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Huang-Hsiung Hsu

Abstract

In this study, SVD analysis is applied to a normalized 200-mb streamfunction/OLR covariance matrix to extract the most recurrent coupled pattern in the northern winter, after the removal of the climatological seasonal cycle and seasonal means for each winter. The first two singular vectors are on an intraseasonal timescale and the combination of the two forms an oscillation. It is characterized by eastward propagation in the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific, standing oscillations in both the Tropics and the extratropics, and the poleward propagation of a zonally symmetric structure.

Although there exists an eastwardly propagating pattern, the phase relationship between geopotential, wind, and streamfunction fields is inconsistent with that of equatorial Kelvin waves. Eastward propagation is most evident in the Tropics of the Southern Hemisphere, while the signals in the Northern Hemisphere are characterized by standing oscillations. The distinct characteristics of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to the different properties of the mean flows, which load to distinct Rossby wave source distributions in the two hemispheres.

Abrupt developments of regional circulation anomalies are found in the exit regions of the Pacific and Atlantic jet streams. The one in the Pacific resembles the Pacific/North American pattern and develops in a process similar to the optimal excitation of the normal mode, by extracting barotropic energy from the mean flow. Similar energy conversion also occurs in the Atlantic. Both analyses of energy conversion and Rossby wave source indicate the occurrence of rigorous extratropical activity in the Northern Hemisphere, that is affected indirectly by tropical beating. The propagating circulations in the Southern Hemisphere, that resemble equatorial Rossby waves, could be the direct response to the tropical heating, while the signals of standing oscillation are the mixed results of direct response to the tropical heating and internal dynamics in the extratropics.

The results show the complexity of the intraseasonal oscillation, involving equatorial wave dynamics, tropical–extratropical interactions, and eddy–mean flow interactions. The phenomenon is global and it is inadequate to treat the problem as either a purely tropical phenomenon or a purely extratropical phenomenon.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu

Abstract

The local influence of mountains upon large- and synoptic-scale low-level atmospheric circulations is investigated in this study. The sea-level pressure associated with low-frequency fluctuations exhibit phase propagation of monopolar structures around mountains in an anticyclonic sense, while the corresponding 500 mb height patterns are relatively stationary and evolve in a manner consistent with the concept of Rossby wave dispersion on a sphere. The sea-level pressure patterns in the high-pass filtered data exhibit characteristics of synoptic-scale baroclinic waves and are steered around mountain ranges in an anticyclonic sense, while the corresponding 500 mb height patterns propagate nearly parallel to the time-mean flow in the middle troposphere.

It is hypothesized that the phase propagation of lower tropospheric circulation patterns is a reflection of the conservation of potential vorticity in flows over variable terrain. Most of the observations presented in this study are interpreted as the evidence of topographic Rossby waves in the atmosphere. However, the features observed to the north of the Tibetan Plateau exhibit some characteristics of Kelvin waves induced by the blocking effects of the orography on the lower tropospheric flow.

Because of the strong stratification during wintertime, the steering effect of mountains upon atmospheric circulations is restricted to the lower troposphere. Lower tropospheric waveguides exist in the vicinity of the major mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere. These regions are located (i) along the eastern slopes of the Rockies (ii) along the west and north coasts of Greenland, (iii) along the eastern slopes of the mountain ranges in Mongolia and northern China, (iv) to the north and east of the Tibetan Plateau, and (v) to the north of the mountains in northern Iran and Afghanistan.

There appear to be only minor differences between the structure and evolution of cyclonic and anticyclonic circulation anomalies, even though the corresponding sequences of synoptic maps may appear quite different. Deviations of the static stability field associated with the anomalies from the climatological mean static stability field are relatively small in comparison to the mean static stability. These observations suggest that the behavior of these features is relatively linear.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu and Chun-Hsiung Weng

Abstract

The convection of the intraseasonal timescale in the western North Pacific during the boreal summer tends to propagate northwestward in the Philippine Sea to near 20°N and then continues propagating westward. The formation of enhanced convection in the western North Pacific is a result of the merging of a convective system moving eastward along the equator and a westward-propagating low-level convergence anomaly, which is located to the east of a vortex in the subtropics. A positive feedback between the anomalous circulation and convection leads to a rapid enhancement of the system. The strengthened southwesterly associated with the vortex enhances evaporation over the oceans (e.g., the eastern Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, and the South China Sea) and transports moisture northeastward. The moisture converges at the northwestern corner of the convection and results in a potentially unstable atmosphere. The result is the northwestward propagation of the coupled circulation–convection system in the western North Pacific. It was found that the ocean–atmosphere interaction plays an important role in supplying energy to sustain the circulation and convection during the course of propagation. The circulation–convection interaction is the key factor in maintaining the system's strength until it reaches the Asian landmass, when the supply of moisture is reduced. The atmosphere seems to play a dominant role during the ocean–atmosphere interaction processes, while the ocean plays a more passive role in response to the atmospheric forcing.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu and Ming-Ying Lee

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between deep convection (and heating anomaly) in the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and the tropical topography. The eastward propagation of the deep heating anomalies is confined to two regions: the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific warm pool. Superimposed on the eastward propagation is a series of quasi-stationary deep heating anomalies that occur sequentially and discretely downstream in a leapfrog manner in the central Indian Ocean, the Maritime Continent, tropical South America, and tropical Africa.

The deep heating anomaly, usually preceded by near-surface moisture convergence and shallow heating anomalies, tends to occur on the windward side of the tropical topography in these regions (except the central Indian Ocean) under the prevailing surface easterly anomaly of the MJO. It is suggested that the lifting and frictional effects of the tropical topography and landmass induce the near-surface moisture convergence anomaly, which in turn triggers the deep heating anomaly. Subsequently, the old heating anomaly located to the west of the tropical topography weakens and the new heating anomaly east of the topography develops because of the eastward shift in the major moisture convergence center to the east of the mountains. Therefore, the deep heating anomaly shifts eastward from one region to another. The equatorial Kelvin wave, which is forced by the tropical heating anomaly and propagates quickly across the ocean basins in the lower troposphere, plays an important role by helping to strengthen the easterly anomaly and lowering the surface pressure.

This process is proposed to further our understanding of the shift in the deep convection from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific, the reappearance of the deep convection in tropical South America, and the initiation of the MJO in the western Indian Ocean. It is suggested that the fast eastward propagation and the slow development of quasi-stationary convection together determine the quasi-periodicity of the MJO.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu and John M. Wallace

Abstract

Orthogonal rotated principal component analysis of the wintertime, Northern Hemisphere, 5-day mean sea level pressure field yielded five modes which are of some dynamical interest. One can be identified with the well-known North Atlantic Oscillation and another with the Pacific/North American pattern. Three of the other modes are highly baroclinic in the sense that their sea level pressure patterns and their associated 500 mb height patterns are different in shape and opposite in polarity over substantial areas. These more baroclinic patterns attain their largest amplitudes in the vicinity of the Himalayas and Rockies. Their spatial patterns evolve very differently in the lower and middle troposphere: the sea level pressure patterns exhibit a distinctive eastward and/or equatorward phase propagation, parallel to contours of surface elevation, along the northern and/or eastern side of the mountain ranges, while the corresponding 500 mb patterns evolve in a manner consistent with the concept of Rossby wave dispersion. It is hypothesized that the phase propagation of the sea level pressure pattern is due, in part, to the equivalent-beta effect responsible for the terrain slope.

These highly baroclinic patterns appear to be associated with the low-temporal correlations between 1000 and 500 mb height and for the deep equatorward penetration of wintertime cold air outbreaks observed along the lee slopes of the major mountain ranges.

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Ming-Ying Lee and Huang-Hsiung Hsu

Abstract

A multidecadal geopotential height pattern in the upper troposphere of the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (NH) is identified in this study. This pattern is characterized by the nearly zonal symmetry of geopotential height and temperature between 35° and 65°N and the equivalent barotropic vertical structure with the largest amplitude in the upper troposphere. This pattern is named the Eurasian–Pacific multidecadal oscillation (EAPMO) to describe its multidecadal time scale and the largest amplitudes over Eurasia and the North Pacific. Although nearly extending over the entire extratropics, the EAPMO exhibits larger amplitudes over western Europe, East Asia, and the North Pacific with a zonal scale equivalent to zonal wavenumbers 4 and 5. The zonally asymmetric perturbation tends to amplify over the major mountain ranges in the region, suggesting a significant topographic influence. The EAPMO has fluctuated concurrently with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) at least since the beginning of the twentieth century. The numerical simulation results suggest that the EAPMO could be induced by the AMO-like sea surface temperature anomaly and strengthened regionally by topography, especially over the Asian highland region, although the amplitude was undersimulated.

This study found that the multidecadal variability of the upper-tropospheric geopotential height in the extratropical NH is much more complicated than in the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere (SH). It takes both first (warming trend) and second (multidecadal) EOFs to explain the multidecadal variability in the extratropical NH, while only the first EOF, which exhibited a warming trend, is sufficient for the tropics and SH.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu and Shih-Hsun Lin

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Teleconnections of the streamfunction in the global domain based on ECMWF 250-mb winds for the 11 northern winters from 1978/79 through 1988/89 are documented in this study. A zonal structure with a node near the equator, indicating an out-of-phase relationship between the streamfunctions in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, appears to mask the fluctuations of the asymmetric components of streamfunction. After removing zonal means, a global pattern emerges as the dominant structure in the low-frequency band. This pattern consists of several dipoles straddling either the exit region of midlatitude jets or the equator, indicating the existence of teleconnections not only between the midlatitudes and the tropics but also between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Teleconnection patterns in the intermediate-frequency band are predominantly wavelike. Seven waveguides are identified based on the one-point lag-correlation maps for base points near the maximum teleconnectivity. Among them are three waveguides that have not been identified in previous studies. One originates in Europe, skirts the southern Eurasian continent, and spreads into the western Pacific. The other two originate in the northern central Pacific and the North American continent, respectively, and cross the equatorial regions of the westerlies into the Southern Hemisphere. The existence of cross-equatorial waveguides indicates the possibility of interhemispheric interaction and is in agreement with the hypothesis of Webster and Holton. Squared refractive indices are calculated based on the climatological flow and are found to be consistent with the existence of waveguides.

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Ken-Chung Ko and Huang-Hsiung Hsu

Abstract

The impact of tropical perturbation on the extratropical wave activity in the North Pacific in the submonthly time scale is demonstrated here. Previous studies identified a tropical cyclone (TC)/submonthly wave pattern, which propagated north-northwestward in the Philippine Sea and recurved in the oceanic region between Japan and Taiwan. This study found that, after the arrival of the TC/submonthly wave pattern at the recurving region, the eastward-propagating wave activity in the extratropical North Pacific was significantly enhanced. It is suggested that the TC/submonthly wave pattern, which is originated in the tropical western North Pacific, enhances the eastward energy propagation of Rossby wave–like perturbation in the extratropical North Pacific and may have an impact on the long-range weather predictability in the eastern North Pacific and western North America.

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Chi-Hua Wu and Huang-Hsiung Hsu

Abstract

Unrealistic topographic effects are generally incorporated in global climate simulations and may contribute significantly to model biases in the Asian monsoon region. By artificially implementing the Arakan Yoma and Annamese Cordillera—two south–north-oriented high mountain ranges on the coasts of the Indochina Peninsula—in a 1° global climate model, it is demonstrated that the proper representation of mesoscale topography over the Indochina Peninsula is crucial for realistically simulating the seasonality of the East Asian–western North Pacific (EAWNP) summer monsoon.

Presence of the Arakan Yoma and Annamese Cordillera helps simulate the vertical coupling of atmospheric circulation over the mountain regions. In late May, the existence of the Arakan Yoma enhances the vertically deep southwesterly flow originating from the trough over the Bay of Bengal. The ascending southwesterly flow converges with the midlatitude jet stream downstream in the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau and transports moisture across the Indochina Peninsula to East Asia. The existence of the Annamese Cordillera helps the northward lower-tropospheric moisture transport over the South China Sea into the mei-yu–baiu system, and the leeside troughing effect of the mountains likely contributes to the enhancement of the subtropical high to the east. Moreover, the eastward propagation of wave energy from central Asia to the EAWNP suggests a dynamical connection between the midlatitude westerly perturbation and mei-yu–baiu. Including the Annamese Cordillera also strengthens a Pacific–Japan (PJ) pattern–like perturbation in late July by enhancing the cyclonic circulation (i.e., monsoon trough) in the lower-tropospheric western North Pacific. This suggests the contribution of the mountain effects to the intrinsic variability of the summer monsoon in the EAWNP.

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Huang-Hsiung Hsu and Ying-Ting Chen

Abstract

Torrential rainfall occurring along the North American northeast coast (NANC) in summer and autumn is accompanied by strong atmospheric rivers (ARs), which efficiently transport abundant moisture along a narrow-stretched path associated with a low pressure system. In this study, an autodetection method was used to identify ARs that reached the NANC, based on the 6-hourly data of the ERA-Interim reanalysis conducted by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, in summer and autumn from 1979 to 2016. Stronger ARs tended to occur in the eastern flank of a cyclonic anomaly that covered the entire North American east coast from Florida to Newfoundland, with a positive precipitation anomaly over the NANC. The cyclonic anomalies and precipitation in autumn were stronger but less frequent than those in summer. Cyclonic anomalies were parts of westward-tilting wavelike circulation perturbations moving into North America from the extratropical North Pacific and moving continuously eastward, reaching the east coast in approximately five days. The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) High-Resolution Atmospheric Model (HiRAM), which realistically simulates the occurrence frequency and key characteristics of ARs in current climatic conditions, was used to project the AR activity and corresponding circulations in the future warmer climate under the representative concentration pathway 8.5 scenario. The HiRAM that was driven by sea surface temperature changes projected an overall increase in the occurrence of stronger ARs in both summer and autumn and the precipitation strength in autumn along the NANC by the end of the twenty-first century. This projected enhancement was contributed to by two processes—a smaller contribution was from the weakened basin-scale North Atlantic anticyclone but with higher moisture content, and a larger contribution was from the enhancement in anomalous circulation during AR events with integrated vapor transport exceeding the 75th percentile. These results suggest that the influence of strong ARs on the NANC may increase in the warmer future due to the combination of increased water vapor in the large-scale environment (thermodynamic effect) and enhanced anomalous circulations (dynamic effect). The AR-associated circulations in autumn were also projected to have a stronger tropical connection in the warmer future.

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