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Guosen Chen

Abstract

Due to a small Coriolis force in tropics, the theoretical study of Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) often assumes weak temperature gradient balance, which neglects the temperature feedback (manifested in the temperature tendency term). In this study, the effect of the temperature feedback on the MJO is investigated by using the MJO trio-interaction model, which can capture the essential large-scale features of the MJO. The scale analysis indicates that the rotation effect is strong for the MJO scales, so that the temperature feedback is as important as the moisture feedback (manifested in the moisture tendency term); the latter is often considered to be critical for MJO. The experiments with the theoretical model show that the temperature feedback has significant impact on the MJO’s maintenance. When the temperature feedback is turned off, the simulated MJO cannot be maintained over the warm pool. This is because the temperature feedback could boost the energy generation. Without the temperature feedback, only the latent heat can be generated. With the temperature feedback, not only the latent heat but also the enthalpy (and therefore the available potential energy) can be generated. Therefore, the total energy generation is more efficient with the temperature feedback, favoring the self-maintenance of the MJO. Further investigation shows that this effect of the temperature feedback on MJO amplification can be inferred from observations. The findings here indicate that the temperature feedback could have nonnegligible impacts on the MJO and have implications in the simulation of MJO.

Open access
Guosen Chen

Abstract

A recent study has revealed that the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) during boreal winter exhibits diverse propagation patterns that consist of four archetypes: standing MJO, jumping MJO, slow eastward propagating MJO, and fast eastward propagating MJO. This study has explored the diversity of teleconnection associated with these four MJO groups. The results reveal that each MJO group corresponds to distinct global teleconnections, manifested as diverse upper-tropospheric Rossby wave train patterns. Overall, the teleconnections in the fast and slow MJO are similar to those in the canonical MJO constructed by the real-time multivariate MJO (RMM) indices, while the teleconnections in the jumping and standing MJO generally lose similarities to those in the canonical MJO. The causes of this diversity are investigated using a linearized potential vorticity equation. The various MJO tropical heating patterns in different MJO groups are the main cause of the diverse MJO teleconnections, as they induce assorted upper-level divergent flows that act as Rossby-wave sources through advecting the background potential vorticity. The variation of the Asian jet could affect the teleconnections over the Pacific jet exit region, but it plays an insignificant role in causing the diversity of global teleconnections. The numerical investigation with a linear baroclinic model shows that the teleconnections can be interpreted as linear responses to the MJO’s diabatic heating to various degrees for different MJO groups, with the fast and slow MJO having higher linear skill than the jumping and standing MJO. The results have broad implications in the MJO’s tropical–extratropical interactions and the associated impacts on global weather and climate.

Open access
Guosen Chen and Bin Wang

ABSTRACT

The eastward propagating Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) events exhibit various speeds ranging from 1 to 9 m s−1, but what controls the propagation speed remains elusive. This study attempts to address this issue. It reveals that the Kelvin wave response (KWR) induced by the MJO convection is a major circulation factor controlling the observed propagation speed of the MJO, with a stronger KWR corresponding to faster eastward propagation. A stronger KWR can accelerate the MJO eastward propagation by enhancing the low-level premoistening and preconditioning to the east of the MJO deep convection. The strength of the KWR is affected by the background sea surface temperature (SST). When the equatorial central Pacific SST warms, the zonal scale of the Indo-Pacific warm pool expands, which increases the zonal scale of the MJO, favoring enhancing the KWR. This effect of warm-pool zonal scale has been verified by idealized experiments using a theoretical model. The findings here shed light on the propagation mechanism of the MJO and provide a set of potential predictors for forecasting the MJO propagation.

Open access
Guosen Chen and Bin Wang

Abstract

The skeleton model is one of the theoretical models for understanding the essence of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). The heating parameterization scheme in the skeleton model assumes that precipitation tendency is in phase and proportional to the low-level moisture anomaly. The authors show that the observed MJO precipitation tendency is not in phase with the low-level moisture anomaly. The consequence of the wave activity envelope (WAE) scheme is reexamined by using a general MJO theoretical framework in which trio-interaction among convective heating, moisture, and wave–boundary layer (BL) dynamics are included and various simplified convective schemes can be accommodated. Without the BL dynamics, the general model framework can be reduced to the original skeleton model. The authors show that the original skeleton model yields a neutral mode that exhibits a “quadrupole” horizontal structure and a quadrature relationship between precipitation and low-level moisture; both are inconsistent with observations. With the BL dynamics and damping included, the model can produce a growing mode with improved horizontal structure and precipitation–moisture relationship, but deficiencies remain because of the WAE scheme. The authors further demonstrate that the general model with the simplified Betts–Miller scheme and BL dynamics can produce a realistic horizontal structure (coupled Kelvin–Rossby wave structure) and precipitation–moisture relationship (i.e., the BL moisture convergence leads precipitation, and column-integrated moisture coincides with precipitation).

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Guosen Chen and Bin Wang

Abstract

Current theoretical studies have a debate on whether the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) has a zero or westward group velocity. A recent analysis of the observed Hovmöller diagram of MJO signals suggested that the MJO has a significant westward group velocity. Here it is shown that the observed MJO has a negligibly small group velocity, which is manifested in two aspects. First, on the wavenumber–frequency spectra diagram the precipitation spectra indicate quasi independence of the MJO frequency on wavenumber, suggesting a nearly vanishing group velocity. Second, on the Hovmöller diagram of the regressed intraseasonal daily precipitation, the MJO group velocity is defined by the propagation of the wave envelopes of the precipitation and is shown to be negligibly small for the eastward propagating signals. The causes of the discrepancy between this study and the recent study mentioned above are the calculating method and the data filtering process. The group velocity in the recent study is calculated by the propagation of local convection extrema, which does not necessarily indicate the propagation of the wave envelopes. More importantly, the westward propagation of the local convection extrema is an artifact of the data filtering. The Hovmöller diagram in the recent study was constructed by using only the eastward propagating wavenumber-1–5 signals. This truncation of data onto the planetary scales of the eastward wavenumber domain fails to resolve the Maritime Continent “barrier effect,” causing significant artificial westward propagation of local convection extrema.

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Guosen Chen and Bin Wang

Abstract

Well-organized eastward propagation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is found to be accompanied by the leading suppressed convection (LSC) over the Maritime Continent (MC) and the western Pacific (WP) when the MJO convection is in the Indian Ocean (IO). However, it remains unclear how the LSC influences the MJO and what causes the LSC. The present study shows that the LSC is a prevailing precursor for eastward propagation of the MJO across the MC. The LSC enhances the coupling of IO convection and the Walker cell to its east [front Walker cell (FWC)] by increasing the zonal heating gradient. The enhanced FWC strengthens the low-level easterly, which increases boundary layer (BL) convergence and promotes congestus convection to the east of the deep convection; the enhanced congestus convection preconditions the lower to middle atmosphere, which further promotes the transition from congestus to deep convection and leads to eastward propagation of the MJO. The MJO ceases eastward propagation once the FWC decouples from it. Further analysis reveals that LSC has two major origins: one comes from the eastward propagation of the preceding IO dry phase associated with the MJO, and the other develops concurrently with the IO convection. In the latter case, the development of the LSC is brought about by a two-way interaction between the MJO’s tropical heating and the associated tropical–extratropical teleconnection: the preceding IO suppressed convection induces a tropical–extratropical teleconnection, which evolves and forms an anomalous western North Pacific cyclone that generates upper-level convergence and induces significant LSC.

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Guosen Chen and Ronghui Huang

Abstract

Using observational rainfall data and atmospheric reanalysis data, the precipitation variations in Northwest China during July and the corresponding atmospheric teleconnection patterns are studied. The results indicate that the leading modes of July precipitation variations in Northwest China are affected by the Silk Road pattern and the Europe–China (EC) pattern. The analysis suggests that the circumglobal teleconnection (CGT) could be considered as the interannual component of the Silk Road pattern.

To investigate the excitation mechanisms for the CGT pattern and EC pattern on interannual time scales, the singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis is performed between 200-hPa meridional wind velocity over the region of (30°–60°N, 30°–130°E) and tropical rainfall between (15°S and 30°N). The results suggest that the tropical heating anomalies most responsible for the CGT pattern are located over the North Indian Ocean, and the tropical heating anomalies most responsible for EC pattern are located over equatorial central Pacific, Indonesia, and tropical Atlantic. The tropical heating anomalies excite the CGT pattern and EC pattern by inducing divergent flow at the upper troposphere, and the advections of vorticity by the divergent component of the flow act as effective Rossby wave sources. Further analysis indicates that the tropical rainfall anomalies responsible for the CGT pattern and EC pattern are the leading modes of tropical rainfall variations, and these modes of tropical rainfall variations are related to the SST anomalies.

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Guosen Chen, Ronghui Huang, and Liantong Zhou

Abstract

In this paper, the internal dynamics of the Silk Road pattern has been studied. Since observation indicates that the Silk Road pattern could be considered as stationary external Rossby waves, the quasigeostrophic three-layer model has been used to study the dynamics of external Rossby waves. The three-layer model well captures the essential dynamical features of stationary external Rossby waves in accordance with the observations. Theoretical analysis indicates that the quasi-stationary external modes could be destabilized by the weak thermal damping. For destabilization to occur, the vertical structures of the external modes must have a warm ridge and a cold trough from the lower to middle layers. The effect of thermal damping could be considered as modifying the eddy streamfunction in such way that the eddy streamfunction has a vertical phase tilt, so the eddy could feed on the basic zonal flow by extracting the potential energy. The implications for this baroclinic instability on the self-maintenance of the Silk Road pattern are discussed. The observations imply that this dissipative destabilization mechanism could explain the self-maintenance of the Silk Road pattern.

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Peiqiang Xu, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Guosen Chen, and In-Sik Kang

Abstract

The British–Baikal Corridor (BBC) pattern is the dominant waveguide mode trapped along the summertime polar front jet over northern Eurasia. It consists of four geographically fixed centers over the west of the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, western Siberia, and Lake Baikal, respectively. Its intraseasonal variations and dynamics are investigated based on reanalysis datasets. The BBC pattern has a life cycle of about two weeks. Its precursor could be traced back to an upstream wave packet propagating along the Atlantic jet 10 days before its peak, and its life cycle resembles the evolution of a quasi-stationary Rossby wave train. Diagnosis of the streamfunction tendency equation suggests that the growth and decay of the BBC pattern are primarily driven by the nonlinear processes, whereas the quasi-stationary feature of the BBC pattern arises from the cancellation among the linear processes. Energetics analysis indicates that the energy cycle with the transient eddies (TEs) plays an essential role in the growth and decay of the BBC pattern. The BBC pattern first feeds on the barotropic energy provided by the TEs and then returns the energy to TEs in the form of baroclinic energy. It is this nonlinear interaction with the TEs that poses a tough challenge to the current state-of-the-art models to capture the BBC pattern reasonably.

Free access
Yuntao Wei, Fei Liu, Hong-Li Ren, Guosen Chen, Chengfeng Feng, and Bin Chen

Abstract

The boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) is a major source of subseasonal predictability of the East Asian summer monsoon. However, modeling and prediction of the BSISO remain major challenges partly due to an incomplete understanding of its eastward propagation. Our moisture budget analysis suggests that western Pacific (WPAC) premoistening leading the eastward-propagating (EP) BSISO is mainly attributed to the horizontal moisture advection with two centers in the lower and middle troposphere, respectively. The lower-tropospheric center is rooted in the linear moisture advection by flows from both the mean state and BSISO, while the middle-tropospheric center is induced by nonlinear eddy moistening effect from the suppressed activity of synoptic tropical depression (TD) disturbances. The vertical profile of WPAC premoistening is significantly modulated by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with the premoistening being enhanced in the lower troposphere and weakened in the middle troposphere during an El Niño summer, and vice versa in a La Niña summer. During an El Niño summer, the nonlinear eddy moistening effect is weakened in the middle troposphere due to less southwest-northeast tilt of the TD, while the linear moisture advection is enhanced in the lower troposphere due to strengthened background cross-equatorial flows and moisture gradients. These results suggest an urgent need to improve the simulation fidelity of BSISO’s scale interactions with synoptic and interannual variabilities in climate models.

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