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Peng Hu, Wen Chen, Shangfeng Chen, Yuyun Liu, and Ruping Huang

Abstract

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is regarded as one of the most important factors for onset of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM). Previous studies generally indicated that an El Niño event tends to result in a late onset of the SCSSM monsoon. However, this relationship has not been true in recent years, particularly when an extremely early SCSSM onset (1 May 2019) occurred following the 2018/19 El Niño event in the preceding winter. The processes of the second earliest SCSSM onset in the past 41 years were investigated using NCEP–DOE reanalysis, OLR data, and ERSST. A negative sea surface temperature and associated anticyclonic anomalies were absent over the western North Pacific in the late spring of 2019 following an El Niño event in the preceding winter. Thus, the mean circulation in the late spring of 2019 does not prevent SCSSM onset, which is in sharp contrast to the composited spring of the El Niño decaying years. The convective active and westerly phases of a 30–60-day oscillation originating from the Indian Ocean provided a favorable background for the SCSSM onset in 2019. In addition, the monsoon onset vortex over the Bay of Bengal and the cold front associated with a midlatitude trough over East Asia also played important roles in triggering the early onset of the SCSSM in 2019. No tropical cyclone appeared over the western North Pacific during April and May, and the enhancement of quasi-biweekly oscillation mainly occurs after the SCSSM onset; thus, these two factors contribute little to the SCSSM onset in 2019.

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Jinling Piao, Wen Chen, Shangfeng Chen, Hainan Gong, and Qiong Zhang

Abstract

Previous studies found a seesaw pattern of summer precipitation between northeast Asia and east Siberia on an interannual time scale, which is associated with an eastward-propagating atmospheric wave train over Eurasia and corresponding water vapor transport circulations. Using a general circulation model with an embedded water-tagging module, the main water vapor sources of the two regions, as well as the relative contributions of each source region to the total precipitation for both the climatological mean and interdecadal variation, are further compared in this study. The model simulation results show that local evaporation, the Pacific Ocean, and East Asia are the dominant moisture sources for northeast Asian precipitation. In contrast, for east Siberia, moisture mainly originates from the Pacific Ocean, northeast Asia, west Siberia, and local evaporation. This suggests that the local evaporation and Pacific Ocean are both crucial to the moisture supply of the two regions, implying the important roles of the land processes and adjacent oceanic sources. In addition, northeast Asia appears to be the major moisture source for east Siberia, whereas east Siberia has weak impacts on the moisture input for northeast Asia. Further analysis finds that the model simulation can capture interdecadal changes in summer precipitation over the two regions around the late 1990s. This interdecadal change is mainly manifested in the moisture supplies from the Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, and east Siberia, which suggests a link with the circulation anomalies under the combined impacts of the Pacific decadal oscillation and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.

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Xiao Feng, Renguang Wu, Jiepeng Chen, and Zhiping Wen

Abstract

The present study investigates the year-to-year variations of September–October rainfall in Hainan, China, for the period 1965–2010. The dominant circulation anomalies feature a cyclone (an anticyclone) over the Indochina Peninsula and northern South China Sea, an anticyclone (a cyclone) over subtropical western North Pacific and lower-level convergence (divergence) over the Maritime Continent in the wet (dry) years. These circulation anomalies are responses to an east–west sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern with negative (positive) SST anomalies in the equatorial central Pacific and positive (negative) SST anomalies around the Maritime Continent in the wet (dry) years. Although the SST anomaly pattern is similar (but with opposite anomaly), the SST signal in the equatorial central Pacific is more significant in the dry years than in the wet years. This difference indicates a larger case-to-case variability in the wet years than in the dry years. The large variability in the wet years is attributed to contributions of tropical cyclones (TCs) and intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs). There are more TCs impinging on Hainan and the TC tracks are closer to the island in the wet years than in the dry years. The rainfall shows large intraseasonal variations with periods of 10–20 and 30–60 days during September–October in the wet years. The 10–20-day ISO originates from the Maritime Continent, whereas the 30–60-day ISO develops over tropical Indian Ocean and propagates northeastward to northern South China Sea. In contrast, the ISO signal is much weaker in the dry years.

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Wen Wang, Wei Cui, Xiaoju Wang, and Xi Chen

Abstract

The Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) is an important data source for global water cycle research. Using ground-based measurements over continental China, the monthly scale forcing data (precipitation and air temperature) during 1979–2010 and model outputs (runoff, water storage, and evapotranspiration) during 2002–10 of GLDAS models [focusing on GLDAS, version 1 (GLDAS-1)/Noah and GLDAS, version 2 (GLDAS-2)/Noah] are evaluated. Results show that GLDAS-1 has serious discontinuity issues in its forcing data, with large precipitation errors in 1996 and large temperature errors during 2000–05. While the bias correction of the GLDAS-2 precipitation data greatly improves temporal continuity and reduces the biases, it makes GLDAS-2 precipitation less correlated with observed precipitation and makes it have larger mean absolute errors than GLDAS-1 precipitation for most months over the year. GLDAS-2 temperature data are superior to GLDAS-1 temperature data temporally and spatially. The results also show that the change rates of terrestrial water storage (TWS) data by GLDAS and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) do not match well in most areas of China, and both GLDAS-1 and GLDAS-2 are not very capable of capturing the seasonal variation in monthly TWS change observed by GRACE. Runoff is underestimated in the exorheic basins over China, and runoff simulations of GLDAS-2 are much more accurate than those of GLDAS-1 for two of the three major river basins of China investigated in this study. Evapotranspiration is overestimated in the exorheic basins in China by both GLDAS-1 and GLDAS-2, whereas the overestimation of evapotranspiration by GLDAS-2 is less than that by GLDAS-1.

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Sai Wang, Debashis Nath, Wen Chen, and Lin Wang

Abstract

In the last three decades, rapid surface warming is observed in the land areas of northern high latitudes during boreal summer months. Although the warming trend is thought to be driven by early snowmelt, the exact causes, especially its relationship with atmospheric circulation changes, remain a subject of debate. By analyzing ERA-Interim data, this study examines the possible factors for rapid subarctic warming. It is found that more than half of the warming trend over the entire subarctic and 80% over northern Canada and eastern Siberia (regions with maximum amplification) can be explained by enhanced downward infrared radiation (IR). Downward IR is largely driven by horizontal atmospheric moisture flux convergence and warm-air advection. The positive trend in geopotential height over the Greenland region is key for moisture flux convergence over northern Canada and eastern Siberia through changes in the storm tracks. An enhanced summertime blocking activity in the Greenland region seems responsible for the positive trend in geopotential heights.

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Lei Song, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, and Yang Zhang

Abstract

The East Asian trough (EAT) is a distinct component of the boreal winter circulation whose strength corresponds to the amplitude of the Northern Hemispheric stationary waves. In this study, the mechanism and climatic impacts of the intraseasonal variations of the EAT’s strength are investigated through composite analysis and dynamical diagnostics. The significant roles played by the low-frequency Rossby wave (RW) and synoptic transient eddy (TE) are revealed. Before the peaks of strong EAT events, an upper-tropospheric RW train propagates across northern Eurasia and interacts with preexisting surface cold anomalies over central Siberia. This pattern intensifies the Siberian high and causes RW convergence toward the EAT, leading to 30% of the EAT’s amplification directly via the RW-induced feedback forcing. Meanwhile, RW weakens the background baroclinicity and reduces TE activities near the entrance region of the North Pacific storm track. The TE-induced feedback forcing leads to another 30% of the EAT’s amplification. The evolution and dynamical processes of the weak EAT events generally resemble those of the strong events with opposite signs. These results are consistent with the knowledge on the mechanism of the strong and weak EAT events regarding the role of RWs with additional quantitative description and provide new insights regarding the role of TEs. Variations of the EAT’s strength exert significant climatic impacts on East Asia and its downstream region. Near-surface air temperature is below (above) normal over East Asia during the growth and peak stages of the strong (weak) EAT events and above (below) normal over North America afterward.

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Long Wen, Kun Zhao, Guifu Zhang, Su Liu, and Gang Chen

Abstract

Instrumentation limitations on measured raindrop size distributions (DSDs) and their derived relations and physical parameters are studied through a comparison of the DSD measurements during mei-yu season in east China by four collocated instruments, that is, a two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD), a vertically pointing Micro Rain Radar (MRR), and two laser-optical OTT Particle Size Velocity (PARSIVEL) disdrometers (first generation: OTT-1; second generation: OTT-2). Among the four instruments, the 2DVD provides the most accurate DSD and drop velocity measurements, so its measured rainfall amount has the best agreement with the reference rain gauge. Other instruments tend to miss more small drops (D < 1 mm), leading to inaccurate DSDs and a lower rainfall amount. The low rainfall estimation becomes significant during heavy rainfall. The impacts of instrument limitations on the microphysical processes (e.g., evaporation and accretion rates) and convective storm morphology are evaluated. This is important especially for mei-yu precipitation, which is dominated by a high concentration of small drops. Hence, the instrument limitations need to be taken into account in both QPE and microphysics parameterization.

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Shuoyi Ding, Wen Chen, Juan Feng, and Hans-F. Graf

Abstract

Combined impacts of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and two types of La Niña on climate anomalies in Europe are studied. Particularly, the conjunction of the negative PDO phase and two different types of La Niña events favors strong and significant North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern anomalies with opposite polarity. For the central Pacific (CP) La Niña, a clear positive NAO signal can be detected, which is accompanied by positive surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly and a dipolar structure of precipitation anomalies in Europe. In addition, a typical negative Pacific–North America (PNA) teleconnection pattern forms, including a high pressure anomaly over the southeastern United States, which may contribute to the development and maintenance of the NAO anomaly by strengthening the baroclinicity and the local eddy–mean flow interaction. However, for the eastern Pacific (EP) La Niña, a zonal wave train in the high latitudes can be observed, which is quite different from the typical PNA structure. Here, an anomalous anticyclone over southern Greenland supports a negative NAO pattern through the local eddy–mean flow interaction and the associated vorticity advection. Hence, reversed SAT and precipitation anomalies occur over Europe. Further analyses indicate that the wave trains emanating from the North Pacific and the synoptic eddy–mean flow interaction play essential roles in forming the anomalous NAO phases. The different wave trains for the CP and EP La Niña events may be attributed to the differences in the location and intensity of anomalous convection induced by different types of SST anomaly as well as by the corresponding background westerly wind anomalies in the upper troposphere.

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Peiqiang Xu, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Juan Feng, and Yuyun Liu

Abstract

The Pacific–Japan (PJ) pattern, also known as the East Asia–Pacific pattern, is a teleconnection that significantly influences the East Asian summer climate on various time scales. Based on several reanalysis and observational datasets, this study suggests that the PJ pattern has experienced a distinct three-dimensional structural change in the late 1990s. Compared with those during 1979–98, the PJ pattern shifts eastward by approximately 20° during 1999–2015, and the intensity of its barotropic structure in the extratropics weakens significantly. As a result, its influences on the summer rainfall along the mei-yu band are weakened after the late 1990s. These observed changes can be attributed to three reasons. First, the location where the PJ pattern is excited shifts eastward. Second, the easterly shear of the background wind is very weak around the source region of the PJ pattern after the late 1990s, which prevents the convection-induced baroclinic mode from converting into barotropic mode and thereby from propagating into the extratropics. Third, the PJ pattern–induced rainfall anomalies are weak along the mei-yu band after the late 1990s. As a result, their feedbacks to the PJ pattern become weak and play a considerably reduced role in maintaining the structure of the PJ pattern in the midlatitudes. In contrast, the eddy energy conversion from the basic flow efficiently maintains the PJ pattern before and after the late 1990s and thereby contributes little to the observed change.

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Jinling Piao, Wen Chen, Qiong Zhang, and Peng Hu

Abstract

The moisture supplies over Siberia and Northeast Asia are investigated by comparing their similarities and differences, enlightened by the seesaw pattern in their summer precipitation. Based on the rotated empirical orthogonal functions in the 3-month standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI_03), Siberia and Northeast Asia are defined as the regions within 55°–70°N, 80°–115°E and 40°–55°N, 90°–115°E, respectively. Our results show that over both regions, evaporation contributes the most to the precipitation amount at the annual time scale, and moisture convergence contributes the most on the interannual time scale. For moisture convergence, both the stationary and transient terms are subject to impacts of the midlatitude westerlies. For the annual cycle, the net moisture supply over both Siberia and Northeast Asia is closely associated with both stationary and transient moisture transport. However, on the interannual time scale, the net moisture convergence is closely related to the stationary term only. The examination of the boundary moisture transport shows that in addition to the zonal component, the meridional stationary moisture transport plays a key role in the net moisture convergence. The transient moisture transport mainly depends on moisture transport through the western and southern boundaries, with a comparable magnitude to that of the stationary one, further confirming the importance of the stationary and transient terms on the moisture supply for the annual cycle. In addition, the circulations responsible for moisture transport anomalies indicate that the stationary moisture circulation is the key factor for the moisture supply anomalies over both Siberia and Northeast Asia, with limited impacts from the transient moisture circulation.

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