Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 28 items for

  • Author or Editor: Kun Zhao x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Kun Liu and Zhongxiang Zhao

Abstract

The disintegration of the equatorward-propagating K1 internal tide in the South China Sea (SCS) by parametric subharmonic instability (PSI) at its critical latitude of 14.52°N is investigated numerically. The multiple-source generation and long-range propagation of K1 internal tides are successfully reproduced. Using equilibrium analysis, the internal wave field near the critical latitude is found to experience two quasi-steady states, between which the subharmonic waves develop constantly. The simulated subharmonic waves agree well with classic PSI theoretical prediction. The PSI-induced near-inertial waves are of half the K1 frequency and dominantly high modes, the vertical scales ranging from 50 to 180 m in the upper ocean. From an energy perspective, PSI mainly occurs in the critical latitudinal zone from 13° to 15°N. In this zone, the incident internal tide loses ~14% energy in the mature state of PSI. PSI triggers a mixing elevation of O(10−5–10−4) m2 s−1 in the upper ocean at the critical latitude, which is several times larger than the background value. The contribution of PSI to the internal tide energy loss and associated enhanced mixing may differ regionally and is closely dependent on the intensity and duration of background internal tide. The results elucidate the far-field dissipation mechanism by PSI in connecting interior mixing with remotely generated K1 internal tides in the Luzon Strait.

Restricted access
Xiaomin Chen, Yuqing Wang, and Kun Zhao

Abstract

The typical synoptic flow patterns and environmental factors that favor the rapid intensification (RI) of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the South China Sea (SCS) have been identified based on all TCs formed in the SCS between 1981 and 2011. The quantity RI is defined as the 24-h increase in maximum sustained surface wind speed by 15 m s−1 as in previous studies, which is close to the 95th percentile of 24-h intensity change of all SCS samples excluding those after landfall. There are 4.9% (2.3%) of tropical depressions (tropical storms) that experienced RI. No typhoons satisfied the RI threshold.

Six low-level synoptic flow patterns favoring RI have been identified based on 18 RI cases. In the monsoon season very few TCs experience RI due to large vertical wind shear (VWS). Most RI cases occurred in the postmonsoon season when the midlatitude troughs often penetrated into the SCS whereas the southwesterly monsoon flow is still strong in the southern SCS. Compared with those of non-RI cases, the mean initial conditions of RI cases include weak VWS and relatively strong forcing from midlatitude troughs. Several criteria of significant environmental factors for RI are statistically identified based on all TC samples. It is found that 16 non-RI TCs fitted in the RI flow patterns but only two of them satisfy all the criteria, suggesting that a combination of the synoptic flow pattern and the environmental factors can be used to predict RI in the SCS. In addition, two RI cases involving TC–trough interaction are analyzed.

Full access
Xingchao Chen, Fuqing Zhang, and Kun Zhao

Abstract

Convection-permitting numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model are performed to explore the influence of monsoonal onshore wind speed and moisture content on the intensity and diurnal variations of coastal rainfall over south China during the mei-yu seasons. The focus of the analyses is on a pair of 10-day WRF simulations with diurnally cyclic-in-time lateral boundary conditions averaged over the high versus low onshore wind speed days of the 2007–09 mei-yu seasons. Despite differences in the rainfall intensity, the spatial distributions and diurnal variations of rainfall in both simulations verified qualitatively well against the mean estimates derived from ground-based radar observations, averaged respectively over either the high-wind or low-wind days.

Sensitivity experiments show that the pattern of coastal rainfall spatial distribution is mostly controlled by the ambient onshore wind speed. During the high-wind days, strong coastal rainfall is concentrated along the coastline and reaches its maximum in the early morning. The coastal lifting induced by the differential surface friction and small hills is the primary cause for the strong coastal rainfall, while land breeze enhances coastal lifting and precipitation from evening to early morning. In the low-wind days, on the other hand, coastal rainfall is mainly induced by the land–sea-breeze fronts, which has apparent diurnal propagation perpendicular to the coastline. With stronger land–sea temperature contrast, the land–sea breeze is stronger during the low-wind days. Both in the high-wind and low-wind days, the coastal rainfall intensity is sensitive to the incoming moisture in the upstream oceanic airflow, especially to the moisture content in the boundary layer.

Full access
Xingchao Chen, Fuqing Zhang, and Kun Zhao

Abstract

Convection-permitting numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model are performed to examine the diurnal cycles of land and sea breeze and its related precipitation over the south China coastal region during the mei-yu season. The focus of the analyses is a 10-day simulation initialized with the average of the 0000 UTC gridded global analyses during the 2007–09 mei-yu seasons (11 May–24 June) with diurnally varying cyclic lateral boundary conditions. Despite differences in the rainfall intensity and locations, the simulation verified well against averages of 3-yr ground-based radar, surface, and CMORPH observations and successfully simulated the diurnal variation and propagation of rainfall associated with the land and sea breeze over the south China coastal region. The nocturnal offshore rainfall in this region is found to be induced by the convergence line between the prevailing low-level monsoonal wind and the land breeze. Inhomogeneity of rainfall intensity can be found along the coastline, with heavier rainfall occurring in the region with coastal orography. In the night, the mountain–plain solenoid produced by the coastal terrain can combine with the land breeze to enhance offshore convergence. In the daytime, rainfall propagates inland with the inland penetration of the sea breeze, which can be slowed by the coastal mountains. The cold pool dynamics also plays an essential role in the inland penetration of precipitation and the sea breeze. Dynamic lifting produced by the sea-breeze front is strong enough to produce precipitation, while the intensity of precipitation can be dramatically increased with the latent heating effect.

Full access
Chenli Wang, Kun Zhao, Anning Huang, Xingchao Chen, and Xiaona Rao

Abstract

The South China coast suffers frequent heavy rainfall every warm season. Based on the objective classification method of principal components analysis, the key role of the synoptic pattern in determining the heavy rainfall processes that occurred over the South China coast in the warm season during 2008–18 is examined in this study. We found that heavy rainfall occurs most frequently under three typical synoptic patterns (P1–P3 hereafter) characterized by strong low-level onshore winds. P1 and P3 feature a prevailing southwesterly monsoonal flow in the lower troposphere, with heavy rainfall frequently occurring over the inland windward region in the afternoon associated with the orographic lifting and solar heating. The onshore wind of P3 is stronger than P1 as the western Pacific subtropical high extends more westward to 122°E, which induces stronger low-level convergence along the coastline than P1 when the ageostrophic wind veers from the offshore to onshore direction in the early morning. Hence, a secondary early morning rainfall peak can be found along the coastline. P2 is characterized by a low-level vortex located over the southwest portion of south China. Heavy rainfall under P2 usually initiates over the western part of the coastal region in the morning and then propagates inland in the afternoon. Overall, the synoptic patterns strongly determine the spatial distribution and diurnal cycle of heavy rainfall over the South China coast. This heavy rainfall is closely related to the diurnally varying low-level onshore winds rather than the low-level jets, as well as the different interactions between the low-level onshore winds and the local orography, coastline, and land–sea breeze circulations under different synoptic patterns.

Restricted access
Long Wen, Kun Zhao, Guifu Zhang, Su Liu, and Gang Chen

Abstract

Instrumentation limitations on measured raindrop size distributions (DSDs) and their derived relations and physical parameters are studied through a comparison of the DSD measurements during mei-yu season in east China by four collocated instruments, that is, a two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD), a vertically pointing Micro Rain Radar (MRR), and two laser-optical OTT Particle Size Velocity (PARSIVEL) disdrometers (first generation: OTT-1; second generation: OTT-2). Among the four instruments, the 2DVD provides the most accurate DSD and drop velocity measurements, so its measured rainfall amount has the best agreement with the reference rain gauge. Other instruments tend to miss more small drops (D < 1 mm), leading to inaccurate DSDs and a lower rainfall amount. The low rainfall estimation becomes significant during heavy rainfall. The impacts of instrument limitations on the microphysical processes (e.g., evaporation and accretion rates) and convective storm morphology are evaluated. This is important especially for mei-yu precipitation, which is dominated by a high concentration of small drops. Hence, the instrument limitations need to be taken into account in both QPE and microphysics parameterization.

Full access
Mingjun Wang, Ming Xue, Kun Zhao, and Jili Dong

Abstract

A tropical cyclone (TC) circulation Tracking Radar Echo by Correlation technique (T-TREC) developed recently is applied to derive horizontal winds from single Doppler radar reflectivity Z data (combined with radial velocity V r data when available). The typically much longer maximum range of Z observations compared to V r data allows for much larger spatial coverage of the T-TREC-retrieved winds (V TREC) when a TC first enters the maximum range of a coastal radar. Retrieved using data from more than one scan volume, the T-TREC winds also contain valuable cross-beam wind information. The V TREC or V r data at 30-min intervals are assimilated into the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) model at 3-km grid spacing using an ensemble Kalman filter, over a 2-h window shortly after Typhoon Jangmi (2008) entered the V r coverage area of an operational weather radar of Taiwan. The assimilation of V TREC data produces analyses of the typhoon structure and intensity that more closely match observations than analyses produced using V r data or the reference Global Forecast System (GFS) analysis. Subsequent 28-h forecasts of intensity, track, structure, and precipitation are also improved by assimilating V TREC data. Further sensitivity experiments show that assimilation of V TREC data can build up a reasonably strong vortex in 1 h, while a longer assimilation period is required to spin up the vortex when assimilating V r. Although the difference between assimilating V TREC and V r is smaller when the assimilation window is longer, the improvement from assimilating V TREC is still evident. Assimilating Z data in addition to V r or V TREC results in little further improvement.

Full access
Zhiyong Meng, Fuqing Zhang, Paul Markowski, Duochang Wu, and Kun Zhao

Abstract

Through convection-permitting simulations, this study examines a large bowing structure within a squall line that occurred during the rainy season in South China. The bowing structure is closely associated with a local enhancement of (and balance between) the cold pool and the line-normal environmental low-level vertical shear. Rear inflow plays an essential role in the formation and evolution of this large bowing structure. It is found that the low-level rear inflow is largely a natural consequence of the baroclinically generated horizontal vorticity near the surface, while the midtropospheric rear inflow is forced by several pairs of bookend vortices. Vorticity budget and vortex-line analyses show that the bookend vortices form mainly through the tilting of horizontal vorticity. Consolidation of these pairs of bookend vortices forms a broad zone of contiguous rear inflow. The environmental flow and horizontal pressure gradient force associated with the midlevel pressure deficit induced by the rearward-tilting buoyant updrafts, on the other hand, are not primarily responsible for the formation of the rear inflow.

Full access
Xiaomin Chen, Yuqing Wang, Kun Zhao, and Dan Wu

Abstract

Typhoon Vicente (2012) underwent an extreme rapid intensification (RI) over the northern South China Sea just before its landfall in south China. The extreme RI, the sudden track deflection, and the inner- and outer-core structures of Vicente were reasonably reproduced in an Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) Model simulation. The evolutions of the axisymmetric inner-core radar reflectivity and the primary circulation of the simulated Vicente before its landfall were verified against the Doppler radar observations.

Two intensification stages were identified: 1) the asymmetric intensification stage (i.e., RI onset), represented by a relatively slow intensification rate accompanied by a distinct eyewall contraction; and 2) the axisymmetric RI stage with very slow eyewall contraction. Results from a storm-scale tangential wind tendency budget indicated that the primary spinup mechanism during the first stage was the radial eddy momentum transport, which was beneficial to accelerate primary circulation inside the radius of maximum wind (RMW) and thus conducive to eyewall contraction. In contrast, the principal spinup mechanism during the second stage was mainly ascribed to the forced secondary circulation in response to diabatic heating in the eyewall and boundary layer friction, which efficiently transported the absolute angular momentum radially inward and vertically upward to increase the primary circulation in the eyewall region throughout the troposphere. Further analysis revealed that the interaction between the monsoon circulation and storm-scale vorticity anomalies played an important role in erecting the tilted vortex and spinning up the midtropospheric TC circulation during the first stage.

Full access
Hao Huang, Kun Zhao, Haonan Chen, Dongming Hu, Peiling Fu, Qing Lin, and Zhengwei Yang

Abstract

The attenuation-based rainfall estimator is less sensitive to the variability of raindrop size distributions (DSDs) than conventional radar rainfall estimators. For the attenuation-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE), the key is to accurately estimate the horizontal specific attenuation A H, which requires a good estimate of the ray-averaged ratio between A H and specific differential phase K DP, also known as the coefficient α. In this study, a variational approach is proposed to optimize the coefficient α for better estimates of A H and rainfall. The performance of the variational approach is illustrated using observations from an S-band operational weather radar with rigorous quality control in south China, by comparing against the α optimization approach using a slope of differential reflectivity Z DR dependence on horizontal reflectivity factor Z H. Similar to the Z DR-slope approach, the variational approach can obtain the optimized α consistent with the DSD properties of precipitation on a sweep-to-sweep basis. The attenuation-based hourly rainfall estimates using the sweep-averaged α values from these two approaches show comparable accuracy when verified against the gauge measurements. One advantage of the variational approach is its feasibility to optimize α for each radar ray, which mitigates the impact of the azimuthal DSD variabilities on rainfall estimation. It is found that, based on the optimized α for radar rays, the hourly rainfall amounts derived from the variational approach are consistent with gauge measurements, showing lower bias (1.0%), higher correlation coefficient (0.92), and lower root-mean-square error (2.35 mm) than the results based on the sweep-averaged α.

Free access