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Dehai Luo, Yiqing Xiao, Yao Yao, Aiguo Dai, Ian Simmonds, and Christian L. E. Franzke

Abstract

In Part I of this study, the impact of Ural blocking (UB) on the warm Arctic–cold Eurasian (WACE) pattern associated with the winter (DJF) arctic sea ice loss during 1979–2013 is examined by dividing the arctic sea ice reduction region into two dominant subregions: the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS) and the North American high-latitude (NAH) region (Baffin and Hudson Bay, Davis Strait, and Labrador Sea). It is found that atmospheric response to arctic sea ice loss resembles a negative Arctic response oscillation with a dominant positive height anomaly over the Eurasian subarctic region. Regression analyses of the two subregions further show that the sea ice loss over the BKS corresponds to the UB pattern together with a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO+) and is followed by a WACE anomaly, while the sea ice reduction in the NAH region corresponds to a negative NAO (NAO) pattern with a cold anomaly over northern Eurasia.

Further analyses reveal that the UB pattern is more persistent during the period 2000–13 (P2) than 1979–99 (P1) because of the reduced middle-to-high-latitude mean westerly winds over Eurasia associated with the intense BKS warming. During P2 the establishment of the UB becomes a slow process because of the role of the BKS warming, while its decay is slightly rapid. In the presence of the long-lived UB that often occurs with the NAO+, the BKS-warming-induced DJF-mean anticyclonic anomaly is intensified and widened and then expands southward during P2 to amplify the WACE pattern and induce the southward displacement of its cold anomaly and the further loss of the BKS sea ice. Thus, midlatitude Eurasian cold events should be more frequent as the sea ice loss continues over the BKS.

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Yijia Hu, Yimin Zhu, Zhong Zhong, and Yao Ha

Abstract

The prediction of mei-yu onset date (MOD) in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River valley (MLYRV) is an important and challenging task for those making seasonal climate predictions in China. In this paper, the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the preceding winter and spring related to MOD are analyzed. It is found that the MOD is associated with the intensity of the Ural high and the East Asian trough in high latitudes, with the intensity of the upper-level westerly jet in middle latitudes, and with the contrast of land–sea temperature and pressure in the preceding winter and spring, which are proxies for the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). It is suggested that the intensity of the EAWM is the most crucial factor affecting the MOD. Years with an early MOD usually correspond to strong EAWMs in the preceding winter, and vice versa. The EAWM can affect the MOD by influencing the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) through tropical ocean–atmosphere and tropical–extratropical interactions. Based on the above analysis, a physics-based statistical forecast model is established using multivariable linear regression techniques. The hindcast of MOD during the 13 yr from 1998 to 2010 is carried out to evaluate the performance of this forecast model. The MOD can be predicted successfully in 8 out of the 13 yr. The forecast model predicts the MOD in the years with strong mei-yu intensity more accurately than in those with weak mei-yu intensity, especially for cases of extreme flooding. This is useful in the prevention of flooding disasters.

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Bowen Zhou, Shiwei Sun, Kai Yao, and Kefeng Zhu

Abstract

Turbulent mixing in the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) is carried out by organized nonlocal updrafts and smaller local eddies. In the upper mixed layer of the CBL, heat fluxes associated with nonlocal updrafts are directed up the local potential temperature gradient. To reproduce such countergradient behavior in parameterizations, a class of planetary boundary layer schemes adopts a countergradient correction term in addition to the classic downgradient eddy-diffusion term. Such schemes are popular because of their simple formulation and effective performance. This study reexamines those schemes to investigate the physical representations of the gradient and countergradient (GCG) terms, and to rebut the often-implied association of the GCG terms with heat fluxes due to local and nonlocal (LNL) eddies. To do so, large-eddy simulations (LESs) of six idealized CBL cases are performed. The GCG fluxes are computed a priori with horizontally averaged LES data, while the LNL fluxes are diagnosed through conditional sampling and Fourier decomposition of the LES flow field. It is found that in the upper mixed layer, the gradient term predicts downward fluxes in the presence of positive mean potential temperature gradient but is compensated by the upward countergradient correction flux, which is larger than the total heat flux. However, neither downward local fluxes nor larger-than-total nonlocal fluxes are diagnosed from LES. The difference reflects reduced turbulence efficiency for GCG fluxes and, in terms of physics, conceptual deficiencies in the GCG representation of CBL heat fluxes.

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Lung-Yao Chang, Kevin K. W. Cheung, and Cheng-Shang Lee

Abstract

A total of 40 out of 531 tropical cyclones that formed in the western North Pacific during 1986–2005 have accompanied trade wind surges located 5°–15° latitude to the north of the pretropical cyclone disturbance centers. Composite and empirical orthogonal function analyses indicate that the trade wind surges are related to a midlatitude eastward-moving high pressure system often found during the East Asian winter monsoon. Therefore, these trade wind surge tropical cyclones tend to occur in late season (with one-third of them in December), and at lower latitudes (7° latitude lower than the climatological average formation position).

The evolution of mesoscale features during formation of trade wind surge tropical cyclones is examined. Various satellite datasets show similar mesoscale patterns during their formations. A few convective lines form by convergence between the trade wind surges and the strengthening cyclonic circulation associated with incipient vortex within the 24 h before formation. Some mesoscale convective systems are embedded in the convective line with lifetimes of about 5 h, and these are illustrated through case studies. Formations usually occur when the trade winds start to decrease in magnitude and a short period after the major episodes of convection in the convective lines and mesoscale convective systems. The relationships between the temporal variability of synoptic-scale trade wind surges, the mesoscale features, and associated tropical cyclone formations are discussed.

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Yuan Sun, Lan Yi, Zhong Zhong, and Yao Ha

Abstract

The latest version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRFV3.5) is used to evaluate the performance of the Grell and Freitas (GF13) cumulus parameterization scheme on the model convergence in simulations of a tropical cyclone (TC) at gray-zone resolutions. The simulated TC intensity converges to a finite limit as the grid spacing varies from 7.5 to 1 km. The reasons for the model convergence are investigated from perspectives of subgrid-scale processes and thermodynamic and dynamic structures. It is found that the impacts of above factors are notably different with varying model resolutions. The convective heating and drying increase as the grid spacing decreases, which inhibits the explicit microphysical parameterization preventing the simulated TC from overly intensifying. As the grid spacing decreases from 7.5 to 5 km, the TC intensity increases because of a stronger secondary circulation, a larger magnitude and proportion of strong eyewall updraft, and a greater amount of latent heating in the eyewall. As the grid spacing decreases from 5 to 3 km, the radius of maximum wind (RMW) decreases and the radial pressure gradient increases leading to an increase in TC intensity. The simulated TC intensity changes slightly as the grid spacing decreases from 3 to 1 km since the RMW and the storm structure both change little. The slight changes in the simulated TC intensity at such high resolutions indicate a great model convergence. Therefore, the GF13 presents an appropriate option that increases the model convergence in the TC intensity simulation at gray-zone resolution.

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Ruibo Lei, Zhijun Li, Yanfeng Cheng, Xin Wang, and Yao Chen

Abstract

High-precision ice thickness observations are required to gain a better understanding of ocean–ice–atmosphere interactions and to validate numerical sea ice models. A new apparatus for monitoring sea ice and snow thickness has been developed, based on the magnetostrictive-delay-line (MDL) principle for positioning sensors. This system is suited for monitoring fixed measurement sites on undeformed ice. The apparatus presented herein has been tested on landfast ice near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, for about 6 months during the austral autumn and winter of 2006; valid data records from the deployment are available for more than 90% of the deployment’s duration. The apparatus’s precision has been estimated to be ±0.002 m for the deployment. Therefore, it is possible that this apparatus may become a standard for sea ice/snow thickness monitoring.

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T. Yao, Howard J. Freeland, and Lawrence A. Mysak

Abstract

Six current-meter mooring were deployed in a line approximately 600 km in length along the continental shelf of British Columbia. Analysis of the low frequency (periods exceeding a day) fluctuations in current for the winter 1981–82 period is discussed. Alongshore currents off Vancouver Island are mutually correlated with time lag less than a day. The region of mutual correlation does not extend north of Vancouver Island, across Queen Charlotte Sound. Coherence is observed between currents south and north of Queen Charlotte Sound only in a frequency band where there is mutual coherence with local wind. A comparison is made between observation and free coastal-trapped wave theory. Off northern Vancouver Island, where the shelf is narrower than off southern Vancouver Island, there is increased vertical shear, a feature of the second coastal-trapped wave mode. A consistency test is applied using the cross spectral matrix of alongshore components of velocity. In the dominant energy-containing frequency bands (periods ≳10 days), the structure of alongshore currents off Vancouver Island is consistent with the two lowest free coastal-trapped wave modes locked in phase.

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Gengxin Chen, Weiqing Han, Yuanlong Li, Jinglong Yao, and Dongxiao Wang

Abstract

By analyzing in situ observations and conducting a series of ocean general circulation model experiments, this study investigates the physical processes controlling intraseasonal variability (ISV) of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) of the Indian Ocean. ISV of the EUC leads to time-varying water exchanges between the western and eastern equatorial Indian Ocean. For the 2001–14 period, standard deviations of the EUC transport variability are 1.92 and 1.77 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) in the eastern and western basins, respectively. The ISV of the EUC is predominantly caused by the wind forcing effect of atmospheric intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs) but through dramatically different ocean dynamical processes in the eastern and western basins. The stronger ISV in the eastern basin is dominated by the reflected Rossby waves associated with intraseasonal equatorial zonal wind forcing. It takes 20–30 days to set up an intraseasonal EUC anomaly through the Kelvin and Rossby waves associated with the first and second baroclinic modes. In the western basin, the peak intraseasonal EUC anomaly is generated by the zonal pressure gradient force, which is set up by radiating equatorial Kelvin and Rossby waves induced by the equatorial wind stress. Directly forced and reflected Rossby waves from the eastern basin propagate westward, contributing to intraseasonal zonal current near the surface but having weak impact on the peak ISV of the EUC.

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Zhigang Yao, Jun Li, Jinlong Li, and Hong Zhang

Abstract

An accurate land surface emissivity (LSE) is critical for the retrieval of atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles along with land surface temperature from hyperspectral infrared (IR) sounder radiances; it is also critical to assimilating IR radiances in numerical weather prediction models over land. To investigate the impact of different LSE datasets on Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) sounding retrievals, experiments are conducted by using a one-dimensional variational (1DVAR) retrieval algorithm. Sounding retrievals using constant LSE, the LSE dataset from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), and the baseline fit dataset from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are performed. AIRS observations over northern Africa on 1–7 January and 1–7 July 2007 are used in the experiments. From the limited regional comparisons presented here, it is revealed that the LSE from the IASI obtained the best agreement between the retrieval results and the ECMWF reanalysis, whereas the constant LSE gets the worst results when the emissivities are fixed in the retrieval process. The results also confirm that the simultaneous retrieval of atmospheric profile and surface parameters could reduce the dependence of soundings on the LSE choice and finally improve sounding accuracy when the emissivities are adjusted in the iterative retrieval. In addition, emissivity angle dependence is investigated with AIRS radiance measurements. The retrieved emissivity spectra from AIRS over the ocean reveal weak angle dependence, which is consistent with that from an ocean emissivity model. This result demonstrates the reliability of the 1DVAR simultaneous algorithm for emissivity retrieval from hyperspectral IR radiance measurements.

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Xiuping Yao, Jiali Ma, Da-Lin Zhang, and Lizhu Yan

Abstract

A 33-yr climatology of shear lines occurring over the Yangtze–Huai River basin (YHSLs) of eastern China during the mei-yu season (i.e., June and July) of 1981–2013 is examined using the daily ERA-Interim reanalysis data and daily rain gauge observations. Results show that (i) nearly 75% of the heavy-rainfall days (i.e., >50 mm day−1) are accompanied by YHSLs, (ii) about 66% of YHSLs can produce heavy rainfall over the Yangtze–Huai River basin, and (iii) YHSL-related heavy rainfall occurs frequently in the south-central basin. The statistical properties of YHSLs are investigated by classifying them into warm, cold, quasi-stationary, and vortex types based on their distinct flow and thermal patterns as well as orientations and movements. Although the warm-type rainfall intensity is the weakest among the four, it has the highest number of heavy-rainfall days, making it the largest contributor (33%) to the total mei-yu rainfall amounts associated with YHSLs. By comparison, the quasi-stationary type has the smallest number of heavy-rainfall days, contributing about 19% to the total rainfall, whereas the vortex type is the more frequent extreme-rain producer (i.e., >100 mm day−1). The four types of YHSLs are closely related to various synoptic-scale low-to-midtropospheric disturbances—such as the southwest vortex, low-level jets, and midlatitude traveling perturbations that interact with mei-yu fronts over the basin and a subtropical high to the south—that provide favorable lifting and the needed moisture supply for heavy-rainfall production. The results have important implications for the operational rainfall forecasts associated with YHSLs through analog pattern recognition.

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