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Jian Li and Rucong Yu

Abstract

The climatic features of the distinctive cold season precipitation over the Yungui Plateau of China and the corresponding circulation background are investigated. From daily rainfall data observed with a high-density station network, it is found that the highest rainfall frequency in southern China during November–February appears over the Yungui Plateau. The rainfall intensity in this region is fairly low, and there is no remarkable rainfall-amount maximum. In comparison with the rainfall in southeastern China, the precipitation over the Yungui Plateau is more concentrated in weak events, with 85.9% of rainfall days having daily precipitation amounts of less than 3 mm. By regressing the circulation field on the rainfall frequency index, a favorable climatic background for high rainfall frequency is explored. In high-rainfall-frequency years, the surface wind exhibits southwesterly wind anomalies west of 104°E and cold air penetrates from the north on the eastern side. These two branches converge on the eastern edge of the Hengduan Mountains. In the lower troposphere, southwesterly winds prevail and anomalous water vapor fluxes converge over the Yungui Plateau. In the middle and higher troposphere, the westerly zonal wind strengthens and leads to an anomalous divergence. These dynamic and moist conditions contribute to the formation of clouds and precipitation. The northward- and eastward-facing slopes of the Yungui Plateau uplift the shallow, cold air carried by the northerly and easterly winds, and the terrain effects trigger the precipitation process. The low temperature and small specific humidity over the Yungui Plateau modulate the rainfall intensity to a low level.

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Jian-Guo Li

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Second- and third-order upstream nonoscillatory (UNO) advection schemes are applied on a spherical multiple-cell (SMC) grid for global transport. Similar to the reduced grid, the SMC grid relaxes the Courant–Friedrichs–Lewy (CFL) restriction of the Eulerian advection time step on the conventional latitude–longitude grid by zonally merging cells toward the poles. Round polar cells are introduced to remove the polar singularity of the spherical coordinate system. The unstructured feature of the SMC grid allows unused cells to be removed out of memory and transport calculations. Solid-body rotation and deformation flow tests are used for comparison with other transport schemes. Application on the global ocean surface is used to demonstrate the flexibility of the SMC grid by removing all land points and making possible the extension of global ocean surface wave models to cover the Arctic in response to the retreating sea ice in recent summers. Numerical results suggest that UNO schemes on the SMC grid are suitable for global transport.

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Jian-Guo Li

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Upstream nonoscillatory (UNO) advection schemes are derived by optimizing existing classical advection schemes and combining them in different monotonic zones to avoid flux limiters for simplicity. The UNO schemes are extended to irregular grids in the form of upstream midflux linear interpolation with symmetrical gradients and are adapted to multidimensions with an advective–conservative operator. They are given in finite-volume flux form and hence are consistent and conservative. They also preserve constancy and linear correlation. Implicit numerical diffusivity of these schemes is also derived and used as a guideline for the selection of advection schemes. One- and two-dimesional tests are used for comparisons with their classical counterparts. Multiple-cell grids are used to test the irregular grid formulation and demonstrate their performance. The simple second-order UNO2 scheme may be accurate enough when the physical diffusion or numerical smoothing term is larger than the numerical diffusion. The third-order UNO3 scheme has very small self-constrained numerical diffusion and is suitable for general atmospheric and oceanic tracer advection.

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Jian Li and Rucong Yu

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This study presents a method to linearly evaluate the rainfall frequency–intensity distribution, which is an important component of climatological rainfall characteristics. To grasp and represent the key information of the rainfall frequency distribution by intensity, a two-parameter double exponential function is formulated and fitted to the hourly rainfall observation at each station. The values of the two parameters are estimated by transforming the distribution to a linear pattern. The two parameters determine the location and shape of the fitted distribution curve, and they have different modulating effects in different intensity categories, one governing the low-intensity section and the other dominating the intense rainfall. Through analysis of the estimated parameters, essential features of rainfall distribution can be obtained and assessed. The proposed method is applied to analyze the climatology and long-term variation of the late-summer rainfall in China. It is found that topography and monsoon circulation are two major factors controlling the rainfall frequency–intensity distribution. At stations with high surface altitudes and complex orography, the frequency of light rain is extremely high and the number of intense rainfall events is relatively small. In the plain areas of eastern China, especially those influenced by the main monsoon rain belt, heavy rainfall is more frequent. By tracking the displacement of the parameter pairs, the decadal changes in rainfall frequency–intensity distribution can be clearly visualized and evaluated on a plane constructed by the two parameters. The southern flooding and northern drought pattern can be attributed to the changes in light and moderate rainfall, while the intense rainfall exhibits opposite trends.

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Rucong Yu and Jian Li

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In this study, late-summer rainfall over eastern contiguous China is classified according to hourly intensity and the changes of moderate, intense, and extreme precipitation in response to variation of surface air temperature are analyzed. The e-folding decay intensity (I mi) derived from the exponential distribution of rainfall amount is defined as the threshold that partitions rainfall into moderate and intense rainfall, and the double e-folding decay intensity (Ie) is used as the threshold to pick out extreme cases. The mean values of I mi and Ie are about 12 and 24 mm h−1, respectively. Between the two periods, 1966–85 and 1986–2005, the ratio between moderate and intense rainfall has experienced significant changes. And the spatial pattern of changes in the percentage of moderate rainfall presents a direct relation with that of the surface air temperature. Based on temperature changes, three regimes, regime N (north China), regime C (central eastern China), and regime S (southeastern coastal area of China), are defined. In warming regimes (regimes N and S), the percentage of moderate rainfall exhibits a decreasing trend. In regime C, where the temperature has fallen, the percentage of moderate rainfall increased prominently. In all three regimes there are significant negative (positive) correlations between the percentage of moderate (intense) rainfall and the temperature. The relation between the extreme rainfall and the surface air temperature is far more regionally dependent. With plenty of water supply and little change in relative humidity, the extreme rainfall increased in regime S. Although regime N also shows strong warming trends, there is no significant trend in extreme precipitation due to the lack of water vapor transportation.

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Jian Li, Tianru Chen, and Nina Li

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The climatic features of the diurnally varying summer precipitation over and around the central Tian Shan Mountains are investigated. Both the hourly rainfall data observed at eight stations along a transect across the mountains and the convective index derived from the satellite data show that there are three distinct regimes: the early morning peak at stations to the south of the mountains, the late afternoon peak at stations on the mountains, and the night peak at stations to the north of the mountains. The relation between regimes of diurnal variation is analyzed. By defining the regional rainfall event (RRE), the initial stations of each RRE are recorded. The early morning rainfall in the southern periphery of the mountains is triggered locally in the southern basin. Both the late afternoon peak over the mountains and the night peak in the northern periphery are influenced by mountain-originated rainfall events. These rainfall events appear over the mountains in the afternoon, and some of them move northward and lead to the nocturnal rainfall in the northern basin. The triggering of convection in the afternoon over the mountains and that in the early morning in the southern basin is related to the diurnally varying wind and thermodynamic conditions over and around the mountains. Low-level convergence with thermodynamic instability appears at noon (night) over the mountains (in the southern basin) just before the start of the convection.

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Jian Li, Nina Li, and Rucong Yu

Abstract

The regional differences in hourly precipitation characteristics along the western coast of South China are investigated. The coastal area can be divided into three regions: two regions with large precipitation amounts to the west and east of the Leizhou Peninsula and another region with less precipitation over the Leizhou Peninsula. The precipitation center west of the Leizhou Peninsula (Dongxing station) is dominated by heavy precipitation, which frequently peaks in the early morning and has a long duration. The precipitation center east of the Leizhou Peninsula (Yangjiang station) has a high frequency of weak precipitation. There are two kinds of precipitation that occur at Yangjiang: short-duration precipitation in the afternoon and long-lasting precipitation in the morning. Over the Leizhou Peninsula (Zhanjiang station), precipitation mainly occurs over a short duration in the afternoon. The possible reasons for the different precipitation features are discussed. The morning precipitation at Dongxing is usually caused by deep convection. A large proportion of the morning precipitation events are locally generated events, which are closely related to the southerly winds and topographic barriers. Among the many possible factors affecting the morning precipitation at Yangjiang, the convergence between the land breeze and prevailing onshore airflow is an important one. The afternoon precipitation events affecting Yangjiang mostly originate over the mountains northwest of Yangjiang. Influenced by the curvature of the coastline and the relatively flat terrain over the Leizhou Peninsula, there is no convergence and less convection in the morning. However, the Leizhou Peninsula is prone to being influenced by daytime thermal forcings, which trigger afternoon precipitation.

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Jian-Guo Li and Martin Holt

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The Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) on board the Envisat satellite is an important resource for observation of global ocean surface wave spectra. However, assessment of this valuable dataset is not straightforward as a result of a lack of other independent ocean wave spectral observations. The radar altimeter (RA-2) on board the same satellite measures ocean wave height at the same time as the ASAR but at a location about 200 km distant. A small number of moored buoys produce one-dimensional (1D) ocean wave spectra but few ASAR spectra fall on the buoy positions in a given period. Indirect comparison of the Envisat ASAR 2D wave spectra with the RA-2 wave heights and 1D spectra of three selected buoys from July 2004 to February 2006 is facilitated by a wave model, which provides coherent spatial and temporal links between these observations. In addition to the conventional significant wave height (SWH), four spectral subrange wave heights (SRWHs) are used to illustrate the spectral characteristics of these observations. A comparison of three Envisat ASAR 2D spectra with the closest model and buoy spectra is also attempted to illustrate the qualities of these different observations and to demonstrate the restrictions to their direct comparison. Results indicate that these three independent observations are in good agreement in terms of SWH, though the Envisat ASAR shows the largest variance. Comparison of SRWHs indicates that the ASAR spectra agree well with buoy and model in moderately long waves, but the ASAR instrument does not resolve high-frequency waves, especially along the satellite track.

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Jian-Jian Wang, Xiaofan Li, and Lawrence D. Carey

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A two-dimensional cloud-resolving simulation is combined with dual-Doppler and polarimetric radar analysis to study the evolution, dynamic structure, cloud microphysics, and rainfall processes of monsoon convection observed during the South China Sea (SCS) summer monsoon onset.

Overall, the model simulations show many similarities to the radar observations. The rainband associated with the convection remains at a very stable position throughout its life cycle in the northern SCS. The reflectivity pattern exhibits a straight upward structure with little tilt. The positions of the convective, transition, and stratiform regions produced by the model are consistent with the observations. The major difference from the observations is that the model tends to overestimate the magnitude of updraft. As a result, the maximum reflectivity generated by the model appears at an elevated altitude.

The surface rainfall processes and associated thermodynamic, dynamic, and cloud microphysical processes are examined by the model in terms of surface rainfall, temperature and moisture perturbations, circulations, and cloud microphysical budget. At the preformation and dissipating stages, although local vapor change and vapor convergence terms are the major contributors in determining rain rate, they cancel each other out and cause little rain. The vapor convergence/divergence is closely related to the lower-tropospheric updraft/subsidence during the early/late stages of the convection. During the formation and mature phases, vapor convergence term is in control of the rainfall processes. Meanwhile, water microphysical processes are dominant in these stages. The active vapor condensation process causes a large amount of raindrops through the collection of cloud water by raindrops. Ice microphysical processes including riming are negligible up to the mature phase but are dominant during the weakening stage. Cloud source/sink terms make some contributions to the rain rate at the formation and weakening stages, while the role of surface evaporation term is negligible throughout the life cycle of the convection.

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Jian Li, Rucong Yu, and Tianjun Zhou

Abstract

Analysis of the monthly NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data and station data reveals a teleconnection pattern (NAULEA) that links climate changes over the North Atlantic and Eurasia. The NAULEA pattern has five action centers. It extends from the North Atlantic to northwestern Europe, and then stretches eastward to the Urals, with its eastern end over North China. Certain climate changes over East Asia, such as the cooling changes in both the upper troposphere and surface in the last few decades of the twentieth century, can be attributed to the NAULEA pattern anomalies and traced upstream to the North Atlantic. The NAULEA pattern is suggested to be another NAO-related teleconnection pattern. Compared with the pattern with the Asian jet waveguide path, which leads to temperature anomalies over northeastern Asia, the NAULEA pattern with a high-latitude path exerts stronger influences on the climate of southwestern China.

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