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Bin Wang and Yoshiyuki Kajikawa
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Xiouhua Fu and Bin Wang

Abstract

A series of small-perturbation experiments has been conducted to demonstrate that an atmosphere–ocean coupled model and an atmosphere-only model produce significantly different intensities of boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) and phase relationships between convection and underlying SST associated with BSISO. The coupled model not only simulates a stronger BSISO than the atmosphere-only model, but also generates a realistic phase relationship between intraseasonal convection and underlying SST. In the coupled model, positive (negative) SST fluctuations are highly correlated with more (less) precipitation with a time lead of 10 days as in the observations, suggesting that intraseasonal SST is a result of atmospheric convection, but at the same time, positively feeds back to increase the intensity of the convection. In the atmosphere-only model, however, SST is only a boundary forcing for the atmosphere. The intraseasonal convection in the atmosphere-only model is actually less correlated with underlying SST. The maximum correlation between convection and SST occurs when they are in phase with each other, which is in contrast to the observations. These results indicate that an atmosphere–ocean coupled model produces a more realistic ISO compared to an atmosphere-only model.

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Liguang Wu and Bin Wang

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A new approach is proposed to assess the possible impacts of the global climate change on tropical cyclone (TC) tracks in the western North Pacific (WNP) basin. The idea is based on the premise that the future change of TC track characteristics is primarily determined by changes in large-scale environmental steering flows and in formation locations.

It is demonstrated that the main characteristics of the current climatology of TC tracks can be derived from the climatological mean velocity field of TC motion by using a trajectory model. The climatological mean velocity of TC motion, composed of the large-scale steering and beta drift, is determined on each grid of the basin. The mean large-scale steering flow is computed from the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis for the current climate state. The mean beta drift is estimated from the best-track data by removing the steering flow. The derived mean beta drift agrees well with the results of previous observational and numerical studies in terms of its direction and magnitude.

The approach is applied to assessing the potential impacts of global warming on TC tracks in the WNP. The possible changes in the large-scale steering flows are taken from the output wind fields of two Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) global warming experiments and possible changes in the TC formation locations are considered by shifting the formation locations as a whole. The GFDL experiments suggested that the changes in the future large-scale steering flows are dominated by the easterly anomalies in the Tropics and westerly anomalies in the midlatitudes with the enhanced northward component during the period of 2030–59. Based on the assessments using two different ways to reduce climate model biases, the prevailing TC tracks shift slightly southwestward during the period of 2000–29, but northeastward during the period of 2030–59. More TCs will take a recurving track and move northeastward during the period of 2030–59. The El Niño–like climate change predicted in many climate models can significantly enhance the track changes if the TC formation locations in the WNP shift eastward as a whole.

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Xiouhua Fu and Bin Wang

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An air–sea–land coupled model of intermediate complexity was used to reveal the important roles of air–sea coupling and adjacent continental monsoons (i.e., American monsoons and Asian–Australian monsoons) on the annual cycle and mean state of the equatorial Pacific.

Excluding the effects of adjacent continental monsoons, the simulated mean SST in the western Pacific displays a warm bias; the SST seasonal cycle exhibits an erroneous, dominant annual component in the western Pacific, and insufficient strength and a 2-month phase delay in the equatorial eastern Pacific. The air–sea coupling alone cannot sustain the full strength of the annual marches of the ITCZ/cold tongue complex. This is because the diabatic heating associated with the ITCZ rainfall generates both a southerly and a westerly component to its equatorward side; while the southerly cools the cold tongue establishing a positive feedback to enhance the ITCZ, and the equatorial westerly favors cold tongue warming inducing a negative feedback that offsets the effect of the southerly component.

Including the influences from the adjacent continental monsoons significantly improves the simulations of the mean state and annual cycle of the equatorial Pacific. The Asian–Australian monsoons are found to improve the mean SST through enhancing the strength of the trades and to yield a correct semiannual cycle of surface wind speed and SST in the equatorial western Pacific. However, they have little influence on the annual cycle in the eastern Pacific SST. In contrast, the South American monsoon exerts profound impacts on the annual variations of the southeast trades and SST in the eastern Pacific, but not the mean SST. The Colombian and North American continental monsoons have little impact on the annual cycle of SST in the cold tongue.

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Haiyan Teng and Bin Wang

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A finite-domain wavenumber–frequency analysis was proposed to objectively measure the interannual variability of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) in the Asian–Pacific region. The strongest interannual variations of the ISO are found in the off-equatorial western North Pacific (WNP). In summers when El Niño is developing, both the westward- and northward-propagating waves with periods of 15–40 and 8–10 days are enhanced in July–October. The northward-propagating ISO in the Indian summer monsoon region, however, has little linkage with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

ENSO affects the northwestward-propagating ISO mode in the WNP through changing the mean circulation. During July–October in the El Niño developing year, the easterly vertical shears over the tropical western Pacific are considerably increased, which in turn promote development and northwestward emanation of Rossby waves away from the equatorial western-central Pacific, reinforcing the WNP ISO. In the Indian summer monsoon region, the ENSO-induced circulation changes are too weak to significantly modify the strong easterly sheared monsoon mean circulation. Therefore, the northward-propagating ISO is insensitive to ENSO.

Unlike the wintertime Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), which is uncorrelated with ENSO, the May–July MJO is strengthened during El Niño developing years. The questions of why there is a seasonal dependence of the MJO–ENSO relationship and how ENSO directly affects the May–July MJO require further investigations.

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Li Dong and Bin Wang

Abstract

A Lagrangian linear advection scheme, which is called the trajectory-tracking scheme, is proposed in this paper. The continuous tracer field has been discretized as finite tracer parcels that are points moving with the velocity field. By using the inverse distance weighted interpolation, the density carried by parcels is mapped onto the fixed Eulerian mesh (e.g., regular latitude–longitude mesh on the sphere) where the result is rendered. A renormalization technique has been adopted to accomplish mass conservation on the grids. The major advantage of this scheme is the ability to preserve discontinuity very well. Several standard tests have been carried out, including 1D and 2D Cartesian cases, and 2D spherical cases. The results show that the spurious numerical diffusion has been eliminated, which is a potential merit for the atmospheric modeling.

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Xiaqiong Zhou and Bin Wang

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To understand the mechanisms responsible for the secondary eyewall replacement cycles and associated intensity changes in intense tropical cyclones (TCs), two numerical experiments are conducted in this study with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. In the experiments, identical initial conditions and model parameters are utilized except that the concentration of ice particles is enhanced in the sensitivity run. With enhanced ice concentrations, it is found that the secondary eyewall forms at an increased radius, the time required for eyewall replacement is extended, and the intensity fluctuation is relatively large. The enhanced concentrations of ice particles at the upper tropospheric outflow layer produces a noticeable subsidence region (moat) surrounding the primary eyewall. The presence of the moat forces the secondary eyewall to form at a relatively large radius. The axisymmetric equivalent potential temperature budget analysis reveals that the demise of the inner eyewall is primarily due to the interception of the boundary layer inflow supply of entropy by the outer convective ring, whereas the advection of low entropy air from the middle levels to the boundary inflow layers in the moat is not essential. The interception process becomes inefficient when the secondary eyewall is at a large radius; hence, the corresponding eyewall replacement is slow. After the demise of the inner eyewall, the outer eyewall has to maintain a warm core not only in the previous eye, but also in the moat. The presence of low equivalent potential temperature air in the moat results in the significant weakening of storm intensity. The results found here suggest that monitoring the features of the moat and the outer eyewall region can provide a clue for the prediction of TC intensity change associated with eyewall replacement.

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Bin Wang and Isidoro Orlanski

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A case of the heavy rain vortex which occurred during the period 14–15 July 1979 is studied using a limited-area mesoscale numerical model. This is a representative example of a group of warm southwest vortices that often form over the eastern flank of the Tibetan Plateau after the onset of the summer Indian monsoon.

Some common features of the dynamic structures exhibited both by the simulation and by observations are discussed. The developing vortex is noticeably detached from the polar frontal zone. A 180° phase shift exists between the upper and lower layer vorticity fields. In the boundary layer, a pronounced northward transport of mass and moisture is connected with an intense upward motion near and to the east of the 700-mb vortex center, whole the southward cold advection is insignificant.

The vortex originated and rapidly developed in a stagnation region on the lee side of the plateau. The presence of the stagnation region not only removes local dynamical energy sources from the environmental flow, but also diminishes topographic generation of vorticity by reducing the vortex stretching in the wind component flowing over the plateau and the horizontal convergence in the component moving around the plateau. Without latent heating, dynamic instability and/or forcing of the large-scale flow interacting with the Tibetan Plateau is not sufficient to generate the observed disturbance.

On the other hand, the plateau blocking effect favors the establishment of a conditionally unstable environment. The simulation indicates that a sudden onset of vigorous deep convection, following by a rapid growth of relative vorticity in the lower troposphere, takes place once the dynamic forcing associated with a mesoscale plateau disturbance was positioned over the western stagnation region. Our principle result is that the warm heavy rain vortex in this can study is triggered by a migratory plateau boundary layer disturbance and basically driven by cumulus convective heating. The thermal influence of the elevated plateau topography may appreciably affect the vortex initiation through changing the intensity of the forcing associated with the triggering mechanism.

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Liguang Wu and Bin Wang

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The vertical coupling and movement of an adiabatic baroclinic tropical cyclone (TC) are investigated through two numerical experiments in which the TC is affected by either a vertical environmental shear or a differential beta drift. In both cases, the initial response of the symmetric vortex is to tilt in the vertical. In response to the vertical tilt, a three-dimensional asymmetric circulation with a typical radius of 100 km develops within the TC core region. In addition, the wavenumber-one potential vorticity (PV) anomalies develop with positive anomalies downtilt (uptilt) above (below) the maximum PV level in order to maintain a balanced state between the thermal and dynamical fields. On a beta plane, in contrast to the beta gyres, the mesoscale asymmetric circulation is a pair of counterrotating inner gyres centered at the radius of maximum wind. As a result, the resulting three-dimensional mesoscale asymmetric circulation, not the penetration flow, plays an important role in the vertical coupling of adiabatic baroclinic vortices. In both cases, the TC motion is not simply due to the advection of the symmetric PV component by the asymmetric (ventilation) flow. The horizontal advection of the asymmetric PV anomalies by the symmetric cyclonic flow and the vertical PV advection associated with the asymmetric vertical motion also considerably contribute to the TC motion. The latter two processes also play a critical role in the vertical coupling of the baroclinic TC due to the presence of the vertical PV gradient.

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Liguang Wu and Bin Wang

Abstract

The influence of convective heating on movement and vertical coupling of tropical cyclones (TCs) is investigated using a hurricane model with different environmental flows. The authors identify two processes by which convective heating may affect TC motion. One is the advection of symmetric potential vorticity (PV) by heating-induced asymmetric flow. The other is the direct generation of a positive PV tendency by asymmetric heating, which acts to shift a TC to the region of maximum downward gradient of asymmetric heating. A steering level exists that is located at the level where the direct influence of asymmetric heating vanishes, normally in the lower troposphere. At that level, a TC moves with the asymmetric flow averaged within a radius of 200 km, because the influence of asymmetric flows on TC motion is weighted by the horizontal PV gradient that is primarily confined within the TC core. Although the vertical shear in the asymmetric flow (including environmental and heating-induced flows) could tilt the vortex, the influence of asymmetric heating tends to offset the vertical tilt caused by the vertical shear through a fast adjustment between the asymmetric wind and diabatic heating. Therefore, diabatic heating enhances the vertical coupling.

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