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Xin Zhang

Abstract

A multitaper 2D spectral estimation method is developed for increasing the degree of freedom of the estimation. The core of this method is 2D Slepian eigen windows that are optimum in the sense of minimizing the spectral leakage. Wavenumber spectra of very short wind wave slopes are calculated by this method. The advantages of the multitaper technique are shown by obtaining smooth wavenumber spectra from a limited amount of image data. The data used for the spectral estimation were measured in the laboratory with a water surface gradient detector developed by the authors. Important features of the spatial distribution of short-wave energy are newly revealed. The widening of angular spreading of energy density spectra is not monotonic with increasing wave-number. There is a local plat region of minimum angular spreading in the spectral band of parasitic capillary waves that suggests that there is another upstream of energy cascade in spite of the energetic gravity-wave spectral peak. The input energy of parasitic waves from energetic long gravity waves with a narrow angular distribution is dominant over energy cascade down from spectrally close short waves with a broad angular distribution. The omnidirectional energy spectra also show features related to the change of energy spreading. There is a local wave energy maximum of parasitic waves and a local wave energy minimum of gravity–capillary waves.

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Rongwang Zhang
,
Xin Wang
, and
Chunzai Wang

Abstract

Simulations of the global oceanic latent heat flux (LHF) in the CMIP5 multimodel ensemble (MME) were evaluated in comparison with 11 LHF products. The results show that the mean state of LHF in the MME coincides well with that in the observations, except for a slight overestimation in the tropical regions. The reproduction of the seasonal cycle of LHF in the MME is in good agreement with that in the observations. However, biases are relatively obvious in the coastal regions. A prominent upward trend in global-mean LHF is confirmed with all of the LHF products during the period of 1979–2005. Despite the consistent increase of LHF in CMIP5 models, the rates of increase are much weaker than those in the observations, with an average of approximately one-ninth that in the observations. The findings show that the rate of increase of near-surface specific humidity q a in MME is nearly 6 times that in the observations, while the rate of increase of the near-surface wind speed U is less than one-half that in the observations. The faster increase of q a and the slower increase of U could both suppress evaporation, and thus latent heat released by the ocean, which may be one of the reasons that the upward trend of LHF in the MME is nearly one order of magnitude lower than that in the observations.

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Meng Zhang
,
Fuqing Zhang
,
Xiang-Yu Huang
, and
Xin Zhang

Abstract

This study compares the performance of an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) with both the three-dimensional and four-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVar and 4DVar) methods of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over the contiguous United States in a warm-season month (June) of 2003. The data assimilated every 6 h include conventional sounding and surface observations as well as data from wind profilers, ships and aircraft, and the cloud-tracked winds from satellites. The performances of these methods are evaluated through verifying the 12- to 72-h forecasts initialized twice daily from the analysis of each method against the standard sounding observations. It is found that 4DVar has consistently smaller error than that of 3DVar for winds and temperature at all forecast lead times except at 60 and 72 h when their forecast errors become comparable in amplitude, while the two schemes have similar performance in moisture at all lead times. The forecast error of the EnKF is comparable to that of the 4DVar at 12–36-h lead times, both of which are substantially smaller than that of the 3DVar, despite the fact that 3DVar fits the sounding observations much more closely at the analysis time. The advantage of the EnKF becomes even more evident at 48–72-h lead times; the 72-h forecast error of the EnKF is comparable in magnitude to the 48-h error of 3DVar/4DVar.

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Xin Zhang
,
Xiang-Yu Huang
, and
Ning Pan

Abstract

The authors propose a new technique for parallelizations of tangent linear and adjoint codes, which were applied in the redevelopment for the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with its Advanced Research WRF dynamic core using the automatic differentiation engine. The tangent linear and adjoint codes of the WRF model (WRFPLUS) now have the following improvements: A complete check interface ensures that developers write accurate tangent linear and adjoint codes with ease and efficiency. A new technique based on the nature of duality that existed among message passing interface communication routines was adopted to parallelize the WRFPLUS model. The registry in the WRF model was extended to automatically generate the tangent linear and adjoint codes of the required communication operations. This approach dramatically speeds up the software development cycle of the parallel tangent linear and adjoint codes and leads to improved parallel efficiency. Module interfaces were constructed for coupling tangent linear and adjoint codes of the WRF model with applications such as four-dimensional variational data assimilation, forecast sensitivity to observation, and others.

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Chiyu Zhao
,
Xin Geng
,
Wenjun Zhang
, and
Li Qi

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) could affect El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) through thermocline adjustment, with a stronger ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) amplitude during a negative AMO phase than during a positive phase. In this study, we find that the ENSO atmospheric anomaly amplitudes in the tropical Pacific during different AMO phases are not necessarily consistent with these ENSO SST changes. For El Niño episodes, the low-level wind and precipitation anomalies over the tropical Pacific in the boreal winter are more pronounced during the negative AMO phase than during the positive phase, corresponding well to the stronger SST anomalies. However, La Niña events during the negative AMO phase are accompanied by weaker atmospheric anomalies in the tropical Pacific, although their SST anomalies are stronger than those during the positive phase. We suggest that this mismatch between La Niña SST and atmospheric anomalies can be largely attributed to AMO decadal modulation. A positive AMO favors intensified trade winds and weakened precipitation in the central tropical Pacific by modifying Walker circulation. Therefore, when La Niña coincides with a positive AMO, the low-level easterly and negative precipitation anomalies are superimposed, which gives rise to stronger atmospheric perturbations. In contrast, under a negative AMO background, the atmospheric anomalies induced by La Niña anomalous SST are partly counteracted by the AMO remote decadal modulation, thereby resulting in weaker anomaly amplitudes. Here, we highlight that AMO decadal forcing needs to be considered when investigating ENSO atmospheric variabilities and related regional climate impacts.

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Rongwang Zhang
,
Weihao Guo
,
Xin Wang
, and
Chunzai Wang

Abstract

The tropical latent heat flux (LHF) has experienced a significant increase under the background of global warming in the past four decades. However, since the years around 1998, the long-term LHF variations in the tropics have been found to be quite different in various flux products. Three different trends in the LHF, climbing, near zero, and declining, are suggested by five widely used flux products, which hinders our knowledge of the actual LHF variations. Although there are buoy observations in the tropics, these observations are hard to use to evaluate flux products as they have been assimilated and/or used as benchmarks in the flux data production. This study aims to identify credible long-term LHF variations since 1998. A linear model decomposing the LHF variations into contributions from sea surface wind U and air–sea humidity differences is first applied. The linear model results show that the LHF variations have been more positively connected to U variations since 1998. Evidence from in situ and remote sensing observations is subsequently employed to identify how U has varied recently. Both Global Tropical Moored Buoy Array (GTMBA) buoy observations (from 82 buoys) and a multisensor merged satellite product support a slightly downward trend in U in the last two decades. Such a weakening of U is not conducive to oceanic evaporation and leads to a reduced LHF. Consequently, a declining LHF under a weakening U since the emergence of the global warming “hiatus” in approximately 1998 might be more convincing in the sense of data accuracy and physical consistency.

Significance Statement

The latent heat flux acts as the language of air–sea interactions. This study aims to examine how the tropical latent heat flux has changed since the emergence of the global warming slowdown in approximately 1998. The most striking finding is that the long-term variations in the tropical latent heat flux are fairly inconsistent in several widely used flux products in the last two decades. The sea surface wind variation is found to be the primary contributor to the latent heat flux variation after 1998. Observational evidence from buoy and remote sensing data is hence employed to clarify the actual sea surface wind and the latent heat flux variations.

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Xidong Wang
,
Chunzai Wang
,
Liping Zhang
, and
Xin Wang

Abstract

This study investigates the variation of tropical cyclone (TC) rapid intensification (RI) in the western North Pacific (WNP) and its relationship with large-scale climate variability. RI events have exhibited strikingly multidecadal variability. During the warm (cold) phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), the annual RI number is generally lower (higher) and the average location of RI occurrence tends to shift southeastward (northwestward). The multidecadal variations of RI are associated with the variations of large-scale ocean and atmosphere variables such as sea surface temperature (SST), tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP), relative humidity (RHUM), and vertical wind shear (VWS). It is shown that their variations on multidecadal time scales depend on the evolution of the PDO phase. The easterly trade wind is strengthened during the cold PDO phase at low levels, which tends to make equatorial warm water spread northward into the main RI region rsulting from meridional ocean advection associated with Ekman transport. Simultaneously, an anticyclonic wind anomaly is formed in the subtropical gyre of the WNP. This therefore may deepen the depth of the 26°C isotherm and directly increase TCHP over the main RI region. These thermodynamic effects associated with the cold PDO phase greatly support RI occurrence. The reverse is true during the warm PDO phase. The results also indicate that the VWS variability in the low wind shear zone along the monsoon trough may not be critical for the multidecadal modulation of RI events.

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Huijing Zhang
,
Wenjun Zhang
,
Xin Geng
,
Feng Jiang
, and
Malte F. Stuecker

Abstract

Many previous studies have shown that El Niño exhibits a strong seasonality in its teleconnections and regional climate impacts. Aside from the seasonal synchronization of El Niño anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) itself, seasonal differences in its associated climate impacts could also stem from the local background seasonal cycle. During the El Niño developing boreal autumn (August–October) and decaying boreal spring (February–April), the El Niño–associated precipitation anomalies display remarkably different patterns over the eastern tropical Pacific despite similar SST anomaly amplitudes. This strong seasonality can be largely attributed to the seasonal cycle of the eastern tropical Pacific SST background state with the cold tongue being strongest in autumn and weakest in spring. Therefore, the El Niño–associated SST in spring is likely to exceed the convection threshold on both sides of the equator, leading to an approximately symmetric precipitation response about the equator. In contrast, this symmetric precipitation response is absent in autumn since the SST near and south of the equator remains below the threshold and pronounced eastern tropical precipitation anomalies can only be observed in the warm Northern Hemisphere. This seasonality is mainly embodied in eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño events rather than central Pacific (CP) El Niño events since the westward-shifted warm SST anomalies for the latter cannot establish an effective cooperation with the cold tongue SST annual cycle. This study has important implications for regional climate prediction by involving the different local precipitation responses over the tropical eastern Pacific.

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Xi Liu
,
Yu Zheng
,
Xiaoran Zhuang
,
Yaqiang Wang
,
Xin Li
,
Zhang Bei
, and
Wenhua Zhang

Abstract

The accurate prediction of short-term rainfall, and in particular the forecast of hourly heavy rainfall (HHR) probability, remains challenging for numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. Here, we introduce a deep learning (DL) model, PredRNNv2-AWS, a convolutional recurrent neural network designed for deterministic short-term rainfall forecasting. This model integrates surface rainfall observations and atmospheric variables simulated by the Precision Weather Analysis and Forecasting System (PWAFS). Our DL model produces realistic hourly rainfall forecasts for the next 13 h. Quantitative evaluations show that the use of surface rainfall observations as one of the predictors achieves higher performance (threat score) with 263% and 186% relative improvements over NWP simulations for the first 3 h and the entire forecast hours, respectively, at a threshold of 5 mm h−1. Noting that the optical-flow method also performs well in the initial hours, its predictions quickly worsen in the final hours compared to other experiments. The machine learning model, LightGBM, is then integrated to classify HHR from the predicted hourly rainfall of PredRNNv2-AWS. The results show that PredRNNv2-AWS can better reflect actual HHR conditions compared with PredRNNv2 and PWAFS. A representative case demonstrates the superiority of PredRNNv2-AWS in predicting the evolution of the rainy system, which substantially improves the accuracy of the HHR prediction. A test case involving the extreme flood event in Zhengzhou exemplifies the generalizability of our proposed model. Our model offers a reliable framework to predict target variables that can be obtained from numerical simulations and observations, e.g., visibility, wind power, solar energy, and air pollution.

Open access
Yi-Leng Chen
,
Xin An Chen
, and
Yu-Xia Zhang

Abstract

During 31 May–2 June 1987 a low pressure center developed around 28°N, 102°E in the lee of the Tibetan Plateau during the passage of a midlatitude trough. It moved northeastward and intensified over the Yangtze River valley and produced widespread rainfall over southeastern China. A strong southwest flow developed in the lower troposphere over southern China as the cyclone deepened. At 0000 UTC 1 June, a well-defined low-level jet (LLJ) was found between the 850- and 700-hPa levels with wind speed exceeding 15 m s−1 at the 850-hPa level and 20 m s−1 at the 700-hPa level. The LLJ transported warm, moist air from the subtropical ocean, increased the moist static energy, and provided a favorable environment for the development of widespread precipitation.

It is shown that the development of the LLJ is closely related to the developing lee cyclone to the east of the Tibetan Plateau. Our analysis reveals that the diagnosed secondary circulation associated with the jet-front system differs from those predicted by previous theoretical studies. The transverse secondary circulation across the front is characterized by a thermally direct circulation across the baroclinic zone with warm air rising within the southwest monsoon flow and cold air sinking in the postfrontal northeasterlies. A very weak thermally indirect circulation was observed to the south.

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