Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 93 items for

  • Author or Editor: Wen Chen x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Lin Wang and Wen Chen

Abstract

The thermal contrast between the Asian continent and the adjacent oceans is the primary aspect of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) that can be well represented in the sea level pressure (SLP) field. Based on this consideration, a new SLP-based index measuring the intensity of the EAWM is proposed by explicitly taking into account both the east–west and the north–south pressure gradients around East Asia. The new index can delineate the EAWM-related circulation anomalies well, including the deepened (shallow) midtropospheric East Asian trough, sharpened and accelerated (widened and decelerated) upper-tropospheric East Asian jet stream, and enhanced (weakened) lower-tropospheric northerly winds in strong (weak) EAWM winters. Compared with previous indices, the new index has a very good performance describing the winter-mean surface air temperature variations over East Asia, especially for the extreme warm or cold winters. The index is strongly correlated with several atmospheric teleconnections including the Arctic Oscillation, the Eurasian pattern, and the North Pacific Oscillation/western Pacific pattern, implying the possible internal dynamics of the EAWM variability. Meanwhile, the index is significantly linked to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the sea surface temperature (SST) over the tropical Indian Ocean. Moreover, the SST anomalies over the tropical Indian Ocean are more closely related to the index than ENSO as an independent predictor. This adds further knowledge to the prediction potentials of the EAWM apart from ENSO. The predictability of the index is high in the hindcasts of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM) model from Development of a European Multimodel Ensemble System for Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction (DEMETER). Hence, it would be a good choice to use this index for the monitoring, prediction, and research of the EAWM.

Full access
Michio Yanai, Baode Chen, and Wen-wen Tung

Abstract

During the TOGA COARE Intensive Observing Period (November 1992–February 1993), two pronounced Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) events associated with super cloud clusters and westerly wind bursts were observed. This paper presents a global view of the MJOs including the origin of the super clusters in the Indian Ocean, their migration into the Maritime Continent and the TOGA COARE large-scale soundings array (LSA) in the western equatorial Pacific, and their rapid decay over cold water of the eastern Pacific. The structure and evolution of the MJO are examined with emphasis on the coupling between large-scale motion and convection. Because of differences in propagation speeds, the positions of maximum zonal wind perturbations relative to deep convection undergo systematic changes during the travel of the MJO. However, the centers of deep convection always coincide with those of large-scale ascent. The super cloud cluster accompanies a wide area of warm air in the upper troposphere. Over the warm pool region the perturbation kinetic energy of the motion in the 30–60-day period range is maintained by the conversion of perturbation available potential energy generated by convective heating. Over the central-eastern Pacific, there is strong horizontal convergence of wave energy flux entering the equatorial upper-tropospheric westerly duct from the extratropical latitudes, suggesting interactions of the MJO with midlatitude disturbances.

Full access
Baode Chen, Wen-wen Tung, and Michio Yanai

Abstract

The authors examined the maintenance mechanisms of perturbation kinetic energy (PKE) in the tropical regions for multiple time scales by computing and analyzing its budget equation. The emphasis has been placed on the mean features of synoptic and subseasonal variabilities using a 33-yr dataset. From analysis of the contributions from u-wind and υ-wind components, the PKE maximum in the Indian Ocean is attributed less to synoptic variability and more to intraseasonal variability in which the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) dominates; however, there is strong evidence of seasonal variability affiliated with the Asian monsoon systems. The ones in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are closely related to both intraseasonal and synoptic variability that result from the strong MJO and the relatively large amplitude of equatorial waves.

The maintenance of the PKE budget mainly depends on the structure of time mean horizontal flows, the location of convection, and the transport of PKE from the extratropics. In the regions with strong convective activities, such as the eastern Indian Ocean to the western Pacific, the production of PKE occurs between 700 and 200 hPa at the expense of perturbation available potential energy (PAPE), which is generated by convective heating. This gain in PKE is largely offset by divergence of the geopotential component of vertical energy flux; that is, it is redistributed to the upper- and lower-atmospheric layers by the pressure field. Strong PKE generation through the horizontal convergence of the extratropical energy flux takes place in the upper troposphere over the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, and is largely balanced by a PKE loss due to barotropic conversion, which is determined solely by the sign of longitudinal stretching deformation. However, over the Indian Ocean, there is a net PKE loss due to divergence of energy flux, which is compensated by PKE gain through the shear generation.

Full access
Shangfeng Chen, Wen Chen, and Renguang Wu

Abstract

Previous studies suggested that the boreal spring Arctic Oscillation (AO) exerts a pronounced influence on the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) variability. This study reveals that the relationship of spring AO with the following EASM experienced a significant interdecadal change in the early 1970s. The influence of spring AO on the following EASM is weak during the 1950s and 1960s but strong and significant during the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. The spring AO-related sea surface temperature (SST), atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies are compared between 1949–71 and 1975–97. Results show that the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomaly over the tropical western North Pacific is weaker and located more northward in the former epoch than in the latter epoch. Correspondingly, SST, atmospheric circulation, and heating anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located more northeastward in the former than latter epoch from spring to summer. In the following summer, the spring AO-related cyclonic circulation anomalies over the tropical North Pacific are located farther away from East Asia in the former epoch. This interdecadal change in the AO–EASM connection may be attributed to a significant change in the intensity of spring North Pacific synoptic-scale eddy activity around the early 1970s from a weak regime to a strong regime, which induces a stronger eddy feedback to the low-frequency mean flow after the early 1970s. This may explain a stronger spring AO-related cyclonic circulation over the tropical western North Pacific and thus a closer relationship between the spring AO and the following EASM in the latter than former epoch.

Full access
Zhang Chen, Renguang Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The present study investigated the impacts of autumn Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) changes on the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and associated climate and circulation on the interannual time scale. It is found that the Arctic SIC anomalies have little impact on the southern mode of EAWM, but the northern mode is significantly associated with both western and eastern Arctic SIC anomalies. When there is less (more) SIC in eastern (western) Arctic, the EAWM tends to be stronger. The concurrent surface air temperature anomalies are induced both locally due to the direct effect of ice cover and in remote regions through anomalous wind advection. Analysis showed that eastern Arctic SIC anomalies have a larger effect on local atmospheric stability of the lower troposphere than western Arctic SIC anomalies. Winter temperature over the midlatitudes of East Asia is lower when there is more (less) SIC in the western (eastern) Arctic. The atmospheric response to the Arctic SIC anomalies is dominantly barotropic in autumn, and changes to baroclinic over the midlatitudes of Asia, but remains barotropic in other regions in winter. The mid- to high-latitude circulation systems, including the Siberian high, the East Asian trough, and the East Asian westerly jet stream, play important roles in connecting autumn Arctic SIC anomalies and the northern mode of the EAWM variability. No obvious concurrent sea surface temperature anomalies accompany Arctic SIC variations on the interannual time scale, indicating that the Arctic SIC anomalies have independent impacts on the East Asian winter climate.

Full access
Zhang Chen, Renguang Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM)-related climate anomalies have shown large year-to-year variations in both the intensity and the meridional extent. The present study distinguishes the interannual variations of the low-latitude and mid- to high-latitude components of the EAWM to gain a better understanding of the characteristics and factors for the EAWM variability. Through composite analysis based on two indices representing the northern and southern components (modes) of the EAWM variability, the present study clearly reveals features unique to the northern and southern mode. The northern mode is associated with changes in the mid- to high-latitude circulation systems, including the Siberian high, the Aleutian low, the East Asian trough, and the East Asian westerly jet stream, whereas the southern mode is closely related to circulation changes over the global tropics, the North Atlantic, and North America. A strong northern mode is accompanied by positive, negative, and positive surface temperature anomalies in the Indochina Peninsula, midlatitude Asia, and northeast Russia, respectively. A strong southern mode features lower temperature over tropics and higher temperature over mid- to high-latitude Asia. While the southern mode is closely related to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the northern mode does not show an obvious relation to the tropical sea surface temperature (SST) change or to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)/Arctic Oscillation (AO) on the interannual time scale. Distinct snow cover and sea ice changes appear as responses to wind and surface temperature changes associated with the two modes and their effects on the EAWM variability need to be investigated in the future.

Full access
Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

This study reveals a marked enhancement in the relationship between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and North Atlantic tripole (NAT) sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern during boreal spring since the late 1980s. A comparative analysis is conducted for two periods before and after the late 1980s to understand the reasons for the above interdecadal change. During both periods, SST cooling in the northern tropical Atlantic during the positive phase of the NAT SST pattern results in an anomalous anticyclone over the subtropical western North Atlantic via a Rossby wave–type atmospheric response. The westerly wind anomalies along the north flank of the anomalous anticyclone are accompanied by a marked decrease in synoptic-scale eddies over the midlatitudes as well as cyclonic (anticyclonic) vorticity forcings at the north (south) side. As such, an NAO-like dipole atmospheric anomaly is induced over the North Atlantic, which in turn helps to maintain the NAT SST anomaly via modulating surface heat fluxes. The intensity of the synoptic-scale eddy feedback to mean flow is stronger after than before the late 1980s, which is related to interdecadal increase in the intensity of North Atlantic synoptic-scale eddies. This is followed by a stronger NAO-like atmospheric response to the NAT SST anomaly since the late 1980s. Further analysis shows that changes in the spatial structure of the spring NAO may also partly contribute to changes in the spring NAO–NAT SST connection around the late 1980s. In particular, spring NAO-related atmospheric anomalies are weaker and shift northward before the late 1980s, which reduces the contribution of the NAO to a tripole SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic.

Free access
Renguang Wu, Jilong Chen, and Wen Chen

Abstract

Observational analysis reveals three types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influences on the Indian summer monsoon (ISM): indirect influence of the preceding winter [December–February (DJF)] eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (DJF-only cases), direct influence of the concurrent summer [June–September (JJAS)] EEP SST anomalies (JJAS-only cases), and coherent influence of both the preceding winter and concurrent summer EEP SST anomalies (DJF&JJAS cases). The present study distinguishes the three types of ENSO influences and investigates the processes connecting ENSO to the ISM separately.

In the DJF-only cases, the preceding winter EEP SST anomalies induce north Indian Ocean (NIO) SST anomalies through air–sea interaction processes in the tropical Indian Ocean. The SST anomalies over the western Indian Ocean alter the surface air humidity there. Both processes favor an anomalous ISM. In the JJAS-only cases, an anomalous ISM is directly induced by ENSO through large-scale circulation changes. The meridional thermal contrast may also contribute to an anomalous ISM. In the DJF&JJAS cases, the preceding winter EEP SST anomalies induce NIO SST anomalies and change the surface air humidity over the western Indian Ocean. Concurrent summer EEP SST anomalies induce large-scale vertical motion anomalies over South Asia. Together, they lead to an anomalous ISM. The anomalous meridional thermal contrast may contribute to an anomalous ISM in late summer.

Impacts of the preceding winter EEP SST anomalies in the DJF and JJAS cases may contribute to the contemporaneous correlation between ISM and EEP SST. There are more DJF&JJAS cases before than after the late 1970s. This provides an alternative interpretation for the observed weakening in the ISM–ENSO relationship around the late 1970s.

Full access
Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, and Wen Chen

Abstract

The relationship between interannual variations of boreal winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and northern tropical Atlantic (NTA) sea surface temperature (SST) experienced obvious interdecadal changes during 1870–2012. Similar interdecadal changes are observed in the amplitude of NTA SST anomalies. The mean NTA SST change may be a plausible reason for several changes in the NAO–NTA SST connection. Under a higher mean NTA SST, NTA SST anomalies induce larger wind anomalies over the North Atlantic that produce a tripole SST anomaly pattern and amplify NTA SST anomalies. Comparison of the evolution of anomalies between 1970–86 and 1996–2012 unravels changing roles of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and extratropical atmospheric disturbances in the formation of NTA SST anomalies. During 1970–86, ENSO events play a key role in initiating NTA SST anomalies in the preceding spring through atmospheric circulation changes. With the decay of ENSO, SST anomalies in the midlatitude North Atlantic weaken in the following summer, whereas NTA SST anomalies are maintained up to winter. This leads to a weak NAO–NTA SST connection in winter. During 1996–2012, the preceding spring atmospheric circulation disturbances over the midlatitude North Atlantic play a dominant role in the genesis of a North Atlantic horseshoe (NAH)-like SST anomaly pattern in the following summer and fall. This NAH-like SST anomaly pattern contributes to the development of the NAO in late fall and early winter. The atmospheric circulation anomaly, in turn, is conducive to the maintenance of NTA SST anomalies to winter via changing surface latent heat flux and shortwave radiation. This leads to a close NAO–NTA SST connection in winter.

Full access
Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Wen Zhou, and Ronghui Huang

Abstract

Interannual variations of the East Asian trough (EAT) axis at 500 hPa are studied with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts 40-yr reanalysis data. The associated circulation pattern and pathway of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) with the EAT axis tilt are specially investigated with a trough axis index, which is closely related to the midlatitude baroclinic process and mainly represents the intensity of the eddy-driven jet over the East Asia–North Pacific sector. When the tilt of EAT is smaller than normal, the EAWM prefers to take the southern pathway and less cold air moves to the central North Pacific. However, the EAWM prefers the eastern pathway and brings more cold air to the North Pacific when the tilt of EAT is larger than normal. These differences induce pronounced changes in both the precipitation and the surface air temperature over East and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the tilt status of the EAT has a significant modulation effect on the regional climate anomalies related to the intensity of the EAWM. The findings suggest an increase in the temperature anomaly associated with the EAWM intensity and a clear northward–southward shift in its pattern in anomalous tilt phase of the EAT. In addition, the modulation tends to be confined mainly to East Asia and expanded to a larger area during the weak and the strong EAWM winters, respectively. The possible reasons for interannual variations of the EAT tilt are discussed, and it is speculated that the midlatitude air–sea interaction in the North Pacific plays a dominant role. This study on the EAT tilt may enrich knowledge of the East Asian winter monsoon beyond the conventional intensity index and may be helpful to improve regional climate prediction in East Asia.

Full access