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Dong-Hyun Cha and Yuqing Wang

Abstract

To improve the initial conditions of tropical cyclone (TC) forecast models, a dynamical initialization (DI) scheme using cycle runs is developed and implemented into a real-time forecast system for northwest Pacific TCs based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. In this scheme, cycle runs with a 6-h window before the initial forecast time are repeatedly conducted to spin up the axisymmetric component of the TC vortex until the model TC intensity is comparable to the observed. This is followed by a 72-h forecast using the Global Forecast System (GFS) prediction as lateral boundary conditions. In the DI scheme, the spectral nudging technique is employed during each cycle run to reduce bias in the large-scale environmental field, and the relocation method is applied after the last cycle run to reduce the initial position error. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed DI scheme, 69 forecast experiments with and without the DI are conducted for 13 TCs over the northwest Pacific in 2010 and 2011. The DI shows positive effects on both track and intensity forecasts of TCs, although its overall skill depends strongly on the performance of the GFS forecasts. Compared to the forecasts without the DI, on average, forecasts with the DI reduce the position and intensity errors by 10% and 30%, respectively. The results demonstrate that the proposed DI scheme improves the initial TC vortex structure and intensity and provides warm physics spinup, producing initial states consistent with the forecast model, thus achieving improved track and intensity forecasts.

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Jihong Moon, Jinyoung Park, Dong-Hyun Cha, and Yumin Moon

Abstract

In this study, the characteristics of simulated tropical cyclones (TCs) over the western North Pacific by a regional model (the WRF Model) are verified. We utilize 12-km horizontal grid spacing, and simulations are integrated for 5 days from model initialization. A total of 125 forecasts are divided into five clusters through the k-means clustering method. The TCs in the cluster 1 and 2 (group 1), which includes many TCs moving northward in the subtropical region, generally have larger track errors than for TCs in cluster 3 and 4 (group 2). The optimal steering vector is used to examine the difference in the track forecast skill between these two groups. The bias in the steering vector between the model and analysis data is found to be more substantial for group 1 TCs than group 2 TCs. The larger steering vector difference for group 1 TCs indicates that environmental fields tend to be poorly simulated in group 1 TC cases. Furthermore, the residual terms, including the storm-scale process, asymmetric convection distribution, or beta-related effect, are also larger for group 1 TCs than group 2 TCs. Therefore, it is probable that the large track forecast error for group 1 TCs is a result of unreasonable simulations of environmental wind fields and residual processes in the midlatitudes.

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Donghyuck Yoon, Dong-Hyun Cha, Myong-In Lee, Ki-Hong Min, Sang-Yoon Jun, and Yonghan Choi

Abstract

South Korea’s heat wave events over 39 years (1980–2018) were defined by spatiotemporal criteria, and their quantitative characteristics were analyzed. The duration and intensity of these events ranked highest in 2016 and 2018. An examination of synoptic conditions of heat wave events in 2016 and 2018 based on a reanalysis dataset revealed a positive anomaly of 500-hPa geopotential height, which could have induced warm conditions over the Korean Peninsula in both years. However, a difference prevailed in that there was a blocking high over the Kamchatka Peninsula and a continental thermal high over northern China in 2016, while the expansion of the western North Pacific subtropical high was mainly associated with 2018 heat wave events. Numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model were conducted to 1) evaluate how distinct meteorological characteristics of heat wave events in 2016 and 2018 were reproduced by the model, and 2) investigate how they affect extreme temperature events. Typical synoptic features of the 2016 heat wave events (i.e., Kamchatka blocking and continental thermal high) were not captured well by the WRF Model, while those of 2018 were reasonably reproduced. On the contrary, the heat wave event during late August 2016 related to the Kamchatka blocking high was realistically simulated when the blocking was artificially sustained by applying spectral nudging. In conclusion, the existence of a blocking high over the Kamchatka region (i.e., northern Pacific region) is an important feature to accurately predict long-lasting heat waves in East Asia.

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Kyong-Hwan Seo, Jung Ok, Jun-Hyeok Son, and Dong-Hyun Cha

Abstract

Future changes in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) are estimated from historical and Representative Concentration Pathway 6.0 (RCP6) experiments of the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). The historical runs show that, like the CMIP3 models, the CMIP5 models produce slightly smaller precipitation. A moisture budget analysis illustrates that this precipitation deficit is due to an underestimation in evaporation and ensuing moisture flux convergence. Of the two components of the moisture flux convergence (i.e., moisture convergence and horizontal moist advection), moisture convergence associated with mass convergence is underestimated to a greater degree.

Precipitation is anticipated to increase by 10%–15% toward the end of the twenty-first century over the major monsoonal front region. A statistically significant increase is predicted to occur mostly over the Baiu region and to the north and northeast of the Korean Peninsula. This increase is attributed to an increase in evaporation and moist flux convergence (with enhanced moisture convergence contributing the most) induced by the northwestward strengthening of the North Pacific subtropical high (NPSH), a characteristic feature of the future EASM that occurred in CMIP5 simulations. Along the northern and northwestern flank of the strengthened NPSH, intensified southerly or southwesterly winds lead to the increase in moist convergence, enhancing precipitation over these areas. However, future precipitation over the East China Sea is projected to decrease. In the EASM domain, a local mechanism prevails, with increased moisture and moisture convergence leading to a greater increase in moist static energy in the lower troposphere than in the upper troposphere, reducing tropospheric stability.

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Nakbin Choi, Myong-In Lee, Dong-Hyun Cha, Young-Kwon Lim, and Kyu-Myong Kim

Abstract

The heat wave in East Asia is examined by using empirical orthogonal function analysis to isolate dominant heat-wave patterns in the ground-based temperature observations over the Korean Peninsula and China and related large-scale atmospheric circulations obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis 1 during 1973–2012. This study focuses particularly on the interannual variability of heat waves and its decadal change. The analysis identifies two major atmospheric teleconnection patterns playing an important role in developing typical heat-wave patterns in East Asia—the Scandinavian (SCAND) and the circumglobal teleconnection (CGT) patterns, which exhibit a significant decadal change in the interannual variability in the mid-1990s. Before the mid-1990s, heat-wave occurrence was closely related to the CGT pattern, whereas the SCAND pattern is more crucial to explain heat-wave variability in the recent period. The stationary wave model experiments suggest an intensification of the SCAND pattern in the recent period driven by an increase in land–atmosphere interaction over Eurasia and decadal change in the dominant heat-wave patterns in East Asia.

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Jineun Kim, Donghyuck Yoon, Dong-Hyun Cha, Yonghan Choi, Joowan Kim, and Seok-Woo Son

Abstract

This research investigates the impact of local sea surface temperature (SST) on the 2-month (January and February) accumulated snowfall over the Yeongdong (YD) region. The YD region is strongly affected by synoptic-scale factors such as the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). The relationships of snowfall over the YD region to the EAWM and local SST are examined based on observational analyses and sensitivity experiments using a regional climate model. In the sensitivity experiments, local SST is replaced with the 33-yr mean winter SST (1982–2014). The observational analysis shows that both the synoptic environment and local SST are important factors for the occurrence of anomalous heavy snowfall over the YD region. The favorable synoptic environments can be characterized by eastward expansion of the Siberian high over Manchuria and corresponding enhancement of easterly anomalies over the YD region. These conditions are more frequently observed during the weak EAWM years than during the strong EAWM. Furthermore, warm SST over the East Sea contributes to heavy snowfall over the YD region by providing heat and moisture in the lower troposphere, which are important sources of energy for the formation of heavy snowfall. Warm SST anomalies over the East Sea enhance low-level moisture convergence over the YD region, while cold SST anomalies lead to reduced moisture convergence. Sensitivity experiments indicate that local SST can significantly affect snowfall amount over the YD region when the synoptic environments are favorable. However, without these synoptic conditions (expansion of the Siberian high and easterly inflow), the impact of local SST on the snowfall over the YD region is not significant.

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Chun-Sil Jin, Chang-Hoi Ho, Joo-Hong Kim, Dong-Kyou Lee, Dong-Hyun Cha, and Sang-Wook Yeh

Abstract

Observational records reveal that the number of tropical cyclones (TCs) approaching East Asia in July–October is positively correlated with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial and northern off-equatorial central Pacific (CP) oceans, indicating the significant impact of CP El Niño (CP-EN). Through experiments using a Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model–based regional climate model, this study demonstrates that it is northern off-equatorial CP warming, rather than equatorial CP warming, that effectively induces local anomalous steering flows pertinent to the observed increase in TC activity over East Asia during CP-EN. Sensitivity experiments, in which the prescribed CP-EN-related SST anomaly is confined near the equator, do not capture the observed TC increase over East Asia, whereas those including the off-equatorial region successfully reproduce observed atmospheric and TC variabilities. The off-equatorial CP SST anomaly acts to expand the anomalous cyclonic response in the Philippine Sea farther northward. This produces a tunnel effect in the East China Sea, by which more TCs move to East Asian coastal regions (e.g., east China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan).

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Hyeonjae Lee, Chun-Sil Jin, Dong-Hyun Cha, Minkyu Lee, Dong-Kyou Lee, Myoung-Seok Suh, Song-You Hong, and Hyun-Suk Kang

Abstract

Future changes in tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the western North Pacific (WNP) are analyzed using four regional climate models (RCMs) within the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) for East Asia. All RCMs are forced by the HadGEM2-AO under the historical and representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenarios, and are performed at about 50-km resolution over the CORDEX-East Asia domain. In the historical simulations (1980–2005), multi-RCM ensembles yield realistic climatology for TC tracks and genesis frequency during the TC season (June–November), although they show somewhat systematic biases in simulating TC activity. The future (2024–49) projections indicate an insignificant increase in the total number of TC genesis (+5%), but a significant increase in track density over East Asia coastal regions (+17%). The enhanced TC activity over the East Asia coastal regions is mainly related to vertical wind shear weakened by reduced meridional temperature gradient and increased sea surface temperature (SST) at midlatitudes. The future accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of total TCs increases significantly (+19%) because individual TCs have a longer lifetime (+6.6%) and stronger maximum wind speed (+4.1%) compared to those in the historical run. In particular, the ACE of TCs passing through 25°N increases by 45.9% in the future climate, indicating that the destructiveness of TCs can be significantly enhanced in the midlatitudes despite the total number of TCs not changing greatly.

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Chanil Park, Seok-Woo Son, Joowan Kim, Eun-Chul Chang, Jung-Hoon Kim, Enoch Jo, Dong-Hyun Cha, and Sujong Jeong

Abstract

This study identifies diverse synoptic weather patterns of warm-season heavy rainfall events (HREs) in South Korea. The HREs not directly connected to tropical cyclones (TCs) (81.1%) are typically associated with a midlatitude cyclone from eastern China, the expanded North Pacific high and strong southwesterly moisture transport in between. They are frequent both in the first (early summer) and second rainy periods (late summer) with impacts on the south coast and west of the mountainous region. In contrast, the HREs resulting from TCs (18.9%) are caused by the synergetic interaction between the TC and meandering midlatitude flow, especially in the second rainy period. The strong south-southeasterly moisture transport makes the southern and eastern coastal regions prone to the TC-driven HREs. By applying a self-organizing map algorithm to the non-TC HREs, their surface weather patterns are further classified into six clusters. Clusters 1 and 3 exhibit frontal boundary between the low and high with differing relative strengths. Clusters 2 and 5 feature an extratropical cyclone migrating from eastern China under different background sea-level pressure patterns. Cluster 4 is characterized by the expanded North Pacific high with no organized negative sea-level pressure anomaly, and cluster 6 displays a development of a moisture pathway between the continental and oceanic highs. Each cluster exhibits a distinct spatio-temporal occurrence distribution. The result provides useful guidance for predicting the HREs by depicting important factors to be differently considered depending on their synoptic categorization.

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Myung-Sook Park, Myong-In Lee, Dongmin Kim, Michael M. Bell, Dong-Hyun Cha, and Russell L. Elsberry

Abstract

The effects of land-based convection on the formation of Tropical Storm Mekkhala (2008) off the west coast of the Philippines are investigated using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model with 4-km horizontal grid spacing. Five simulations with Thompson microphysics are utilized to select the control-land experiment that reasonably replicates the observed sea level pressure evolution. To demonstrate the contribution of the land-based convection, sensitivity experiments are performed by changing the land of the northern Philippines to water, and all five of these no-land experiments fail to develop Mekkhala.

The Mekkhala tropical depression develops when an intense, well-organized land-based mesoscale convective system moves offshore from Luzon and interacts with an oceanic mesoscale system embedded in a strong monsoon westerly flow. Because of this interaction, a midtropospheric mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) organizes offshore from Luzon, where monsoon convection continues to contribute to low-level vorticity enhancement below the midlevel vortex center. In the no-land experiments, widespread oceanic convection induces a weaker midlevel vortex farther south in a strong vertical wind shear zone and subsequently farther east in a weaker monsoon vortex region. Thus, the monsoon convection–induced low-level vorticity remained separate from the midtropospheric MCV, which finally resulted in a failure of the low-level spinup. This study suggests that land-based convection can play an advantageous role in TC formation by influencing the intensity and the placement of the incipient midtropospheric MCV to be more favorable for TC low-level circulation development.

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