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  • Author or Editor: Yukari N. Takayabu x
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Satoru Yokoi and Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Variability in tropical cyclone (TC) activity is a matter of direct concern for affected populations. On interannual and longer time scales, variability in TC passage frequency can be associated with total TC frequency over the concerned ocean basin [basinwide frequency (BF)], the spatial distribution of TC genesis in the basin [genesis distribution (GD)], and the preferable track (PT) that can be considered as a function of genesis locations. To facilitate investigation of mechanisms responsible for the variability, the authors propose an approach of decomposing anomalies in the passage frequency into contributions of variability in BF, GD, and PT, which is named the Integration of Statistics on TC Activity by Genesis Location (ISTAGL) analysis. Application of this approach to TC best track data in the western North Pacific (WNP) basin reveals that overall distribution of the passage frequency trends over the 1961–2010 period is mainly due to the PT trends. On decadal time scales, passage frequency variability in midlatitudes is primarily due to PT variability, while the BF and GD also play roles in the subtropics. The authors further discuss decadal variability over the East China Sea in detail. The authors demonstrate that northward shift of the PT for TCs generated around the Philippines Sea and westward shift for TCs generated in the eastern part of the WNP contribute the variability with almost equal degree. The relationships between these PT shifts and anomalies in environmental circulation fields are also discussed.

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Guanghua Chen, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Chie Yokoyama

Abstract

Using 10-yr high-resolution satellite and reanalysis data, the synoptic-scale dual structure of precipitable water (PW), in which the southern and northern bands straddled at the ITCZ produce zonally propagating meridional dipoles, is observed over the eastern Pacific (EP) during boreal summer and fall. Composites indicate that the PW dipole, concurrent with the dipole-like filtered divergence, has a shift to the west of the anomalously cyclonic circulation. The vertical structure of filtered meridional wind is characterized by a wavenumber-1 baroclinic mode, and the vertical motion has two peaks situated at 850 and 300 hPa, respectively. To the east of the PW dipole, the shallow convection is embedded within the deep convection, forming a multilevel structure of meridional wind on the ITCZ equatorward side. To the west of the PW dipole, the deep convection tends to be suppressed because of the invasion of midlevel dry air advected by northerly flows. The generation and propagation of the dual PW band can be attributed to the divergence and advection terms related to specific humidity and three-dimensional wind. By comparison, the PW anomalies over the western North Pacific, only exhibiting a single band, coincide with the centers of synoptic disturbances with a barotropic vertical structure. Because of the weakening of lower-level divergence, the vertical motion, and the horizontal gradient of PW, the synoptic-scale PW signal is reduced significantly. The typical cases and statistics confirm that the strong meridional dipoles and westward-propagating disturbances are closely associated with the distortion and breakdown of ITCZ over the EP.

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Satoru Yokoi, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Hiroyuki Murakami

Abstract

This paper performs an attribution analysis of future changes in the frequency of tropical cyclone (TC) passages over the western North Pacific basin projected by seven general circulation models. The models project increases in the passage frequency over the tropical central North Pacific and decreases in regions to the west and northwest, including East Asian countries. The attribution analysis reveals that while changes of the basinwide TC count would decrease the frequency of passages throughout the basin, the gross horizontal contrast in the passage frequency changes is caused by a projected eastward shift of main TC development regions, probably caused by El Niño–like sea surface temperature changes. The change in the frequency of passages is also caused by changes of TC translation vectors and preferable tracks. In particular, the translation vector would rotate clockwise to point in a more easterly direction over oceanic regions south of Japan, decreasing the passage frequency over the Korean peninsula and western Japan while increasing it over eastern Japan. This change in translation direction may be caused by the southward shift of the subtropical jet axis and resultant intensification of westerly steering flows. The El Niño–like change and westerly steering flow change are consistent not only among the seven models but also among a number of other climate models, which suggests the reliability of these results from the viewpoint of intermodel agreement.

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Atsushi Hamada, Yuki Murayama, and Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Characteristics and global distribution of regional extreme rainfall are presented using 12 yr of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) measurements. By considering each rainfall event as a set of contiguous PR rainy pixels, characteristic values for each event are obtained. Regional extreme rainfall events are defined as those in which maximum near-surface rainfall rates are higher than the corresponding 99.9th percentile on a 2.5° × 2.5° horizontal-resolution grid.

The geographical distribution of extreme rainfall rates shows clear regional differences. The size and volumetric rainfall of extreme events also show clear regional differences. Extreme rainfall rates show good correlations with the corresponding rain-top heights and event sizes over oceans but marginal or no correlation over land. The time of maximum occurrence of extreme rainfall events tends to be during 0000–1200 LT over oceans, whereas it has a distinct afternoon peak over land. There are also clear seasonal differences in which the occurrence over land is largely coincident with insolation.

Regional extreme rainfall is classified by extreme rainfall rate (intensity) and the corresponding event size (extensity). Regions of “intense and extensive” extreme rainfall are found mainly over oceans near coastal areas and are likely associated with tropical cyclones and convective systems associated with the establishment of monsoons. Regions of “intense but less extensive” extreme rainfall are distributed widely over land and maritime continents, probably related to afternoon showers and mesoscale convective systems. Regions of “extensive but less intense” extreme rainfall are found almost exclusively over oceans, likely associated with well-organized mesoscale convective systems and extratropical cyclones.

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Chie Yokoyama, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Sachie Kanada

Abstract

Contrasts in precipitation characteristics across the baiu front are examined with Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) data near Japan during June–July (1998–2011). The vertical structure of atmospheric stratification differs between the tropics and midlatitudes. On an average, the baiu front is found around the latitude that roughly divides the midlatitude atmosphere from the tropical atmosphere. Precipitation characteristics are compared between the southern and northern sides of the reference latitude of the baiu front, which is detected with equivalent potential temperature at 1000 hPa of 345 K in terms of the boundary between the tropics and midlatitudes.

The results show that there are obvious differences in precipitation characteristics between the southern and northern sides. In the south, convective rainfall ratios (CRRs) are 40%–60%, which are larger than those in the north (20%–40%). Greater rainfall intensity and taller/deeper precipitation are also observed in the south. Moreover, the characteristics of precipitation features (PFs), which are contiguous areas of nonzero rainfall, differ between the southern and northern sides. In the north, wide stratiform precipitation systems with CRRs of 0%–40% and heights of 8–11 km are dominant. In the south, organized precipitation systems with heights of 12–14 km and CRRs of 30%–50% and those with very large heights (14–17 km) and CRRs of 50%–80% are dominant in addition to wide stratiform precipitation systems. These results suggest that the mechanisms to bring rainfall are different between the southern and northern regions of the baiu front.

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Atsushi Hamada and Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

The precipitation characteristics of extreme events in August determined from 13 years of satellite data around Japan in the TRMM observation region and their relationship with large-scale environmental conditions are examined. Two types of extreme events, extreme rainfall and extreme convective events, are defined in each analysis grid box using maximum near-surface rainfall and maximum 40-dBZ echo-top height in each event, respectively. There are clear differences in precipitation characteristics between the two types of extreme events. Extreme rainfall events are more organized precipitation systems than the extreme convective events, with relatively lower echo-top heights and very low lightning activity. There are also clear differences in the related environmental conditions, where the environments related to the extreme rainfall events are somewhat convectively stable and very humid in almost the entire troposphere. These facts are consistent with our previous studies and reinforce the importance of warm-rain processes in extremely intense precipitation productions. The environments related to the extreme rainfall events exhibit a zonally extended moist anomaly in the free troposphere from southern China to the east of Japan, indicating that the excessive moisture transported from the west by a large-scale flow may partially play a role in producing environmental conditions favorable for extreme rainfall. On the other hand, the environments related to extreme convective events are not associated with free-tropospheric moisture inflow. The relationships with the tropical cyclones and upper-tropospheric dynamical fields are also examined, and are found to be clearly different between the extreme rainfall events and extreme convective events.

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Chie Yokoyama, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Takeshi Horinouchi

Abstract

A quasi-stationary front, called the baiu front, often appears during the early-summer rainy season in East Asia (baiu in Japan). The present study examines how precipitation characteristics during the baiu season are determined by the large-scale environment, using satellite observation three-dimensional precipitation data. Emphasis is placed on the effect of subtropical jet (STJ) and lower-tropospheric convective instability (LCI).

A rainband appears together with a deep moisture convergence to the south of the STJ. Two types of mesoscale rainfall events (REs; contiguous rainfall areas), which are grouped by the stratiform precipitation ratio (SPR; stratiform precipitation over total precipitation), are identified: moderately stratiform REs (SPR of 0%–80%) representing tropical organized precipitation systems and highly stratiform REs (SPR of 80%–100%) representing midlatitude precipitation systems associated with extratropical cyclones. As the STJ becomes strong, rainfall from both types of mesoscale precipitation systems increases, with a distinct eastward extension of a midtropospheric moist region. In contrast, small systems appear regardless of the STJ, with high dependency on the LCI.

The results indicate that the STJ plays a role in moistening the midtroposphere owing to ascent associated with secondary circulation to the south of the STJ, producing environments favorable for organized precipitation systems in the southern part of the rainband. The horizontal moisture flux convergence may also contribute to precipitation just along the STJ. On the other hand, the LCI plays a role in generating shallow convection. In high-LCI conditions, deep convection can occur without the aid of mesoscale organization.

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Nagio Hirota, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Atsushi Hamada

Abstract

Reproducibility of summer precipitation over northern Eurasia in climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) is evaluated in comparison with several observational and reanalysis datasets. All CMIP5 models under- and overestimate precipitation over western and eastern Eurasia, respectively, and the reproducibility measured using the Taylor skill score is largely determined by the severity of these west–east precipitation biases. The following are the two possible causes for the precipitation biases: very little cloud cover and very strong local evaporation–precipitation coupling. The models underestimate cloud cover over Eurasia, allowing too much sunshine and leading to a warm bias at the surface. The associated cyclonic circulation biases in the lower troposphere weaken the modeled moisture transport from the Atlantic to western Eurasia and enhance the northward moisture flux along the eastern coast. Once the dry west and wet east biases appear in the models, they become amplified because of stronger evaporation–precipitation coupling. The CMIP5 models reproduce precipitation events well over a time scale of several days, including the associated low pressure systems and local convection. However, the modeled precipitation events are relatively weaker over western Eurasia and stronger over eastern Eurasia compared to the observations, and these are consistent with the biases found in the seasonal average fields.

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Chie Yokoyama, Yukari N. Takayabu, Osamu Arakawa, and Tomoaki Ose

Abstract

This study estimates future changes in the early summer precipitation characteristics around Japan using changes in the large-scale environment, by combining Global Precipitation Measurement precipitation radar observations and phase 5 of the Coupled Models Intercomparison Project climate model large-scale projections. Analyzing satellite-based data, we first relate precipitation in three types of rain events (small, organized, and midlatitude), which are identified via their characteristics, to the large-scale environment. Two environmental fields are chosen to determine the large-scale conditions of the precipitation: the sea surface temperature and the midlevel large-scale vertical velocity. The former is related to the lower-tropospheric thermal instability, while the latter affects precipitation via moistening/drying of the midtroposphere. Consequently, favorable conditions differ between the three types in terms of these two environmental fields. Using these precipitation–environment relationships, we then reconstruct the precipitation distributions for each type with reference to the two environmental indices in climate models for the present and future climates. Future changes in the reconstructed precipitation are found to vary widely between the three types in association with the large-scale environment. In more than 90% of models, the region affected by organized-type precipitation will expand northward, leading to a substantial increase in this type of precipitation near Japan along the Sea of Japan, and in northern and eastern Japan on the Pacific side, where its present amount is relatively small. This result suggests an elevated risk of heavy rainfall in those regions because the maximum precipitation intensity is more intense in organized-type precipitation than in the other two types.

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Chuntao Liu, Shoichi Shige, Yukari N. Takayabu, and Edward Zipser

Abstract

Latent heating (LH) from precipitation systems with different sizes, depths, and convective intensities is quantified with 15 years of LH retrievals from version 7 Precipitation Radar (PR) products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Organized precipitation systems, such as mesoscale convective systems (MCSs; precipitation area > 2000 km2), contribute to 88% of the LH above 7 km over tropical land and 95% over tropical oceans. LH over tropical land is mainly from convective precipitation, and has one vertical mode with a peak from 4 to 7 km. There are two vertical modes of LH over tropical oceans. The shallow mode from about 1 to 4 km results from small, shallow, and weak precipitation systems, and partially from congestus clouds with radar echo top between 5 and 8 km. The deep mode from 5 to 9 km is mainly from stratiform precipitation in MCSs.

MCSs of different regions and seasons have different LH vertical structure mainly due to the different proportion of stratiform precipitation. MCSs over ocean have a larger fraction of stratiform precipitation and a top-heavy LH structure. MCSs over land have a higher percentage of convective versus stratiform precipitation, which results in a relatively lower-level peak in LH compared to MCSs over the ocean. MCSs during monsoons have properties of LH in between those typical land and oceanic MCSs.

Consistent with the diurnal variation of precipitation, tropical land has a stronger LH diurnal variation than tropical oceans with peak LH in the late afternoon. Over tropical oceans in the early morning, the shallow mode of LH peaks slightly earlier than the deep mode. There are almost no diurnal changes of MCSs LH over oceans. However, the small convective systems over land contribute a significant amount of LH at all vertical levels in the afternoon, when the contribution of MCSs is small.

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