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Qin Xu
and
Jie Cao

Abstract

By partitioning the hydrostatically balanced flow into a nonlinearly balanced primary-flow part and a remaining secondary-flow part and then truncating the secondary-flow vorticity advection and stretching–tilting terms in the vector vorticity equation, the previous semibalance model (SBM) in pseudoheight coordinates is rederived in terrain-following pressure coordinates, called η coordinates. The involved truncation is topologically the same as that in pseudoheight coordinates but the truncated terms in η coordinates are not equivalent to those in pseudoheight coordinates. Because its potential vorticity (PV) is conserved and invertible, the rederived SBM is suitable for studying balanced dynamics via “PV thinking” in real weather events, such as slowly varying vortices and curved fronts in which the primary-flow velocity and secondary-flow vorticity are nearly parallel in η coordinates.

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Jie Cao
and
Qin Xu

Abstract

The hydrostatic potential vorticity (HPV) formulated in terrain-following coordinates is reviewed and shown to be equivalent to the widely used HPV formulations in the height, pressure, and isentropic coordinates in the sense that they all represent the same HPV substance and retain the same conservation property. The HPV formulation in terrain-following coordinates can be applied directly to model-simulated velocity and thermodynamic fields on the model’s original terrain-following grid to avoid coordinate transformation and eliminate grid interpolation error. This advantage and its significance are demonstrated by a numerical example.

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Yu Yang
,
Dayong Wen
, and
Jie Cao

Abstract

This study explores the linkage of the circumglobal teleconnection (CGT) on the variability of early spring diabatic heating over the Southeast Asian low-latitude highlands (SEALLH) using ERA5 data. The early spring diabatic heating over the SEALLH shows significant interannual variability with a quasi-3-yr period. Anomalies in the advection of the early spring diabatic heating in the troposphere over the SEALLH associated with CGT are mainly responsible for the interannual variability of early spring diabatic heating over the SEALLH. When CGT is in phase with an anomalous cyclone over the eastern midlatitude North Atlantic, an anomalous cyclone usually dominates the west SEALLH throughout the troposphere. Stronger-than-normal southerly winds located on the east flank of the anomalous cyclone in the lower–upper troposphere transport more high-enthalpy air mass from lower latitudes to the SEALLH and then result in stronger-than-normal early spring diabatic heating over the SEALLH. When CGT is in phase with an anomalous anticyclone over the eastern North Atlantic, the opposite conditions occur, and weaker-than-normal early spring diabatic heating is observed over the SEALLH. Such significant correlation between CGT and early spring diabatic heating over the SEALLH can persist from winter to early summer. The key physical processes revealed in the observational analysis are mostly confirmed by the historical simulation performed with the EC-EARTH3 model.

Significance Statement

The low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia are one of the earliest diabatic heating sources in the Asian summer monsoon region. Variability of diabatic heating over the low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia significantly regulates the weather and climate over the Asian summer monsoon region. However, the interannual variability of early spring diabatic heating over the low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia remains unclear. This study determines that the circumglobal teleconnection links with the interannual variability of early spring diabatic heating over the low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia via modulating the local advection process from the previous winter. These results build a bridge connecting the anomalous signals occurring in the upper reaches of the low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia with the weather and climate in the local and lower reaches of the low-latitude highlands in Southeast Asia.

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Ruowen Yang
,
Zhiang Xie
, and
Jie Cao

Abstract

Based on the ridge line of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) and the theory of gradient wind approximation, a dynamic index for the westward ridge point (WRPI) of the WPSH is defined. Owing to its definition, the new dynamic index can be used to analyze the evolution of the WPSH at various time scales over most isobaric surfaces. The WRPI comprises two dimensions labeled ZWRPI and MWRPI, which depict the zonal and meridional movement, respectively, of the westward ridge point of the WPSH. The rationality and reliability of the dynamic index were validated using reanalysis atmospheric circulation, outgoing longwave radiation, surface air temperature, and rainfall data. The WRPI series revealed that the westward ridge point of the WPSH generally advances poleward while withdrawing eastward. Furthermore, there were close relationships between the WRPI, atmospheric circulation, outgoing longwave radiation, and precipitation over East Asia and the western Pacific in summer. The significant correlation coefficients indicated that the ZWRPI and the MWRPI can reflect the impact of the zonal and meridional movement of the WPSH on the climate over East Asia and the western Pacific. The ZWRPI has no significant linear trend at the interdecadal time scale, indicating that the WPSH did not significantly extend westward in summer. The slight decrease of the MWRPI suggests that the WPSH moves southward but with an insignificant trend. Compared with indices proposed in previous studies, the WRPI showed advantages in objectivity, reliability, predictability, practicability, and therefore extensive potential for application.

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Jie Cao
,
Lingkun Ran
, and
Na Li

Abstract

A new application of the Helmholtz theorem that divides the horizontal wind into purely rotational, purely divergent, and harmonic deformational flow is put forward in this study. The formulas and methods, with consideration of avoiding the nonunique problem in solving the two Poisson equations with coupled boundary conditions, are constructed and tested for applicability and accuracy in an ideal experiment. Numerical tests show that the three extracted components together with the reconstructed wind almost recover the ideal fields by using the extended Helmholtz theorem, while other methods fail. The physical meaning of the extracted externally induced deformational flow is explained in the context of its connection to frontogenesis in a real weather event. It may provide potential usage in analyzing certain types of real weather.

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Jie Cao
,
Dayong Wen
,
Ruowen Yang
, and
Yingmo Zhu

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of the Indian and East Asian summer monsoons on the diurnal temperature range (DTR) in the low-latitude highlands of China (CLLH) based on in situ DTR observations, ERA5 data, and numerical simulations. Diagnoses indicate that the DTR in the CLLH shows a significant positive correlation with the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and a negative correlation with the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). When a strengthened ISM occurs with a weakened EASM, an anomalous anticyclonic circulation with downward motion is excited over the CLLH. This anomalous circulation pattern increases the DTR in the rainy season by reducing the medium and high cloud cover in the CLLH. A weakened ISM with a strengthened EASM decreases the DTR over the CLLH in the rainy season. Numerical experiments help to verify this crucial physical process linking the variability of the ISM and EASM with the DTR in the CLLH. The model results further indicate that the covariability of ISM and EASM contributes most to the variability of the rainy season DTR in the CLLH, followed by the individual variability of the EASM; the smallest contribution to the rainy season DTR in the CLLH is the individual variability of the ISM.

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Zizhen Dong
,
Lin Wang
,
Ruowen Yang
, and
Jie Cao

Abstract

This study investigates the propagation and maintenance mechanisms of the dominant intraseasonal oscillation over the western North Pacific in boreal winter, the quasi-biweekly oscillation (QBWO). The wintertime QBWO over the western North Pacific is characterized by the westward-northwestward movement from the tropical western Pacific to the western North Pacific and resembles the n = 1 equatorial Rossby wave. Its westward migration is primarily driven by the seasonal-mean zonal winds that advect vorticity anomalies in the lower-middle troposphere and moisture anomalies in the lower troposphere. Its northward movement is preconditioned by the vorticity dynamics of the beta effect, the low-level vertical moisture variation, and the local air-sea interaction. The latter involves the atmospheric forcing on the underlying ocean by changing the surface heat flux fluctuations and the sea surface temperature feedback on the low-level atmospheric instability. Its maintenance is primarily through atmospheric external energy sources from diabatic heating, which first generates eddy available potential energy and then converts it to eddy kinetic energy.

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Jie Cao
,
Wei-kang Zhang
, and
Yun Tao

Abstract

This paper describes the study of the relationship between the thermal configuration of the Bay of Bengal (BOB)–Tibetan Plateau (TP) region and the precipitation anomaly in Yunnan, a province in China, in May using ERA-Interim data and precipitation data for May from 125 meteorological stations across Yunnan for 1979–2014. Results from the analysis indicate that the interannual variability of May precipitation in Yunnan is significantly modulated by the BOB–TP thermal configuration. Model runs with a linear baroclinic model suggest physical consistency. The thermal conditions over the BOB mainly impact the May precipitation anomaly in Yunnan via changes in water vapor transport from the eastern BOB northeastward to southwestern Yunnan. The second factor influencing precipitation anomalies relates to the characteristics and variability of cold air transport from the TP to northeastern Yunnan. When the BOB (the TP) is occupied by positive (negative) diabatic heating, a thermal gradient with a warmer (colder) center over the BOB and a colder (warmer) center over the TP is established, and more-than-normal (less than normal) precipitation in Yunnan will occur in May. This relationship can persist from April to the following May to some extent; therefore, the BOB–TP thermal configuration in April could be used to forecast May precipitation in Yunnan.

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Jie Cao
,
Ping Yao
,
Lin Wang
, and
Kui Liu

Abstract

Based on reanalysis and observational datasets, this study proposes a reasonable mechanism for summer rainfall variations over the low-latitude highlands (LLH) of China, in which a subtropical Indian Ocean dipole (SIOD)-like pattern is the key external thermal forcing. In summers with a positive SIOD-like pattern, sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies may lead to lower-tropospheric divergence over the tropical Indian Ocean and convergence over the subtropical southwestern Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The convergence over the Arabian Sea can induce easterly anomalies of the divergent wind component off the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal (BOB), while the divergence over the tropical Indian Ocean can change the interhemispheric vertical circulation and produce a descending motion over the same area and cyclonic anomalies in the rotational wind component over the Indian peninsula. The combined effect of the divergent and rotational wind anomalies and enhanced interhemispheric vertical circulation facilitates easterly anomalies and weakens climatological water vapor flux to the northern BOB. Therefore, anomalous water vapor divergence and less precipitation are observed over the LLH. In summers with a negative SIOD-like pattern, the situation is approximately the same but with opposite polarity and a weaker role of the divergent wind component. Further analyses indicate that the summertime SIOD-like pattern can be traced to preceding seasons, especially in positive SIOD-like years. The SST–wind–evaporation feedback mechanism could account for maintenance of the SIOD-like pattern. These results provide efficient prediction potential for summer rainfall variations over the LLH.

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Jie Cao
,
Shu Gui
,
Qin Su
, and
Yali Yang

Abstract

The interannual zonal movement of the interface between the Indian summer monsoon and the East Asian summer monsoon (IIE), associated with the spring sea surface temperature (SST) seesaw mode (SSTSM) over the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) and the tropical central-western Pacific (TCWP), is studied for the period 1979–2008. The observational analysis is based on Twentieth Century Reanalysis data (version 2) of atmospheric circulations, Extended Reconstructed SST data (version 3), and the Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation. The results indicate that the IIE’s zonal movement is significantly and persistently correlated with the TIO–TCWP SSTSM, from spring to summer. The results of two case studies resemble those obtained by regression analysis. Experiments using an atmospheric general circulation model (ECHAM6) substantiate the key physical processes revealed in the observational analysis. When warmer (colder) SSTs appear in the TIO and colder (warmer) SSTs occur in the TCWP, the positive (negative) SSTSM forces anomalous easterly (westerly) winds over the Bay of Bengal (BOB), South China Sea (SCS), and western North Pacific (WNP). The anomalous easterly (westerly) winds further result in a weakened (strengthened) southwest summer monsoon over the BOB and a strengthened (weakened) southeast summer monsoon over the SCS and WNP. This causes the IIE to shift farther eastward (westward) than normal.

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