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Kaiqiang Deng, Mingfang Ting, Song Yang, and Yaheng Tan

Abstract

Summer extreme heat waves (EHWs) over the Texas area and their trend are investigated using observations and atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) output. There is a positive linear trend in Texas EHW days for the period 1979–2015. While the interannual variability of the Texas EHWs is linked to ENSO conditions, the upward trend in Texas EHWs is found to be significantly associated with the tropical Pacific zonal SST gradient (PZSSTG). The amplification of PZSSTG leads to both enhanced convection in the western Pacific and suppressed convection in the central-eastern Pacific (i.e., La Niña–like pattern), both of which can induce anomalous anticyclones over the Texas area through two distinct planetary wave trains in the antecedent spring. As a result, anomalously sinking motions and divergent water vapor flux appear over the Texas area, which reduce precipitation and increase downward solar radiation, leading to dry and hot soil that favors the occurrence of Texas summer EHWs. In addition, all AGCMs using observed SSTs as boundary conditions were able to simulate the observed decreasing trend in Texas summer precipitation and the observed increasing trend in Texas summer surface air temperature. The observed relationships between winter PZSSTG and the following spring–summer Texas precipitation/temperature were also reproduced by these models, where the intensified PZSSTG tended to reduce the Texas precipitation while increasing the surface air temperature.

Open access
Yaheng Tan, Francis Zwiers, Song Yang, Chao Li, and Kaiqiang Deng

Abstract

Performance in simulating atmospheric rivers (ARs) over western North America based on AR frequency and landfall latitude is evaluated for 10 models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project among which the CanESM2 model performs well. ARs are classified into southern, northern, and middle types using self-organizing maps in the ERA-Interim reanalysis and CanESM2. The southern type is associated with the development and eastward movement of anomalous lower pressure over the subtropical eastern Pacific, while the northern type is linked with the eastward movement of anomalous cyclonic circulation stimulated by warm sea surface temperatures over the subtropical western Pacific. The middle type is connected with the negative phase of North Pacific Oscillation–west Pacific teleconnection pattern. CanESM2 is further used to investigate projected AR changes at the end of the twenty-first century under the representative concentration pathway 8.5 scenario. AR definitions usually reference fixed integrated water vapor or integrated water vapor transport thresholds. AR changes under such definitions reflect both thermodynamic and dynamic influences. We therefore also use a modified AR definition that isolates change from dynamic influences only. The total AR frequency doubles compared to the historical period, with the middle AR type contributing the largest increases along the coasts of Vancouver Island and California. Atmospheric circulation (dynamic) changes decrease northern AR type frequency while increasing middle AR type frequency, indicating that future changes of circulation patterns modify the direct effect of warming on AR frequency, which would increase ARs (relative to fixed thresholds) almost everywhere along the North American coastline.

Open access
Kaiqiang Deng, Song Yang, Mingfang Ting, Chundi Hu, and Mengmeng Lu

Abstract

The mid-Pacific trough (MPT), occurring in the upper troposphere during boreal summer, acts as an atmospheric bridge connecting the climate variations over Asia, the Pacific, and North America. The first (second) mode of empirical orthogonal function analysis of the MPT, which accounts for 20.3% (13.4%) of the total variance, reflects a change in its intensity on the southwestern (northeastern) portion of the trough. Both modes are significantly correlated with the variability of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST). Moreover, the first mode is affected by Atlantic SST via planetary waves that originate from the North Atlantic and propagate eastward across the Eurasian continent, and the second mode is influenced by the Arctic sea ice near the Bering Strait by triggering an equatorward wave train over the northeast Pacific.

A stronger MPT shown in the first mode is significantly linked to drier and warmer conditions in the Yangtze River basin, southern Japan, and the northern United States and wetter conditions in South Asia and northern China, while a stronger MPT shown in the second mode is associated with a drier and warmer southwestern United States. In addition, an intensified MPT (no matter whether in the southwestern or the northeastern portion) corresponds to more tropical cyclones (TCs) over the western North Pacific (WNP) and fewer TCs over the eastern Pacific (EP) in summer, which is associated with the MPT-induced ascending and descending motions over the WNP and the EP, respectively.

Open access
Kaiqiang Deng, Song Yang, Mingfang Ting, Yaheng Tan, and Shan He

Abstract

Global monsoon precipitation (GMP) brings the majority of water for the local agriculture and ecosystem. The Northern Hemisphere (NH) GMP shows an upward trend over the past decades, while the trend in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) GMP is weak and insignificant. The first three singular value decomposition modes between NH GMP and global SST during boreal summer reflect, in order, the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño, and central Pacific (CP) El Niño, when the AMO dominates the NH climate and contributes to the increased trend. However, the first three modes between SH GMP and global SST during boreal winter are revealed as EP El Niño, the AMO, and CP El Niño, when the EP El Niño becomes the most significant driver of the SH GMP, and the AMO-induced rainfall anomalies may cancel out each other within the SH global monsoon domain and thus result in a weak trend. The intensification of NH GMP is proposed to favor the occurrences of droughts and heat waves (HWs) in the midlatitudes through a monsoon–desert-like mechanism. That is, the diabatic heating associated with the monsoonal rainfall may drive large-scale circulation anomalies and trigger intensified subsidence in remote regions. The anomalous descending motions over the midlatitudes are usually accompanied by clear skies, which result in less precipitation and more downward solar radiation, and thus drier and hotter soil conditions that favor the occurrences of droughts and HWs. In comparison, the SH GMP may exert much smaller impacts on the NH extremes in spring and summer, probably because the winter signals associated with SH GMP cannot sufficiently persist into the following seasons.

Open access
Kaiqiang Deng, Song Yang, Mingfang Ting, Ping Zhao, and Zunya Wang

Abstract

This study applies the maximum temperatures at more than 2000 Chinese stations to investigate the dominant modes of China summer heat waves (HWs). The first empirical orthogonal function (EOF) mode of the HW days reflects an increased frequency of HWs in northern China (NC), while the second and third modes represent two distinct interannual modes, with key regions over the Yangtze River valley (YRV) and southern China (SC), respectively. The NC HWs are possibly associated with the Atlantic–Eurasian teleconnection, showing zonally propagating wave trains over the North Atlantic and Eurasian continent. The YRV HWs are proposed to be linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation, which may trigger a southeastward-propagating wave train over northern Russia and East Asia that results in a high pressure anomaly over the YRV. The SC HWs are obviously dominated by the Indian Ocean and northwest Pacific warm SSTs owing to the transition from the preceding El Niño to La Niña, which excites above-normal highs over SC. The anomalously high pressures over NC, the YRV, and SC are usually accompanied by descending air motions, clear skies, decreased precipitation, and increased solar radiation, which jointly cause a drier and hotter soil condition that favors the emergence of HWs. The GFDL HiRAM experiments are able to reproduce the historical evolution of NC and SC HWs, but fail to capture the YRV HWs. The correlation coefficient between model PC1 (PC2) and observed PC1 (PC3) for the period of 1979–2008 is 0.65 (0.38), which significantly exceeds the 95% (90%) confidence level, indicating that this model has a more faithful representation for the SST-forced HWs.

Open access
Chundi Hu, Qigang Wu, Song Yang, Yonghong Yao, Duo Chan, Zhenning Li, and Kaiqiang Deng

Abstract

In this study, the authors apply a lagged maximum covariance analysis (MCA) to capture the cross-seasonal coupled patterns between the Southern Ocean sea surface temperature (SOSST) and extratropical 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere, from which Niño-3.4 signals and their linear trends are removed to a certain extent. Statistically significant results show that the dominant feature of ocean–atmosphere interaction is likely the effect of atmosphere on SOSST anomalies, with a peak occurring when the atmosphere leads the SOSST by 1 month.

However, the most eye-capturing phenomenon is that the austral autumn atmospheric signal, characterized by a negatively polarized Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), is significantly related to the gradual evolution of preceding SOSST anomalies, suggesting that the SOSST anomalies tend to exert an effect on the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation. A regression analysis based on SOSST anomaly centers confirms these features. It is also demonstrated that the gradual evolution of changes in SOSST is mainly driven by internal atmospheric variability via surface turbulent heat flux associated with cold or warm advection and that the atmospheric circulation experiences a change from a typical positive AAO to a negative phase in this process. These findings indicate that such a long lead cross-seasonal covariance could contribute to a successful prediction of AAO-related atmospheric circulation in austral autumn from the perspective of SOSST anomalies, with lead times up to 6–7 months.

Full access
Kaiqiang Deng, Cesar Azorin-Molina, Lorenzo Minola, Gangfeng Zhang, and Deliang Chen

Abstract

Near-surface (10 m) wind speed (NWS) plays a crucial role in many areas, including hydrological cycles, wind energy production, and air pollution, but what drives its multidecadal changes is still unclear. Using reanalysis datasets and model simulations from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projection (CMIP6), this study investigates recent trends in the annual mean NWS. The results show that the Northern Hemisphere (NH) terrestrial NWS experienced significant (p < 0.1) decreasing trends during 1980–2010, when the Southern Hemisphere (SH) ocean NWS was characterized by significant (p < 0.1) upward trends. However, during 2010–19, global NWS trends shifted in their sign: NWS trends over the NH land became positive, and trends over the SH tended to be negative. We propose that the strengthening of SH NWS during 1980–2010 was associated with an intensified Hadley cell over the SH, while the declining of NH land NWS could have been caused by changes in atmospheric circulation, alteration of vegetation and/or land use, and the accelerating Arctic warming. The CMIP6 model simulations further demonstrate that the greenhouse gas (GHG) warming plays an important role in triggering the NWS trends over the two hemispheres during 1980–2010 through modulating meridional atmospheric circulation. This study also points at the importance of anthropogenic GHG forcing and the natural Pacific decadal oscillation to the long-term trends and multidecadal variability in global NWS, respectively.

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Cesar Azorin-Molina, Tim R. McVicar, Jose A. Guijarro, Blair Trewin, Andrew J. Frost, Gangfeng Zhang, Lorenzo Minola, Seok-Woo Son, Kaiqiang Deng, and Deliang Chen

Abstract

Wind gusts represent one of the main natural hazards due to their increasing socioeconomic and environmental impacts on, for example, human safety, maritime–terrestrial–aviation activities, engineering and insurance applications, and energy production. However, the existing scientific studies focused on observed wind gusts are relatively few compared to those on mean wind speed. In Australia, previous studies found a slowdown of near-surface mean wind speed, termed “stilling,” but a lack of knowledge on the multidecadal variability and trends in the magnitude (wind speed maxima) and frequency (exceeding the 90th percentile) of wind gusts exists. A new homogenized daily peak wind gusts (DPWG) dataset containing 548 time series across Australia for 1941–2016 is analyzed to determine long-term trends in wind gusts. Here we show that both the magnitude and frequency of DPWG declined across much of the continent, with a distinct seasonality: negative trends in summer–spring–autumn and weak negative or nontrending (even positive) trends in winter. We demonstrate that ocean–atmosphere oscillations such as the Indian Ocean dipole and the southern annular mode partly modulate decadal-scale variations of DPWG. The long-term declining trend of DPWG is consistent with the “stilling” phenomenon, suggesting that global warming may have reduced Australian wind gusts.

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