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Zhenyi Lin, Nan Chen, Yongzhen Fan, Wei Li, Knut Stamnes, and Snorre Stamnes

Abstract

The treatment of strongly anisotropic scattering phase functions is still a challenge for accurate radiance computations. The new delta-M+ method resolves this problem by introducing a reliable, fast, accurate, and easy-to-use Legendre expansion of the scattering phase function with modified moments. Delta-M+ is an upgrade of the widely used delta-M method that truncates the forward scattering peak with a Dirac delta function, where the “+” symbol indicates that it essentially matches moments beyond the first M terms. Compared with the original delta-M method, delta-M+ has the same computational efficiency, but for radiance computations, the accuracy and stability have been increased dramatically.

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Wei-Ting Chen, Shih-Pei Hsu, Yuan-Huai Tsai, and Chung-Hsiung Sui

ABSTRACT

We studied the scale interactions of the convectively coupled Kelvin waves (KWs) over the South China Sea (SCS) and Maritime Continent (MC) during December 2016. Three KWs were observed near the equator in this month while the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) was inactive. The impacts of these KWs on the rainfall variability of various time scales are diagnosed, including synoptic disturbances, diurnal cycle (DC), and the onset of the Australian monsoon. Four interaction events between the KWs and the westward-propagating waves over the off-equatorial regions were examined; two events led to KW enhancements and the other two contributed to the formation of a tropical depression/tropical cyclone. Over the KW convectively active region of the MC, the DC of precipitation was enhanced in major islands and neighboring oceans. Over the land, the DC hot spots were modulated depending on the background winds and the terrain effects. Over the ocean, the “coastal regime” of the DC appeared at specific coastal areas. Last, the Australian summer monsoon onset occurred with the passage of a KW, which provided favorable conditions of low-level westerlies and initial convection over southern MC and the Arafura Sea. This effect may be helped by the warm sea surface temperature anomalies associated with the La Niña condition of this month. The current results showcase that KWs and their associated scale interactions can provide useful references for weather monitoring and forecast of this region when the MJO is absent.

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Jiandong Li, Wei-Chyung Wang, Jiangyu Mao, Ziqian Wang, Gang Zeng, and Guoxing Chen

Abstract

Clouds strongly modulate regional radiation balance and their evolution is profoundly influenced by circulations. This study uses 2001–16 satellite and reanalysis data together with regional model simulations to investigate the spring shortwave cloud radiative effect (SWCRE) and the associated circulations over southeastern China (SEC). Strong SWCRE, up to −110 W m−2, persists throughout springtime in this region and its spring mean is the largest among the same latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. SWCRE exhibits pronounced subseasonal variation and is closely associated with persistent regional ascending motion and moisture convergence, which favor large amounts of cloud liquid water and resultant strong SWCRE. Around pentad 12 (late February), SWCRE abruptly increases and afterward remains stable between 22° and 32°N. The thermal and dynamic effects of Tibetan Plateau and westerly jet provide appropriate settings for the maintenance of ascending motion, while water vapor, as cloud water supply, stably comes from the southern flank of the Tibetan Plateau and South China Sea. During pentads 25–36 (early May to late June), SWCRE is further enhanced by the increased water vapor transport caused by the march of East Asian monsoon systems, particularly after the onset of the South China Sea monsoon. After pentad 36, these circulations quickly weaken and the SWCRE decreases accordingly. Individual years with spring strong and weak rainfall are chosen to highlight the importance of the strength of the ascending motion. The simulation broadly reproduced the observed results, although biases exist. Finally, the model biases in SWCRE–circulation associations are discussed.

Open access
Yang Chen, Wei Chen, Qin Su, Feifei Luo, Sarah Sparrow, David Wallom, Fangxing Tian, Buwen Dong, Simon F. B. Tett, and Fraser C. Lott
Open access
Chu-Chun Chen, Min-Hui Lo, Eun-Soon Im, Jin-Yi Yu, Yu-Chiao Liang, Wei-Ting Chen, Iping Tang, Chia-Wei Lan, Ren-Jie Wu, and Rong-You Chien

Abstract

Tropical deforestation can result in substantial changes in local surface energy and water budgets, and thus in atmospheric stability. These effects may in turn yield changes in precipitation. The Maritime Continent (MC) has undergone severe deforestation during the past few decades but it has received less attention than the deforestation in the Amazon and Congo rain forests. In this study, numerical deforestation experiments are conducted with global (i.e., Community Earth System Model) and regional climate models (i.e., Regional Climate Model version 4.6) to investigate precipitation responses to MC deforestation. The results show that the deforestation in the MC region leads to increases in both surface temperature and local precipitation. Atmospheric moisture budget analysis reveals that the enhanced precipitation is associated more with the dynamic component than with the thermodynamic component of the vertical moisture advection term. Further analyses on the vertical profile of moist static energy indicate that the atmospheric instability over the deforested areas is increased as a result of anomalous moistening at approximately 800–850 hPa and anomalous warming extending from the surface to 750 hPa. This instability favors ascending air motions, which enhance low-level moisture convergence. Moreover, the vertical motion increases associated with the MC deforestation are comparable to those generated by La Niña events. These findings offer not only mechanisms to explain the local climatic responses to MC deforestation but also insights into the possible reasons for disagreements among climate models in simulating the precipitation responses.

Open access
Guoxing Chen, Wei-Chyung Wang, Lijun Tao, Huang-Hsiung Hsu, Chia-Ying Tu, and Chao-Tzuen Cheng

Abstract

This study used both observations and global climate model simulations to investigate the characteristics of winter extreme snowfall events along the coast (the Interstate 95 corridor) of the northeast United States where several mega-cities are located. Observational analyses indicate that, during 1980–2015, 110 events occurred when four coastal cities—Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.—had either individually or collectively experienced daily snowfall exceeding the local 95th percentile thresholds. Boston had the most events, with a total of 69, followed by 40, 36, and 30 (moving southward) in the other three cities. The associated circulations at 200 and 850 hPa were categorized via K-means clustering. The resulting three composite circulations are characterized by the strength and location of the jet at 200 hPa and the coupled low pressure system at 850 hPa: a strong jet overlying the cities coupled with an inland trough, a weak and slightly southward shifted jet coupled with a cyclone at the coast, and a weak jet stream situated to the south of the cities coupled with a cyclone over the coastal oceans. Comparative analyses were also conducted using the GFDL High Resolution Atmospheric Model (HiRAM) simulation of the same period. Although the simulated extreme events do not provide one-to-one correspondence with observations, the characteristics nevertheless show consistency notably in total number of occurrences, intraseasonal and multiple-year variations, snow spatial coverage, and the associated circulation patterns. Possible future change in extreme snow events was also explored utilizing the HiRAM RCP8.5 (2075–2100) simulation. The analyses suggest that a warming global climate tends to decrease the extreme snowfall events but increase extreme rainfall events.

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Chong Shen, Xiaoyang Chen, Wei Dai, Xiaohui Li, Jie Wu, Qi Fan, Xuemei Wang, Liye Zhu, Pakwai Chan, Jian Hang, Shaojia Fan, and Weibiao Li

Abstract

On urban scales, the detailed characteristics of land-use information and building properties are vital to improving the meteorological model. The WRF Model with high-spatial-resolution urban fraction (UF) and urban morphology (UM) is used to study the impacts of these urban canopy parameters (UCPs) on dynamical and thermal meteorological fields in two representative seasons in Guangzhou. The results of two seasons are similar and as follows. 1) The impacts of updated UF and UM are obvious on wind speed but minor on temperature and humidity. In the urban environment, the results with updated UF and UM are more consistent with observations compared with the default UCPs, which means the performance of the model has been improved. 2) The dynamical factors associated with wind speed are analyzed. Turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) is significantly affected by UM but little by UF. And both UF and UM are found to influence friction velocity U*. The UM and greater UF attained larger U*. 3) In addition, the thermal fields are analyzed. The UM and increased UF induce higher surface skin temperature (TSK) and ground heat flux in the daytime, indicating that more heat is transported from the surface to the soil. At night, more heat is transported from the soil to the surface, producing higher TSK. For sensible heat flux (HFX), greater UF induces larger HFX during the daytime. But the effects of UM are complex, which makes HFX decrease during the daytime and increase at night. Finally, larger UF attains lower latent heat in the daytime.

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Linghui Cai, Shaoping Shang, Guomei Wei, Zhigang He, Yanshuang Xie, Ke Liu, Tao Zhou, Jinquan Chen, Feng Zhang, and Yan Li

Abstract

Dual high-frequency (HF) radar systems are often used to provide measurements of waves, winds, and currents. In this study, the accuracy of wave measurements using a single HF radar system (OS081H-A) was explored using datasets obtained during 5–27 January 2014 in the southwestern Taiwan Strait. We selected the study region as an area with >90% coverage (i.e., the range was <100 km). Qualitative and quantitative intercomparison of wave measurements (by the radar and five buoys) and wave model products [from the Simulating Wave Nearshore (SWAN) model] were conducted. Intercomparison of the modeled and in situ significant wave height Hs showed that the model-predicted Hs could be considered to be acceptable for use as “sea truth” to evaluate the radar-derived Hs, with mean bias from −0.45 to −0.16 m, mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.24–0.45 m, and root-mean-square error of 0.31–0.54 m. It was found that the MAE of radar-derived Hs was ≤ 1 m for 86% of the sector (except at the edge of sector) when the model-predicted Hs was ≥ 1.5 m. In particular, the MAE was less than 0.6 m for 63% of the sector, which was mainly distributed in the area with a bearing from −50° to +70° and a range of 20–70 km. The results are promising, but more work is needed. We employed a spatial distribution function for the MAE of the radar-derived Hs over the sample duration based on range, bearing, and mean radar-derived Hs.

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Guomei Wei, Zhigang He, Yanshuang Xie, Shaoping Shang, Hao Dai, Jingyu Wu, Ke Liu, Rui Lin, Yan Wan, Hang Lin, Jinrui Chen, and Yan Li

Abstract

Two Ocean State Monitoring and Analyzing Radar (OSMAR071) (7.8 MHz) high-frequency (HF) radars and four moored ADCPs were operated concurrently in the southwestern Taiwan Strait during January–March 2013. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of surface currents were conducted between the HF radars and the ADCPs. Except for a location probably affected by shallow water and sand waves on the Taiwan Banks, the HF-radar-derived radial currents (radials) showed good agreement with the ADCP measured results (correlation coefficient: 0.89–0.98; rms difference: 0.07–0.13 m s−1). To provide further insight into the geophysical processes involved, the performance of the HF-radar-derived radials was further evaluated under different sea states (sea states: 2–6). It was found that both the data returns of the radar-derived radials and the differences between the radar-derived radials and the ADCP-derived radials varied with sea state. The HF radar performed best at sea state 4 in terms of data returns. The spatial coverage increased rapidly as the waves increased from sea state 2 to 4. However, it decreased slowly from sea state 4 to 6. Second, the radial differences were relatively high under lower sea states (2 and 3) at the location where the best agreement was obtained between the radar and ADCP radials, whereas the differences increased as the sea states increased at the other three locations. The differences between the radials measured by the HF radars and the ADCPs could be attributed to wave-induced Stokes drift and spatial sampling differences.

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Randall Dole, Martin Hoerling, Arun Kumar, Jon Eischeid, Judith Perlwitz, Xiao-Wei Quan, George Kiladis, Robert Webb, Donald Murray, Mingyue Chen, Klaus Wolter, and Tao Zhang

We examine how physical factors spanning climate and weather contributed to record warmth over the central and eastern United States in March 2012, when daily temperature anomalies at many locations exceeded 20°C. Over this region, approximately 1°C warming in March temperatures has occurred since 1901. This long-term regional warming is an order of magnitude smaller than temperature anomalies observed during the event, indicating that most of the extreme warmth must be explained by other factors. Several lines of evidence strongly implicate natural variations as the primary cause for the extreme event. The 2012 temperature anomalies had a close analog in an exceptionally warm U.S. March occurring over 100 years earlier, providing observational evidence that an extreme event similar to March 2012 could be produced through natural variability alone. Coupled model forecasts and simulations forced by observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) show that forcing from anomalous SSTs increased the probability of extreme warm temperatures in March 2012 above that anticipated from the long-term warming trend. In addition, forcing associated with a strong Madden–Julian oscillation further increased the probability for extreme U.S. warmth and provided important additional predictive information on the timing and spatial pattern of temperature anomalies. The results indicate that the superposition of a strong natural variation similar to March 1910 on longterm warming of the magnitude observed would be sufficient to account for the record warm March 2012 U.S. temperatures. We conclude that the extreme warmth over the central and eastern United States in March 2012 resulted primarily from natural climate and weather variability— a substantial fraction of which was predictable.

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