheric humidity, is suggested to be important for the realistic spatial and temporal variations.

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