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Po-Hsiung Lin and Cheng-Shang Lee

Abstract

In this paper, a successful eye-penetration reconnaissance flight by an unmanned aerial vehicle, Aerosonde, into Typhoon Longwang (2005) and the preliminary analyses of the collected data are presented. The 10-h flight is diagnosed through four flight legs. The wind field measured along flight leg 1 provides the tangential and radial wind profiles from the outer perimeter into the eye of the typhoon at the 700-hPa layer. A vertical sounding was taken in the eye along flight leg 2 and the derived surface pressure in the eyewall is close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. Along flight leg 3, the strongest winds during the whole flight mission were measured. These in situ wind measurements by Aerosonde are consistent with the winds observed by the Hua-lien Doppler weather radar. The maximum 10-min (1 min) wind along flight leg 3 when Aerosonde was flying around the eyewall region is 58.6 m s−1 (62 m s−1). The maximum sustained surface wind derived from this maximum wind speed is also close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. In conclusion, this successful mission demonstrates that the Aerosonde with a trained crew can play a role in severe weather monitoring and the Aerosonde’s measurement can serve as an independent check for Doppler radar wind retrieval.

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Chuan-Chi Tu, Yi-Leng Chen, Ching-Sen Chen, Pay-Liam Lin, and Po-Hsiung Lin

Abstract

Two contrasting localized heavy rainfall events during Taiwan’s early summer rainy season with the daily rainfall maximum along the windward mountain range and coast were studied and compared using a combination of observations and numerical simulations. Both events occurred under favorable large-scale settings including the existence of a moisture tongue from the tropics. For the 31 May case, heavy rainfall occurred in the afternoon hours over the southwestern windward slopes after a shallow surface front passed central Taiwan. The orographic lifting of the prevailing warm, moist, west-southwesterly flow aloft, combined with a sea breeze–upslope flow at the surface provided the localized lifting needed for the development of heavy precipitation. On 16 June before sunrise, pronounced orographic blocking of the warm, moist, south-southwesterly flow occurred because of the presence of relatively cold air at low levels as a result of nocturnal and rain evaporative cooling. As a result, convective systems intensified as they moved toward the southwestern coast. During the daytime, the cold pool remained over southwestern Taiwan without the development of onshore/upslope flow. Furthermore, with a south-southwesterly flow aloft parallel to terrain contours, orographic lifting aloft was absent and preexisting rain cells offshore diminished after they moved inland. Over northern Taiwan on the lee side, a sea breeze/onshore flow developed in the afternoon hours, resulting in heavy thundershowers. These results demonstrate the importance of diurnal and local effects on determining the location and timing of the occurrences of localized heavy precipitation during the early summer rainy season over Taiwan.

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Chun-Chieh Wu, Jan-Huey Chen, Po-Hsiung Lin, and Kun-Hsuan Chou

Abstract

Since 2003, a field program has been conducted under the name of Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR). As the name DOTSTAR suggests, targeted observation is one of its key objectives. The prerequisite for designing the observing strategy is to identify the sensitive areas, which would exert great influence on the results of numerical forecast or the extent of the forecast error.

In addition to various sensitivity products already adopted in DOTSTAR, a new way to identify the sensitive area for the targeted observation of tropical cyclones based on the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) is proposed in this paper. By appropriately defining the response functions to represent the steering flow at the verifying time, a simple vector, adjoint-derived sensitivity steering vector (ADSSV), has been designed to demonstrate the sensitivity locations and the critical direction of typhoon steering flow at the observing time. Typhoons Meari and Mindulle of 2004 have been selected to show the use of ADSSV. In general, unique sensitive areas 36 h after the observing time are obtained.

The proposed ADSSV method is also used to demonstrate the signal of the binary interaction between Typhoons Fungwong and Fengshen (2002). The ADSSV is implemented and examined in the field project, DOTSTAR, in 2005 as well as in the surveillance mission for Atlantic hurricanes conducted by the Hurricane Research Division. Further analysis of the results will be vital to validate the use of ADSSV.

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Chun-Chieh Wu, Shin-Gan Chen, Jan-Huey Chen, Kun-Hsuan Chou, and Po-Hsiung Lin
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Chun-Chieh Wu, Shin-Gan Chen, Jan-Huey Chen, Kun-Hsuan Chou, and Po-Hsiung Lin

Abstract

Targeted observation is one of the most important research and forecasting issues for improving tropical cyclone predictability. A new parameter [i.e., the adjoint-derived sensitivity steering vector (ADSSV)] has been proposed and adopted as one of the targeted observing strategies in the Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR). The ADSSV identifies the sensitive areas at the observing time to the steering flow at the verifying time through the adjoint calculation. In this study, the ADSSV is calculated from the nonlinear forecast model of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) and its adjoint to interpret the dynamical processes in the interaction between Typhoon Shanshan (2006) and the midlatitude trough. The ADSSV results imply that high-sensitivity regions affecting the motion of Typhoon Shanshan are located at the edge of the subtropical high and the 500-hPa midlatitude trough over northern central China. These ADSSV signals are in very good agreement with the quantitative evaluation based on the potential vorticity (PV) diagnosis. The vertical structure of the ADSSV is also shown for more physical insights into the typhoon–trough interaction. The maximum ADSSV occurs at 800–500 hPa to the southeast of Shanshan (associated with the subtropical high), while distinct ADSSV signals are located upstream of the storm center at about 500–300 hPa (associated with the mid- to upper-tropospheric midlatitude trough). Overall, it is demonstrated that the ADSSV features can well capture the signal of the large-scale trough feature affecting the motion of Shanshan, which can also be well validated from the PV analysis.

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Shu-Hsien Chou, Ming-Dah Chou, Pui-King Chan, Po-Hsiung Lin, and Kung-Hwa Wang

Abstract

Seasonal to interannual variations of the net surface heating (F NET) and its relationship to sea surface temperature tendency (dT s/dt) in the tropical eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans are studied for the period October 1997–September 2000. The surface heat fluxes are derived from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Japanese Geostationary Meteorological Satellite radiance measurements. It is found that the magnitude of solar heating is larger than that of evaporative cooling, but the spatial variation of the latter is significantly larger than the former. As a result, the spatial patterns of the seasonal and interannual variability of F NET are dominated by the variability of evaporative cooling. Seasonal variations of F NET and dT s/dt are significantly correlated, except for the equatorial western Pacific. The high correlation is augmented by the high negative correlation between solar heating and evaporative cooling.

The change of F NET between the 1997/98 El Niño and 1998/99 La Niña is significantly larger in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean than that in the tropical western Pacific. For the former region, reduced evaporative cooling arising from weakened winds during El Niño is generally associated with enhanced solar heating due to reduced cloudiness, leading to enhanced interannual variability of F NET. For the latter region, reduced evaporative cooling due to weakened winds is generally associated with reduced solar heating arising from increased cloudiness, and vice versa. Consequently, the interannual variability of F NET is reduced. The correlation between interannual variations of F NET and dT s/dt is weak in the tropical western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, indicating the importance of ocean dynamics in affecting the interannual SST variation.

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Chun-Chieh Wu, Shin-Gan Chen, Chung-Chuan Yang, Po-Hsiung Lin, and Sim D. Aberson

Abstract

In 2008, abundant dropwindsonde data were collected during both reconnaissance and surveillance flights in and around tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific basin under the framework of The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX)–Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC). The National Centers for Environmental Prediction Global Forecast System (GFS) showed significant track improvements for Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) after the assimilation of dropwindsonde data. For this particular typhoon, the potential vorticity (PV) diagnosis is adopted to understand the key factors affecting the track. A data denial run initialized at 0000 UTC 10 September is examined to evaluate how the extra data collected during T-PARC improve GFS track forecasts.

A quantitative analysis of the steering flow based on the PV diagnosis indicates that the Pacific subtropical high to the east of Sinlaku is a primary factor that advects Sinlaku northwestward, while the monsoon trough plays a secondary role. The assimilation of dropwindsonde data improves the structure and intensity of the initial vortex and maintains the forecast vortex structure in the vertical. The difference in the vertical extent of the vortices could be regarded as a cause for the discrepancy in steering flow between runs with and without the dropwindsonde data. This paper highlights the importance of improved analyses of the vertical TC structure, and thus of a representative steering flow in the deep troposphere during the forecasts.

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Chun-Chieh Wu, Kun-Hsuan Chou, Po-Hsiung Lin, Sim D. Aberson, Melinda S. Peng, and Tetsuo Nakazawa

Abstract

Starting from 2003, a new typhoon surveillance program, Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR), was launched. During 2004, 10 missions for eight typhoons were conducted successfully with 155 dropwindsondes deployed. In this study, the impact of these dropwindsonde data on tropical cyclone track forecasts has been evaluated with five models (four operational and one research models). All models, except the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) hurricane model, show the positive impact that the dropwindsonde data have on tropical cyclone track forecasts. During the first 72 h, the mean track error reductions in the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS), the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) Global Spectral Model (GSM) are 14%, 14%, and 19%, respectively. The track error reduction in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, in which the initial conditions are directly interpolated from the operational GFS forecast, is 16%. However, the mean track improvement in the GFDL model is a statistically insignificant 3%. The 72-h-average track error reduction from the ensemble mean of the above three global models is 22%, which is consistent with the track forecast improvement in Atlantic tropical cyclones from surveillance missions. In all, despite the fact that the impact of the dropwindsonde data is not statistically significant due to the limited number of DOTSTAR cases in 2004, the overall added value of the dropwindsonde data in improving typhoon track forecasts over the western North Pacific is encouraging. Further progress in the targeted observations of the dropwindsonde surveillances and satellite data, and in the modeling and data assimilation system, is expected to lead to even greater improvement in tropical cyclone track forecasts.

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Kun-Hsuan Chou, Chun-Chieh Wu, Po-Hsiung Lin, Sim D. Aberson, Martin Weissmann, Florian Harnisch, and Tetsuo Nakazawa

Abstract

The typhoon surveillance program Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR) has been conducted since 2003 to obtain dropwindsonde observations around tropical cyclones near Taiwan. In addition, an international field project The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) in which dropwindsonde observations were obtained by both surveillance and reconnaissance flights was conducted in summer 2008 in the same region. In this study, the impact of the dropwindsonde data on track forecasts is investigated for DOTSTAR (2003–09) and T-PARC (2008) experiments. Two operational global models from NCEP and ECMWF are used to evaluate the impact of dropwindsonde data. In addition, the impact on the two-model mean is assessed.

The impact of dropwindsonde data on track forecasts is different in the NCEP and ECMWF model systems. Using the NCEP system, the assimilation of dropwindsonde data leads to improvements in 1- to 5-day track forecasts in about 60% of the cases. The differences between track forecasts with and without the dropwindsonde data are generally larger for cases in which the data improved the forecasts than in cases in which the forecasts were degraded. Overall, the mean 1- to 5-day track forecast error is reduced by about 10%–20% for both DOTSTAR and T-PARC cases in the NCEP system. In the ECMWF system, the impact is not as beneficial as in the NCEP system, likely because of more extensive use of satellite data and more complex data assimilation used in the former, leading to better performance even without dropwindsonde data. The stronger impacts of the dropwindsonde data are revealed for the 3- to 5-day forecast in the two-model mean of the NCEP and ECMWF systems than for each individual model.

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K. M. Lau, Yihui Ding, Jough-Tai Wang, Richard Johnson, Tom Keenan, Robert Cifelli, John Gerlach, Otto Thieleandamp, Tom Rickenbach, Si-Chee Tsay, and Po-Hsiung Lin

The South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX) is an international field experiment with the objective to better understand the key physical processes for the onset and evolution of the summer monsoon over Southeast Asia and southern China aiming at improving monsoon predictions. In this article, a description of the major meteorological observation platforms during the intensive observing periods of SCSMEX is presented. In addition, highlights of early results and discussions of the role of SCSMEX in providing valuable in situ data for calibration of satellite rainfall estimates from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission are provided. Preliminary results indicate that there are distinctive stages in the onset of the South China Sea monsoon including possibly strong influences from extratropical systems as well as from convection over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. There is some tantalizing evidence of complex interactions between the supercloud cluster development over the Indian Ocean, advancing southwest monsoon flow over the South China Sea, midlatitude disturbances, and the western Pacific subtropical high, possibly contributing to the disastrous flood of the Yangtze River Basin in China during June 1998.

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