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Li Li and Yaocun Zhang

Abstract

Observational analysis indicates that the East Asian jet stream consists of two separate branches: the East Asian subtropical jet (EASJ) and the East Asian polar front jet (EAPJ). The impacts of different intensity configurations of the EASJ and EAPJ on precipitation during the mei-yu season are investigated using the NCEP–NCAR Reanalysis Project (NNRP) dataset and daily gauge observations in East China. The intensity and location of precipitation are associated with different configurations of the EASJ and EAPJ. Precipitation intensity increases with intensification of the EASJ and EAPJ. The rainband is located to the north of the mei-yu region when the EASJ intensifies and the EAPJ weakens. Further analyses indicate that the intensity changes of the EASJ and EAPJ are linked to the cold and warm airmass activities. For cases with strong EASJ and EAPJ, both the warm-moist and cold air masses are active. When the warm-moist and cold air masses meet near 30°N, abundant precipitation occurs in the Yangtze-Huai River basin (YHRB). For cases with weak EASJ and EAPJ, both the cold and warm-moist air masses are inactive, and no significant precipitation occurs in the YHRB. For cases with strong EASJ and weak EAPJ, the warm-moist air mass moves northward while the cold air mass is weak. Precipitation concentrates to the north of YHRB. For cases with weak EASJ and strong EAPJ, cold air extends farther south while the warm-moist air mass is inactive. Precipitation occurs to the south of YHRB.

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Li Deng and Tim Li

Abstract

The interannual variability of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) is investigated using observed outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and ERA-Interim data for the period of 1980–2012. It is found that the interannual variability of BSISO intensity is much stronger in the tropical western Pacific (TWP) than the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO). A BSISO intensity index is defined based on a multivariate EOF analysis in TWP. It is found that strong BSISO years are associated with El Niño–like sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific, anomalous easterly shear, and enhanced background moisture condition in the region. Using a 2.5-layer atmospheric model with a specified idealized background mean state, the authors further examine the relative roles of background moisture and vertical shear fields in modulating the BSISO intensity. Sensitivity numerical experiments indicate that the background moisture change is most important in regulating the BSISO intensity, whereas the background vertical shear change also plays a role.

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Jiangnan Li and Tim Li

Abstract

The structure and evolution characteristics of atmospheric entropy production associated with the climatologic monsoon onset and evolution were investigated using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data. The entropy balance equation contains two parts. The first part is internal entropy production that corresponds to natural dissipation. The second part is external entropy production that is associated with lower-boundary entropy supply. It is shown that the dissipation process represented by internal entropy production can be used to describe the thermal and dynamical structures of the monsoon. The thermal dissipation due to turbulent vertical diffusion and convection is highly correlated to precipitation. The dynamic dissipation due to wind stress becomes very strong over the Arabian Sea and southwestern part of India in boreal summer, and dynamic dissipation can describe the monsoon structure more clearly than variables such as wind shear. The correlation between surface entropy supply and internal entropy production is so large that the surface entropy supply can also be used to evaluate the monsoon. Over the desert region of Rajasthan, the dissipation is relatively weaker than its surroundings owing to descending large-scale eddy flow and a weak convective flux. The analysis of atmospheric entropy provides a new way to describe the monsoon development characteristics, which differs from those derived from a traditional analysis method.

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Chen Li and Shuanglin Li

Abstract

The correlations among the summer, low-level, cross-equatorial flows (CEFs) over the Indian–west Pacific Ocean region on the interannual time scale are investigated by using both the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis and 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) datasets. A significant negative correlation (seesaw) has been illustrated between the Somali CEF and the three CEFs north of Australia (the South China Sea, Celebes Sea, and New Guinea; they are referred to in combination as the Australian CEF). A seesaw index is thus defined with a higher (lower) value representing an intensified (weakened) Somali CEF but a weakened (intensified) Australian CEF. The connection of the seesaw with the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) is then investigated. The results suggest that an enhanced seesaw corresponds to an intensified EASM with more rainfall in north China, the Yellow River valley, and the upper reach of the Yangtze River. The seesaw reflects the opposite covariability between the two atmospheric action centers in the Southern Hemisphere, Mascarene subtropical high, and Australian subtropical high. Whether the seesaw–EASM connection is influenced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the Indian Ocean SST dipole mode (IOD) is analyzed. The results remain unchanged when the ENSO- or IOD-related signals are excluded, although ENSO exerts a significant influence. This implies an additional predictability for the EASM from the CEF seesaw.

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Li Yan and Gen Li

Abstract

The southern subtropical dipole modes (SSDMs) and southern annular mode (SAM) are important climate modes, which are dominant in the southern middle and high latitudes, respectively, with considerable regional climatic impacts. However, the relationship between the two modes remains unclear. A close inspection reveals that the SAM was significantly correlated with the SSDMs during the austral summer before the mid-1980s. However, the correlations have degraded since then. This decadal shift in the relationship between these two southern dominant modes is due to a weakened connection between the SAM and the subtropical highs that control the SSDMs. This decadal change could be traced back to a poleward shift in the southern westerly belt. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) typically plays a moderate role in influencing the precipitation in Australia and a minor role in influencing the precipitation in Africa and South America. Nevertheless, the two southern modes could still affect the austral summer rainfall in the midlatitudes, even though the ENSO signal is absent. All these links between the two southern modes and southern land precipitation may be attributable to the associated transport of moisture in the lower-level circulation.

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Li Li and Mark Wimbush

Abstract

Bottom temperature time series recorded beneath the Gulf Stream at 265 and 589 m depth off the Georgia coast are compared with simultaneous time series of main thermocline depth determined from inverted echo sounder and bottom pressure gauge records at the same sites. Bottom temperature is found to be coherent with vertical displacement of the thermocline, suggesting that bottom temperature under the Gulf Stream front is a potentially useful indicator of Gulf Stream displacement. Additional evidence is provided by the similarity of bottom temperature and thermocline depth coherences with longshore current at the shelf break. Bottom temperature at the deeper station appears to be the better indicator of Gulf Stream meandering for periods longer than five days.

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Xiao-Feng Li, Jianping Li, and Yun Li

Abstract

The middle–lower valley of the Yangtze River (MLY), located in the middle of eastern China, has been one of the largest economic centers of China since ancient times. Winter precipitation variability over the MLY is important for China because of its significant influence on the local economy. However, few studies have focused on the long-term variability of winter precipitation over the MLY. This study reports a significant wetting trend over the MLY in winter during the three decades since the late 1970s, forming a “mid-east-China winter wetting” pattern, which has become an important feature of precipitation change under the weakening East Asian winter monsoon. This wetting trend in the MLY also implies the poleward extension of the precipitation belts of southern China.

Further investigation reveals that the increasing sea surface temperature (SST) in the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) is the dominant factor responsible for recent increases in precipitation over the MLY. The thermal forcing driven by warming of the TIO SST gives rise to an anomalous cyclonic circulation along the coast of eastern China. This transports more water vapor onto the Chinese mainland, shifts and causes anomalous convergence over the MLY, and generates the increase in precipitation there. As such, the increasing SST in the TIO induces over 80% of the observed wetting trend over the MLY. This mechanism was verified by results obtained from two sets of sensitivity experiments using a numerical spectral atmospheric general circulation model. Thus, increasing SST in the TIO has made a dominant contribution to the recent winter precipitation increase over the MLY.

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Tim Li

Abstract

The origin of the summertime synoptic wave train in the western North Pacific is investigated with a multilevel, nonlinear baroclinic model. A realistic three-dimensional summer mean state is specified and eigenvectors are calculated by introducing small perturbation initially to the model. Numerical experiments indicate that the origin of the synoptic wave train may arise from instability of the summer mean flow in the presence of a convection–frictional convergence (CFC) feedback. In the lack of the CFC feedback, the summer mean flow supports only a least damped mode, characterized by a northwest–southeast-oriented wave train pattern with a zonal wavelength of 2500 km. In the presence of both the realistic summer mean flow and the CFC feedback, the model reproduces a fast growing mode, whose structure and propagation characters are similar to the observed.

Sensitivity experiments with different initial perturbation patterns indicate that the model solution is not sensitive to initial conditions. Further sensitivity experiments reveal that the basic-state vertical shear may affect the growth rate and propagation character of the wave train. An easterly shear may lead to a faster growth and northwestward phase propagation, whereas a westerly shear may favor a slower growth and southeastward phase propagation.

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J. Li

Abstract

The Gaussian integration of moments is systematically discussed. It is shown that the well-known diffusivity-factor approximation is equivalent to a one-node Gaussian quadrature. The limit as the moment power approaches infinity in a one-node Gaussian quadrature produces a diffusivity factor of e 1/2 = 1.648 721 3, which is very close to the value of 1.66 suggested by Elsasser.

The errors due to the diffusivity-factor approximation are analyzed in a one-dimensional radiative transfer model. Generally, the results cannot be improved by using other one-node Gaussian quadrature schemes with different moments. More accurate results can be obtained by using higher-node Gaussian quadratures. It is found that the limit as the moment power approaches infinity always produces the best results. The computational advantage of the diffusivity-factor approximation is kept in the higher-node Gaussian quadratures. It is, therefore, feasible to implement the higher-node Gaussian quadratures in climate models.

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J. Li

Abstract

Various aspects of infrared radiative transfer through clouds are investigated. First, three solutions to the IR radiative transfer equation are presented and assessed, each corresponding to a different approximation for the Planck function. It is shown that the differences in results between solutions with linear and exponential dependence of the Planck source function are small for typical vertical resolutions in climate models. Second, a new perturbation-based approach to solving the IR radiative transfer equation with the inclusion of cloud scattering is presented. This scheme follows the standard perturbation method, and allows one to identify the zeroth-order equation with the absorption approximation and the first-order equation as including IR scattering effects. This enables one solution to accurately treat cloudy layers in which cloud scattering is included, and allows for an improved and consistent treatment of absorbing aerosol layers in the absence of cloud by using the zeroth-order equation. This new scheme is more simple and efficient compared to previous perturbation method work for treating infrared absorption and scattering. Last, a general method is devised for calculating the random, maximum, and slantwise overlap of cloud layers, which conveniently integrates into the two-stream radiative transfer solution in this work. For several random and maximum (or slantwise) overlap cloud cases with a wide variation of cloud fractions, the error in the cooling rate is generally less than 1 K day−1 and the error in the radiative flux is generally less than 3 W m−2.

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