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Xingwen Jiang and Mingfang Ting

Abstract

Intraseasonal variability of rainfall over the Indian subcontinent (IS) and the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has been discussed widely but often separately. In this study, we investigate the covariability of rainfall across the IS and the TP on intraseasonal time scales and its impact on interannual variability of regional rainfall. The most dominant mode of rainfall intraseasonal variability across the region features a dipole pattern with significant out-of-phase rainfall anomalies between the southeastern TP and the central and northern IS. This dipole rainfall pattern is associated with intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs) of 10–20 days and 30–60 days, especially the latter. An active spell of rainfall in the central and northern IS (southeastern TP) is associated with the strengthening (northward shift) of water vapor transport of the Indian summer monsoon, resulting in more water vapor entering into the central and northern IS (southeastern TP) and thus more rainfall. The 10–20-day ISO of the dipole rainfall pattern is caused by the 10–20-day atmospheric ISO in both the tropics and the extratropics, whereas the 30–60-day ISO of the dipole rainfall pattern is only associated with atmospheric ISO in the tropics. The dipole rainfall pattern resembles the most dominant mode of interannual variability of July–August mean rainfall. The 30–60-day ISO of the dipole rainfall pattern has an important contribution to the dipole pattern of July–August mean rainfall anomalies on an interannual time scale due to the different frequencies of occurrence of the active and break phases.

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Xingwen Jiang and Mingfang Ting

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has long been regarded as a key driver for the formation and variations of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). Recent studies, however, have indicated that the ISM also exerts a considerable impact on rainfall variations in the TP, suggesting that the ISM and the TP should be considered as an interactive system. From this perspective, the covariability of the July–August mean rainfall across the Indian subcontinent (IS) and the TP is investigated. It is found that the interannual variation of IS and TP rainfall exhibits a dipole pattern in which rainfall in the central and northern IS tends to be out of phase with that in the southeastern TP. This dipole pattern is associated with significant anomalies in rainfall, atmospheric circulation, and water vapor transport over the Asian continent and nearby oceans. Rainfall anomalies and the associated latent heating in the central and northern IS tend to induce changes in regional circulation that suppress rainfall in the southeastern TP and vice versa. Furthermore, the sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical southeastern Indian Ocean can trigger the dipole rainfall pattern by suppressing convection over the central IS and the northern Bay of Bengal, which further induces anomalous anticyclonic circulation to the south of TP that favors more rainfall in the southeastern TP by transporting more water vapor to the region. The dipole pattern is also linked to the Silk Road wave train via its link to rainfall over the northwestern IS.

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Song Yang and Xingwen Jiang

Abstract

The eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the central Pacific (CP) ENSO exert different influences on climate. In this study, the authors analyze the hindcasts of the NCEP Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), and assess the skills of predicting the two types of ENSO and their impacts on East Asian climate. The possible causes of different prediction skills for different types of ENSO are also discussed.

CFSv2 captures the spatial patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) related to the two types of ENSO and their different climate impacts several months in advance. The dynamical prediction of the two types of ENSO by the model, whose skill is season dependent, is better than the prediction based on the persistency of observed ENSO-related SST, especially for summer and fall. CFSv2 performs well in predicting EP ENSO and its impacts on the East Asian winter monsoon and on the Southeast Asian monsoon during its decaying summer. However, for both EP ENSO and CP ENSO, the model overestimates the extent of the anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific Ocean from the developing autumn to the next spring but underestimates the magnitude of climate anomalies in general. It fails to simulate the SST pattern and climate impact of CP ENSO during its developing summer. The model’s deficiency in predicting CP ENSO may be linked to a warm bias in the eastern Pacific. However, errors in simulating the climate impacts of the two types of ENSO should not be solely ascribed to the bias in SST simulation.

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Nan Xing, Jianping Li, Xingwen Jiang, and Lanning Wang

Abstract

Local sea surface temperature (SST) plays an important role in the onset of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) summer monsoon (BoBSM). Previous study indicated that the meridionally warmest SST axis (WSSTA) appears in mid-April in the central BoB, which may be a precursor for the BoBSM onset. In this study, it is found that a warm but not the meridionally warmest center, which is defined as the secondary WSSTA (SWSSTA), occurs in early April in the central BoB, leading the BoBSM onset by five pentads. Dates of the SWSSTA occurrence are significantly positively correlated with dates of the WSSTA occurrence in the central BoB and the BoBSM onset on an interannual time scale. The SWSSTA is an earlier precursor for the BoBSM onset. The formation of the oceanic precursor and its impact on the BoBSM onset are as follows. Before the BoBSM onset, resulting from more surface heat input and shallower mixed layer affected by the low-level anticyclone and subtropical high in the central BoB, local SST shows the most rapid increase. Meanwhile, the situation is adverse to the rapid increase of SST in the equatorial BoB. For this reason, the SWSSTA occurs, and the WSSTA subsequently appears in the central BoB. The WSSTA in turn enhances local convection, eliminates the low-level anticyclone, and moves the subtropical high outward away from the BoB by inducing atmospheric instability, thus developing a heating center. Convectional heating further strengthens southwesterlies in the BoB by exciting mixed planetary–gravity waves, resulting in the BoBSM onset.

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Xingwen Jiang, Yueqing Li, Song Yang, Kun Yang, and Junwen Chen

Abstract

The impacts of summer atmospheric heat source over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on regional climate variation have attracted extensive attention. However, few studies have focused on possible causes of the interannual variation of atmospheric heat source over the TP. Total heat (TH) is generally composed of three components: surface sensible heat, latent heat release of condensation (LH), and radiative convergence. In this study, it is found that interannual variation of summer TH is dominated by LH in the central and eastern TP. The atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the TH over the TP in June are different from those in July and August. Large TH is accompanied by a cyclone centered over the South China Sea in June, which is replaced by an anticyclone in July and August. The interannual variation of July–August TH over the central and eastern TP is significantly affected by convection around the western Maritime Continent (WMC) that modulates the LH over the southeastern TP. Enhanced WMC convection induces an anticyclone to the south of the TP, which favors water vapor transport to the southeastern TP and thus an increase in precipitation. Enhanced convection over the southeastern TP may exert a positive feedback on local precipitation through pumping more water vapor from the southern boundary. Both observations and model simulations indicate that the enhanced WMC convection can induce the anticyclone to the south of the TP and convection–circulation is important for maintenance of the anticyclone.

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Tuantuan Zhang, Song Yang, Xingwen Jiang, and Bohua Huang

Abstract

Seasonal prediction of extratropical climate (e.g., the East Asian climate) is partly dependent upon the prediction skill for rainfall over the Maritime Continent (MC). A previous study by the authors found that the NCEP Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), had difference in skill between predicting rainfall over the western MC (WMC) and the eastern MC (EMC), especially in the wet season. In this study, the potential mechanisms for this phenomenon are examined. It is shown that observationally in the wet season (from boreal winter to early spring) the EMC rainfall is closely linked to both ENSO and local sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, whereas the WMC rainfall is only moderately correlated with ENSO. The model hindcast unrealistically predicts the relationship of the WMC rainfall with local SST and ENSO (even opposite to the observed feature), which contributes to lower prediction skill for the WMC rainfall. In the dry season (from boreal late summer to fall), the rainfall over the entire MC is significantly influenced by both ENSO and local SST in observations and this feature is well captured by the CFSv2. Therefore, the hindcasts do not show apparently different skill in rainfall prediction for EMC and WMC in the dry season. The possible roles of atmospheric internal processes are also discussed.

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Tuantuan Zhang, Song Yang, Xingwen Jiang, and Ping Zhao

Abstract

The authors analyze the seasonal–interannual variations of rainfall over the Maritime Continent (MC) and their relationships with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and large-scale monsoon circulation. They also investigate the predictability of MC rainfall using the hindcast of the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2).

The seasonal evolution of MC rainfall is characterized by a wet season from December to March and a dry season from July to October. The increased (decreased) rainfall in the wet season is related to the peak-decaying phase of La Niña (El Niño), whereas the increased (decreased) rainfall in the dry season is related to the developing phase of La Niña (El Niño), with an apparent spatial incoherency of the SST–rainfall relationship in the wet season. For extremely wet cases of the wet season, local warm SST also contributes to the above-normal rainfall over the MC except for the western area of the MC due to the effect of the strong East Asian winter monsoon.

The CFSv2 shows high skill in predicting the main features of MC rainfall variations and their relationships with ENSO and anomalies of the large-scale monsoon circulation, especially for strong ENSO years. It predicts the rainfall and its related circulation patterns skillfully in advance by several months, especially for the dry season. The relatively lower skill of predicting MC rainfall for the wet season is partly due to the low prediction skill of rainfall over Sumatra, Malay, and Borneo (SMB), as well as the unrealistically predicted relationship between SMB rainfall and ENSO.

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Zunya Wang, Song Yang, Zongjian Ke, and Xingwen Jiang

Abstract

Based on the observational datasets of rime and glaze from 743 stations in China and the atmospheric circulation data from the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis during 1954–2009, large-scale atmospheric and oceanic conditions for extensive and persistent rime and glaze events were examined with a composite analysis. Results show that rime events mostly occur in northern China while glaze events are mainly observed in southern China. The icing events are accompanied by low temperature and high humidity but not necessarily by above-normal precipitation. The Asian low, blocking highs, strong moisture transport, and an inversion layer related to major abnormal circulation systems contribute to the occurrence and persistence of icing events in China. The Ural blocking high plays a major role in the glaze events, and the Okhotsk blocking high is closely related to the rime events. For glaze events, extratropical circulation anomalies and the southward outbreak of cold air play a dominant role. In contrast, the strong northward transport of warm and moist airflows plays a leading role and the blocking high and the southward outbreak of extratropical cold air take a supporting role for rime events. There is nearly an equal chance for occurrences of rime events under La Niña and El Niño backgrounds. However, glaze events more likely occur under the background of La Niña. Additionally, the sea surface temperatures from the tropical Indian Ocean to the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean also contribute to the occurrence and maintenance of icing events in China.

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Xingwen Jiang, Jianchuan Shu, Xin Wang, Xiaomei Huang, and Qing Wu

Abstract

Floods and droughts hit southwest China (SWC) frequently, especially over the last decade. In this study, the dominant modes of summer rainfall anomalies over SWC on the interannual time scale and the possible causes are investigated. Interannual variability of the summer rainfall over SWC has two dominant modes. The first mode features rainfall increases over most of SWC except central Sichuan, and the second mode exhibits wet conditions in the north but dry conditions in the south. The suppressed convection over the Philippine Sea affects the first mode by inducing anomalous anticyclones over the western North Pacific and to the south of the Tibetan Plateau, which transport more water vapor to eastern Tibet and eastern SWC and hence favor above-normal rainfall there. The enhanced convection over the western Maritime Continent could generate similar atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with the suppressed convection over the Philippine Sea but with a northward shift, resulting in significant increases in rainfall over northeastern SWC but weak decreases in rainfall over southeastern SWC. As a result, the rainfall anomalies over SWC tend to be different between El Niño–Southern Oscillation decaying and developing phases because their different impacts on the convection over the Philippine Sea and the western Maritime Continent. Meanwhile, the sea surface temperature in the tropical southeastern Indian Ocean also plays an important role in variability of the rainfall over SWC because of its significant impact on the convection over the western Maritime Continent.

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Xingwen Jiang, Song Yang, Yueqing Li, Arun Kumar, Xiangwen Liu, Zhiyan Zuo, and Bhaskar Jha

Abstract

The NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) is an important source of information for seasonal climate prediction in many Asian countries affected by monsoon climate. The authors provide a comprehensive analysis of the prediction of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) by the new CFS version 2 (CFSv2) using the hindcast for 1983–2010, focusing on seasonal-to-interannual time scales. Many ASM features are well predicted by the CFSv2, including heavy monsoon rainfall centers, large-scale monsoon circulation patterns, and monsoon onset and retreat features. Several commonly used dynamical monsoon indices and their associated precipitation and circulation patterns can be predicted several months in advance. The CFSv2 has better skill in predicting the Southeast Asian monsoon than predicting the South Asian monsoon. Compared to CFS version 1 (CFSv1), the CFSv2 has increased skill in predicting large-scale monsoon circulation and precipitation features but decreased skill for the South Asian monsoon, although some biases in the CFSv1 still exist in the CFSv2, especially the weaker-than-observed western Pacific subtropical high and the exaggerated strong link of the ASM to ENSO.

Comparison of CFSv2 hindcast with output from Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) simulations indicates that exclusion of ocean–atmosphere coupling leads to a weaker ASM. Compared to AMIP, both hindcast and CMIP show a more realistic annual cycle of precipitation, and the interannual variability of the ASM is better in hindcast. However, CMIP does not show any advantage in depicting the processes associated with the interannual variability of major dynamical monsoon indices compared to AMIP.

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