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Tao Feng, Xiu-Qun Yang, Jia-Yuh Yu, and Ronghui Huang


Tropical-depression (TD)-type waves are synoptic-scale disturbances embedded with deep convection over the western North Pacific. Studies of these disturbances began over six decades ago; however, some properties of these disturbances remain vague, e.g., the coupling mechanism between the deep convection and the waves. This two-part study aims to examine the rainfall progression in TD-type disturbances and associated tropospheric moisture controlling convective rainfall. Part I investigates the rainfall and moisture characteristics of TD-type waves using TRMM-derived rainfall products and the ERA-Interim data during the period of June–October 1998–2013. The rainfall features a north–south asymmetrical pattern with respect to a TD-type disturbance, with enhanced convective and stratiform rainfall occurring in the southern portion. Along with the northwestward propagation, deep convective and stratiform rainfall occur in phase with the TD-type disturbance without significant preceding shallow convective rainfall. Following the deepest convection, shallow convective rainfall increases in the anomalous southerlies. Such a rainfall progression differs from the paradigm from shallow to deep convection, then to stratiform rainfall, which is suggested in other convectively coupled equatorial waves. The rainfall progression and the atmospheric moisture anomaly are phase locked to the TD-type disturbances such that the relative displacements change little when the disturbances propagate northwestward. The latent heat release in deep convection, which is obtained from the TRMM 3G25 dataset, superposes with a broad warm anomaly in the mid- to upper troposphere, suggesting wave growth through the generation of available potential energy from diabatic heating.

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Tao Feng, Jia-Yuh Yu, Xiu-Qun Yang, and Ronghui Huang


The companion of this paper, Part I, discovered the characteristics of the rainfall progression in tropical-depression (TD)-type waves over the western North Pacific. In Part II, the large-scale controls on the convective rainfall progression have been investigated using the ERA-Interim data and the TRMM 3B42 precipitation-rate data during June–October from 1998 to 2013 through budgets of moist static energy (MSE) and moisture. A buildup of column-integrated MSE occurs in advance of deep convection, and an export of MSE occurs following deep convection, which is consistent with the MSE recharge–discharge paradigm. The MSE recharge–discharge is controlled by horizontal processes, whereby horizontal moisture advection causes net MSE import prior to deep convection. Such moistening by horizontal advection creates a moist midtroposphere, which helps destabilize the atmospheric column, leading to the development of deep convective rainfall. Following the heaviest rainfall, negative horizontal moisture advection dries the troposphere, inhibiting convection. Such moistening and drying processes explain why deep convection can develop without preceding shallow convection. The advection of moisture anomalies by the mean horizontal flow controls the tropospheric moistening and drying processes. As the TD-type waves propagate northwestward in coincidence with the northwestward environmental flow, the moisture, or convective rainfall, is phase locked to the waves. The critical role of the MSE import by horizontal advection in modulating the rainfall progression is supported by the anomalous gross moist stability (AGMS), where the lowest AGMS corresponds to the quickest increase in the precipitation rate prior to the rainfall maximum.

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Quan Liu, Jiannong Quan, Xingcan Jia, Zhaobin Sun, Xia Li, Yang Gao, and Yangang Liu


Aerosol samples were collected over Beijing, China, during several flights in November 2011. Aerosol composition of nonrefractory submicron particles (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne compact time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (C-ToF-AMS). This measurement on the aircraft provided vertical distribution of aerosol species over Beijing, including sulfate (SO4), nitrate (NO3), ammonium (NH4), chloride (Chl), and organic aerosols [OA; hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA) and oxygenated OA (OOA)]. The observations showed that aerosol compositions varied drastically with altitude, especially near the top of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). On average, organics (34%) and nitrate (32%) were dominant components in the PBL, followed by ammonium (15%), sulfate (14%), and chloride (4%); in the free troposphere (FT), sulfate (34%) and organics (28%) were dominant components, followed by ammonium (20%), nitrate (19%), and chloride (1%). The dominant OA species was primarily HOA in the PBL but changed to OOA in the FT. For sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium, the sulfate mass fraction increased from the PBL to the FT, nitrate mass fraction decreased, and ammonium remained relatively constant. Analysis of the sulfate-to-nitrate molar ratio further indicated that this ratio was usually less than one in the FT but larger than one in the PBL. Further analysis revealed that the vertical aerosol composition profiles were influenced by complex processes, including PBL structure, regional transportation, emission variation, and the aging process of aerosols and gaseous precursors during vertical diffusion.

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