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Yang Gao, Jian Lu, and L. Ruby Leung

Abstract

This study investigates the North Atlantic atmospheric rivers (ARs) making landfall over western Europe in the present and future climate from the multimodel ensemble of phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Overall, CMIP5 captures the seasonal and spatial variations of historical landfalling AR days, with the large intermodel variability strongly correlated with the intermodel spread of historical near-surface westerly jet position. Under representative concentration pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5), AR frequency is projected to increase significantly by the end of this century, with 127%–275% increase at peak AR frequency regions (45°–55°N). While thermodynamics plays a dominant role in the future increase of ARs, wind changes associated with the midlatitude jet shifts also significantly contribute to AR changes, resulting in dipole change patterns in all seasons. In the North Atlantic, the model-projected jet shifts are strongly correlated with the simulated historical jet position. As models exhibit predominantly equatorward biases in the historical jet position, the large poleward jet shifts reduce AR days south of the historical mean jet position through the dynamical connections between the jet positions and AR days. Using the observed historical jet position as an emergent constraint, dynamical effects further increase future AR days over the equatorward flank above the increases from thermodynamical effects. Compared to the present, both total and extreme precipitation induced by ARs in the future contribute more to the seasonal mean and extreme precipitation, primarily because of the increase in AR frequency. While AR precipitation intensity generally increases more relative to the increase in integrated vapor transport, AR extreme precipitation intensity increases much less.

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Miaoni Gao, Bin Wang, Jing Yang, and Wenjie Dong

Abstract

The Yangtze–Huaihe River basin (YHRB) is the core region of sultry heat wave occurrence over China during peak summer [July and August (JA)]. The extremely hot and muggy weather is locally controlled by a descending high pressure anomaly connected to the western Pacific subtropical high. During 1961–2015, the heat wave days (HWDs) in JA over the YHRB exhibit large year-to-year and decadal variations. Prediction of the total number of HWDs in JA is of great societal and scientific importance. The summer HWDs are preceded by a zonal dipole SST tendency pattern in the tropical Pacific and a meridional tripole SST anomaly pattern over the North Atlantic. The former signifies a rapid transition from a decaying central Pacific El Niño in early spring to a developing eastern Pacific La Niña in summer, which enhances the western Pacific subtropical high and increases pressure over the YHRB by altering the Walker circulation. The North Atlantic tripole SST anomalies persist from the preceding winter to JA and excite a circumglobal teleconnection pattern placing a high pressure anomaly over the YHRB. To predict the JA HWDs, a 1-month lead prediction model is established with the above two predictors. The forward-rolling hindcast achieves a significant correlation skill of 0.66 for 1981–2015, and the independent forecast skill made for 1996–2015 reaches 0.73. These results indicate the source of predictability of summer HWDs and provide an estimate for the potential predictability, suggesting about 55% of the total variance may be potentially predictable. This study also reveals greater possibilities for dynamical models to improve their prediction skills.

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Junpeng Yuan, Yong Gao, Dian Feng, and Yali Yang

Abstract

From a basinwide perspective, the dominant mode of Indian Ocean tropical cyclone genesis (TCG) in September–November (SON) shows an equatorially symmetric east–west zonal dipole pattern, which can explain approximately 13% of the SON TCG variance. This zonal dipole TCG pattern is significantly related to the tripole pattern of the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean (IPT). The IPT, which is a combined interbasin mode and presents a dipole pattern of SSTAs in the tropical Indian Ocean and El Niño–like SSTAs in the tropical Pacific Ocean, can influence the local Walker circulation and zonal dipole TCG pattern over the tropical Indian Ocean. Associated with a positive IPT phase, abnormal ascending (descending) motions are induced and favorable for more (less) water vapor transport to the lower–middle level in the western (eastern) tropical Indian Ocean; significant anticyclonic vorticity anomalies are evoked in the lower level over the eastern tropical Indian Ocean, and weak easterly vertical wind shear appears over the tropical Indian Ocean. Thus, abnormally strong upward motion, abundant water vapor in the lower–middle level, and weak vertical wind shear are favorable for more TCG in the western tropical Indian Ocean, while the combined negative contributions of the vertical motion, lower-level vorticity, and humidity terms result in less TCG in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean.

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Hui Gao, Song Yang, Arun Kumar, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Bohua Huang, Yueqing Li, and Bhaskar Jha

Abstract

The East Asian mei-yu (EAMY), which includes the mei-yu over eastern China, baiu over Japan, and changma over Korea, is an important component of the Asia summer monsoon system. The EAMY rain belt jumps northward to the Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys (in China), Japan, and Korea from mid-June to mid-July, with remarkable interannual variability. In this study, the variability and predictability of EAMY are investigated using the retrospective ensemble predictions of the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS). The CFS reasonably captures the centers, magnitude, northward jump, and other features of EAMY over most regions. It also reasonably simulates the interannual variations of EAMY and its main influencing factors such as the western Pacific subtropical high, the East Asian monsoon circulation, and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The CFS is skillful in predicting EAMY and related circulation patterns with a lead time of one month. An empirical orthogonal function analysis with maximized signal-to-noise ratio is applied to determine the most predictable patterns of EAMY. Furthermore, experiments in which the CFS is forced by observed sea surface temperature (SST) exhibit lower skill in EAMY simulation, suggesting the importance of ocean–atmosphere coupling in predicting EAMY.

The CFS, which exaggerates the precipitation over the southern–southeastern hills of the Tibetan Plateau, overestimates the relationship between EAMY and tropical–subtropical atmospheric circulation due to the overly strong ENSO signals in the model, whereas the experiments forced by observed SST produce a weaker relationship. On the contrary, the CFS underestimates the link of EAMY to higher-latitude processes. An increase in the horizontal resolution of the CFS is expected to reduce some of these errors.

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Zongting Gao, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Jieshun Zhu, Song Yang, Rong-Hua Zhang, Ziniu Xiao, and Bhaskar Jha

Abstract

In this work, the variability of summer [June–August (JJA)] rainfall in northeast China is examined and its predictors are identified based on observational analyses and atmospheric modeling experiments. At interannual time scales, the summer rainfall anomaly in northeast China is significantly correlated with the rainfall anomaly over the Huang-Huai region (32°–38°N, 105°–120°E) in late spring (April–May). Compared with climatology, an earlier (later) rainy season in the Huang-Huai region favors a wet (dry) summer in northeast China. Also, this connection has strengthened since the late 1970s. In addition to the impact of the sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) in the tropical Indian Ocean, the local soil moisture anomalies caused by the rainfall anomaly in the Huang-Huai region in late spring generate summer general circulation anomalies, which contribute to the rainfall anomaly in northeast China. As a result, when compared with the SSTA, the rainfall anomaly in the Huang-Huai region in late spring can be used as another and even better predictor for the summer rainfall anomaly in northeast China.

The results from atmospheric general circulation model experiments forced by observed SST confirm the diagnostic results to some extent, including the connection of the rainfall anomaly between the Huang-Huai region in April–May and northeastern China in JJA as well as the influence from SSTA in the tropical Indian Ocean. It is shown that eliminating the internal dynamical processes by using the ensemble mean intensifies the connection, implying that the connection of rainfall variation in the two different seasons/regions may be partially caused by the external forcing (e.g., SSTA in the tropical Indian Ocean).

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Jingzhi Su, Huijun Wang, Haijun Yang, Helge Drange, Yongqi Gao, and Mats Bentsen

Abstract

A coupled climate model is used to explore the response of the tropical sea surface temperature (SST) to positive SST anomalies in the global extratropics. The main model results here are consistent with previous numerical studies. In response to prescribed SST anomalies in the extratropics, the tropical SSTs rise rapidly and reach a quasi-equilibrium state within several years, and the tropical subsurface temperatures show a slow response. The annual-mean Hadley cell, as well as the surface trades, are weakened. The weakened trades reduce the poleward Ekman transports in the tropical ocean and, furthermore, lead to anomalous positive convergences of heat transport, which is the main mechanism for maintaining the tropical Pacific SST warming.

The process of an extratropical influence on the tropics is related to both the atmospheric and oceanic circulations. The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) moves southward and eastward in the Pacific, corresponding to a reduction of the Hadley circulation and Walker circulation. At the same time, convective precipitation anomalies are formed on the boundary of the climatological ITCZ, while the climatological mean convections centered in the Southeast Asia region are suppressed. The largely delayed response of the tropical subsurface temperature cannot be explained only by the strength change of the subtropical cells (STCs), but can be traced back to the slow changing of subsurface temperature in the extratropics. In the extratropical oceans, warming and freshening reduce the surface water density, and the outcropping lines of certain isopycnal layers are moved poleward. This poleward movement of outcropping lines can weaken the positive temperature anomalies, or even lead to negative anomalies, on given isopycnal layers. Displayed on time-dependent isopycnal layers, positive subsurface temperature anomalies are present only in the region after subduction, and are subsequently replaced by negative temperature anomalies in the deep tropics regions. The noticeable features of the density compensation of temperature and salinity indicate that diapycnal processes play an important role in the equatorward transport of the temperature and salinity anomalies from the midlatitude.

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Miaoni Gao, Jing Yang, Daoyi Gong, Peijun Shi, Zhangang Han, and Seong-Joong Kim

Abstract

The frequency and intensity of extreme high temperature (EHT) in the Northern Hemisphere exhibit remarkable low-frequency (LF) variations (longer than 10 years) in summer during 1951–2017. Five hotspots featuring large LF variations in EHT were identified, including western North America–Mexico, eastern Siberia, Europe, central Asia, and the Mongolian Plateau. The probability density functions show that the higher EHT occurrences over these hotspots in recent decades is consistent with the shifted average and increased variances in daily mean temperature. The common features of the LF variation in EHT frequency over all domains are the remarkable increasing trends and evident decadal to multidecadal variations. The component of decadal to multidecadal variations is the main contribution to the LF variations of temperature in the last century. Further analysis shows that the coherent variability of decadal to multidecadal temperature variations over western North America–Mexico, eastern Siberia, Europe, and the Mongolian Plateau are the footprints of a dominant natural internal signal: the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. It contributes to the variations in temperature over these hotspots via barotropic circumglobal teleconnection, which imposes striking anomalous pressure over these regions. This study implies that natural internal variability plays an important role in making hotspots more vulnerable to EHT.

Open access
Shi Liu, Song Yang, Yi Lian, Dawei Zheng, Min Wen, Gang Tu, Baizhu Shen, Zongting Gao, and Donghai Wang

Abstract

The time–frequency characteristics of the variations of temperature and precipitation over the city of Changchun in northeast China and their associations with large-scale atmospheric and oceanic conditions are analyzed. It is found that the variations of the regional climate are characterized by strong semiannual signals. For precipitation, the amplitude of semiannual signal is about half of that of the annual cycle. The relationships of the Changchun temperature and precipitation with local winds and large-scale patterns of atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature are also strongest on annual and semiannual time scales. These strong semiannual signals are potentially helpful for improving the prediction of the regional climate.

On the annual time scale, the northeast China climate is affected by both the thermal contrast between the Asian continent and the tropical Indo-Pacific Oceans and that between the continent and the extratropical North Pacific. These effects are manifested by the cyclonic (anticyclonic) pattern over the Asian continent (North Pacific) and the strong southerly flow over East Asia and northwestern Pacific associated with increases in temperature and precipitation. On the semiannual time scale, the northeast China climate is mainly related to the large-scale circulation pattern centered over the North Pacific, with its western portion over northeast China, North and South Korea, and Japan. While temperature signals are related to extratropical atmospheric process more apparently, both extratropical and tropical influences are seen in the semiannual variation of precipitation.

There exist strong relationships between Changchun temperature and precipitation and the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) in the frequency band up to 7 months. Temperature increases and precipitation decreases when NPO is positive. The relationships were weak before 1980 but became stronger afterward, associated with the strengthening of the East Asian trough.

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J. Jin, X. Gao, Z.-L. Yang, R. C. Bales, S. Sorooshian, R. E. Dickinson, S. F. Sun, and G. X. Wu

Abstract

A comparative study of three snow models with different complexities was carried out to assess how a physically detailed snow model can improve snow modeling within general circulation models. The three models were (a) the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory Model (SNTHERM), which uses the mixture theory to simulate multiphase water and energy transfer processes in snow layers; (b) a simplified three-layer model, Snow–Atmosphere–Soil Transfer (SAST), which includes only the ice and liquid-water phases;and (c) the snow submodel of the Biosphere–Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS), which calculates snowmelt from the energy budget and snow temperature by the force–restore method. Given the same initial conditions and forcing of atmosphere and radiation, these three models simulated time series of snow water equivalent, surface temperature, and fluxes very well, with SNTHERM giving the best match with observations and SAST simulation being close. BATS captured the major processes in the upper portion of a snowpack where solar radiation provides the main energy source and gave satisfying results for seasonal periods. Some biases occurred in BATS surface temperature and energy exchange due to its neglecting of liquid water and underestimating snow density. Ice heat conduction, meltwater heat transport, and the melt–freeze process of snow exhibit strong diurnal variations and large gradients at the uppermost layers of snowpacks. Using two layers in the upper 20 cm and one deeper layer at the bottom to simulate the multiphase snowmelt processes, SAST closely approximated the performance of SNTHERM with computational requirements comparable to those of BATS.

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