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Xiuzhen Li and Wen Zhou

Abstract

The summer moisture circulation anomaly over East Asia and the western North Pacific (WNP) couples well with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a quasi-4-yr period. The moisture circulation is dominated by two well-separated modes. The first mode exhibits an anticyclonic (cyclonic) moisture circulation over tropical–subtropical East Asia–WNP with an easterly (westerly) transport over the tropical WNP–Indian Ocean; the second mode displays an alternating pattern with an anticyclonic (cyclonic) moisture circulation over the subtropical WNP layered between two cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulations. Both modes couple well with the ENSO signal during its quasi-4-yr cycle. Within the cycle, in the summer of a developing warm episode, the positive phase of the second mode plays a key role, while in the transitional summer between a decaying warm episode and a developing cool episode, the positive phase of the first mode tends to take effect. In the summer of a developing cool episode, the negative phase of the second mode plays an important role, while the negative phase of the first mode tends to take effect in the transitional summer between a decaying cool episode and a developing warm episode.

The anticyclone (cyclone) over the Philippine Sea region serves as a bridge in the quasi-four-year coupling. Its establishment and eastward extension modify moisture circulation over East Asia–WNP. Conversely, the easterly (westerly) wind to the south of the anticyclone (cyclone) is beneficial for the formation and eastward propagation of the Kelvin wave and, hence, to the development of the quasi-4-yr periodic ENSO episode.

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Xiuzhen Li, Yongqin David Chen, and Wen Zhou

Abstract

The response of moisture circulation to the daily evolution of the India–Burma Trough (IBT) and the modulation of disturbances along the South Asian waveguide are analyzed to seek a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. Daily observational precipitation and reanalysis data from ERA-Interim during 1979–2012 are employed. It is found that moisture circulation in response to the IBT is part of the zonally oriented wave trains along the South Asian waveguide, but it persists longer and migrates farther eastward than other lobes. Cyclonic moisture transport enhances the moisture supply to south China as a strong IBT develops, and shifts eastward abruptly after the peak of IBT with enhanced precipitation shifting from southwest to southeast China. This response is a joint effect of synoptic, intraseasonal, and interannual components that show similar wave train structures, whereas slight differences still occur. The synoptic component shows a shorter wavelength, more southerly path, faster phase speed, and group velocity, with the signal from the North Atlantic to the Bay of Bengal (BoB) in 6 days, implying that a disturbance over the North Atlantic is a potential precursor of winter precipitation over south China. The synoptic moisture convergence is more intensive than that at other scales upstream except over Southeast Asia, where all components are comparable. This might result from the constrained moisture source from BoB at the synoptic scale because of a short wavelength, while widespread sources from BoB–western North Pacific (WNP) at other scales as wavelengths are longer.

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Xiuzhen Li, Wen Zhou, and Yongqin David Chen

Abstract

A combination of Ward’s and k-means clustering was applied to a 3-month standardized precipitation index (SPI-03), and eight divisions of homogeneous drought variation throughout China were identified from the perspective of meteorological and agricultural droughts. A greater meridional gradient appeared over eastern China (six divisions) than over western China (two divisions).

The climate division facilitated the evaluating of not only regional but also widespread droughts. Trend evaluation showed that western north China (WNC) has become increasingly wet in recent decades, while northern northeast China (NNE) has become increasingly dry. The Yangtze River valley (YZ) tended to experience less and weaker drought after the late 1970s. Southern northeast China (SNE) and the southwestern China–Tibetan Plateau (SW-TP) showed a decreasing trend in long-term but not short-term SPIs, implying that long-term drought conditions might develop continuously, thus allowing the following droughts to develop more rapidly and with a stronger intensity. Examination of the drought risk under El Niño revealed that northern regions were likely to suffer from drought rather than flood in the developing phase and the reverse in the decaying phase. Southeastern China (SE) and the YZ were vulnerable to flood rather than drought in the mature and decaying spring, with SE subjected to drought in the decaying summer. Such a distinctive regional pattern of drought risks was closely connected with the abnormal moisture supply patterns modulated by ENSO in different phases.

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Xiuzhen Li, Zhiping Wen, and Wan-Ru Huang

Abstract

Two extremely wet winters in 2015/16 and 2018/19 over Southeast China are compared in this study. South-to-north discrepancies appear in the spatial distribution of precipitation, with anomalous precipitation centered over the southeast coast in 2015/16 and the lower reaches of Yangtze River valley in 2018/19, respectively. Both instances of enhanced precipitation are ascribed mainly to warm and moist advection from the south, with transport in 2015/16 partly by a deepened India–Burma trough to the west, whereas with transport in 2018/19 mainly by a subtropical western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC). Both the India–Burma trough and WNPAC are maintained by the wave trains propagating along the South Asian jet, which are zonally offset by a quarter-wavelength. Further study of the wave train sources in 2015/16 and 2018/19 shows that they both tend to originate from extremely strong storm-track activity over the North Atlantic but have different displacement. The former is located more northeastward than the mean storm track and is modulated by a strong positive NAO, whereas the latter lies over the midlatitude central North Atlantic along with a circumglobal teleconnection. These differences further result in a quarter-wavelength offset in the Rossby wave source near the entrance of the South Asian jet by the convergence of upper-level divergent wind.

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Sijie Huang, Xiuzhen Li, and Zhiping Wen

Abstract

The characteristics and possible energy sources of the South Asian jet wave train in winter are analyzed, with the intraseasonal signal emphasized. The wave train is equivalently barotropic and strongest in the upper troposphere, with its daily evolution dominated by the intraseasonal (10–30 day) time scale. Along the wave train, the propagation of disturbances from the North Atlantic to the western North Pacific takes around 8 days, which is much faster than the eastward migration of activity centers. The energy sources of the intraseasonal wave train are complicated and can be separated into three categories depending on the role of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). When NAO− precedes the wave train, it is northwest–southeast oriented. The energy is rooted in the lower troposphere over the high-latitude North Atlantic, and excites the Rossby wave source (RWS) over the western Mediterranean Sea via vortex stretching by abnormal divergence. When NAO+ precedes the wave train, it is southwest–northeast oriented. The energy rooted in the northeastern activity center excites RWS over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, disturbances from the western North Atlantic and southwestern activity center of NAO+ excite the RWS over the western Mediterranean Sea. Hence, both NAO− and NAO+ can excite the same wave train, but with different orientation and via different paths. Without the NAO, the wave train can also be stimulated by enhanced disturbances over the midlatitude central North Atlantic. The signal lies mainly in the middle-upper troposphere, which might be related to atmospheric internal dynamic processes, such as kinetic energy conversion from synoptic disturbances.

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Xiuzhen Li, Wen Zhou, Deliang Chen, Chongyin Li, and Jie Song

Abstract

The water vapor transport and moisture budget over eastern China remotely forced by the cold-tongue (CT) and warm-pool (WP) El Niño show striking differences throughout their lifetime. The water vapor transport response is weak in the developing summer but strong in the remaining phases of CT El Niño, whereas the opposite occurs during WP El Niño. WP El Niño causes a moisture deficit over the Yangtze River valley (YZ) in the developing summer and over southeastern China (SE) in the developing fall, whereas CT El Niño induces a moisture surplus first over SE during the developing fall with the influential area expanding in the decaying spring and shifting northward in the decaying summer. It is the divergence of meridional water vapor transport that dominates the total water vapor divergence anomaly, with the divergence of zonal transport showing an opposite pattern with smaller magnitude.

Investigation of the vertical profile of moisture budget shows a great baroclinicity, with the strongest abnormal moisture budget occurring in different levels. The moisture transport via the southern boundary plays a crucial role in the regional moisture budget anomalies and is located near the surface over SE, in the lower troposphere over the YZ, and at the lower-middle troposphere over the eastern part of northern China. The enhanced moisture surplus near the surface forced by WP El Niño over SE in the mature winter and decaying spring is offset by a moisture deficit within the lower-middle troposphere due to a diverse response circulation at different vertical levels.

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Xiuzhen Li, Wen Zhou, Chongyin Li, and Jie Song

Abstract

The variation in regional precipitation over southeast and southwest China depends strongly on externally imported moisture rather than local evaporation. Associated with the different climate over the two regions, great discrepancies appear in the annual cycles of the moisture supply. Stationary moisture transport dominates externally imported moisture to a large extent, with transient transport being much weaker. The stationary moisture sink over southeast China is strong during spring and summer due to strong moisture input via the southern boundary and weak during fall and winter due to the offset between the output via the southern boundary and the net zonal boundary atmospheric flux. Zonal stationary moisture transport dominates the variation in moisture supply over southwest China. Negative net zonal boundary atmospheric flux countervails (collaborates) with positive meridional transport during the dry (wet) season.

Stationary moisture circulations dominate regional atmospheric moisture convergence anomalies over both southeast and southwest China. Weak cold air activity is favorable for a strong moisture sink over southeast China, while the reverse appears over southwest China in spring. The east-to-west location of the abnormal anticyclone determines whether strong moisture converges over southeast China or southwest China in fall. The anticyclonic circulation anomaly over the Philippine Sea, remotely forced by El Niño, is crucial to the strong moisture sink over southeast China from winter to spring, while it does not play a role in the abnormal moisture sink over southwest China.

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Xiuzhen Li, Zhiping Wen, Deliang Chen, and Zesheng Chen

Abstract

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle has a great impact on the summer moisture circulation over East Asia (EA) and the western North Pacific [WNP (EA-WNP)] on an interannual time scale, and its modulation is mainly embedded in the leading mode. In contrast to the stable influence of the mature phase of ENSO, the impact of synchronous eastern Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) on summer moisture circulation is negligible during the 1970s–80s, while it intensifies after 1991. In response, the interannual variation of moisture circulation exhibits a much more widespread anticyclonic/cyclonic pattern over the subtropical WNP and a weaker counterpart to the north after 1991. Abnormal moisture moves farther northward with the enhanced moisture convergence, and thus precipitation shifts from the Yangtze River to the Huai River valley. The decadal shift in the modulation of ENSO on moisture circulation arises from a more rapid evolution of the bonding ENSO cycle and its stronger coupling with circulation over the Indian Ocean after 1991. The rapid development of cooling SSTAs over the central-eastern Pacific, and warming SSTAs to the west over the eastern Indian Ocean–Maritime Continent (EIO-MC) in summer, stimulates abnormal descending motion over the western-central Pacific and ascending motion over the EIO-MC. The former excites an anticyclone over the WNP as a Rossby wave response, sustaining and intensifying the WNP anticyclone; the latter helps anchor the anticyclone over the tropical–subtropical WNP via an abnormal southwest–northeast vertical circulation between EIO-MC and WNP.

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Xiuzhen Li, Ngar-Cheung Lau, and Tsz-Cheung Lee

Abstract

Hourly rainfall from automatic weather stations and reanalysis data from MERRA-2 are used to investigate the diurnal variation of precipitation in Hong Kong, a site along the southeast China coast with strong interactions between the monsoonal circulation and the land–sea breeze. The precipitation in Hong Kong is characterized by a spatially uniform diurnal cycle with the peak at about 0800 local time (LT), with rather weak dependence on local terrain. Precipitation unrelated to tropical cyclones (TCs) dominates the diurnal variation of precipitation, especially in the summer. The diurnal cycle exhibits a notable seasonal dependence, with the strongest signal in the summer. The morning peak of precipitation over Hong Kong is coincident with deep rising motion, linking to near-surface convergence and overlying weak divergence. The convergence may be attributed to the prevalence of the southerly monsoonal flow over the South China Sea (SCS) and to the northerly land breeze induced by the land–sea thermal contrast in the morning. The overlying weak divergence could be ascribed to the nocturnal–early morning acceleration of southerly flow over southeast China. Linked to the inverse relationship between monsoon intensity and the land–sea thermal contrast, the diurnal cycle of precipitation is strengthened when the SCS monsoon is active and weakened when the land–sea thermal contrast is high. Both the cloud-top radiative cooling effect and the enhanced radiative cooling over inland cloud-free areas also play roles in the development of the morning rainfall peak over Hong Kong.

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Zhuoqi He, Weiqiang Wang, Renguang Wu, In-Sik Kang, Chao He, Xiuzhen Li, Kang Xu, and Sheng Chen

Abstract

This study is the second part of a two-part series investigating a recent decadal modulation of interannual variability over the western Pacific Ocean around the early 2000s. Observational evidence shows that the anomalous Philippine Sea cyclonic circulation retreats eastward, with the western Pacific rainfall anomaly distribution changing from a north–south tripole pattern to an east–west dipole pattern after 2003–04. These changes are attributed to a change in El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) properties and the associated Indo-Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern. Before the early 2000s, slow-decaying ENSO events induce large SST anomalies in the northern Indian Ocean during the following summer. The northern Indian Ocean SST anomalies act together with the opposite-sign SST anomalies in the tropical central Pacific, leading to a zonally extended anomalous lower-level cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation and an elongated rainfall anomaly band over the western Pacific. After the early 2000s, ENSO events have a shortened period and a weakened amplitude, and the eastern Pacific SST anomalies tend to undergo a phase transition from winter to summer. Consequently, the influence of ENSO on the Indian Ocean SST anomalies is weakened and the contribution of the northern Indian Ocean SST anomalies to the western Pacific summer rainfall variability becomes insignificant. In this case, the western North Pacific summer rainfall is mainly dominated by the well-developed tropical Pacific SST forcing following the early decay of ENSO events. The potential physical mechanism for the two types of ENSO influences is validated with regional decoupled Community Earth System Model experiments.

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