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Yu-Lin Chang and L.-Y. Oey

Abstract

Recent studies on Loop Current’s variability in the Gulf of Mexico suggest that the system may behave with some regularity forced by the biannually varying trade winds. The process is analyzed here using a reduced-gravity model and satellite data. The model shows that a biannual signal is produced by vorticity and transport fluctuations in the Yucatan Channel because of the piling up and retreat of warm water in the northwestern Caribbean Sea forced by the biannually varying trade wind. The Loop grows and expands with increased northward velocity and cyclonic vorticity of the Yucatan Current, and eddies are shed when these are near minima. Satellite sea surface height (SSH) data from 1993 to 2010 are analyzed. These show, consistent with the reduced-gravity experiments and previous studies, a (statistically) significant asymmetric biannual variation of the growth and wane of Loop Current: strong from summer to fall and weaker from winter to spring; the asymmetry being due to the asymmetry that also exists in the long-term observed wind. The biannual signal is contained in the two leading EOF modes, which together explain 47% of the total variance, and which additionally describe the eddy shedding and westward propagation from summer to fall. The EOFs also show connectivity between Loop Current and Caribbean Sea’s variability by mass and vorticity fluxes through the Yucatan Channel.

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Y. L. Lin and R. B. Smith

Abstract

The response of a stratified atmosphere to local heating is a common element in several problems in mesoscale dynamics. To investigate this response, a time-dependent linearized problem is solved analytically for an elevated, local heat source turned on as a pulse in a stratified, moving fluid. The thermally induced circulation in the vicinity of the drifting disturbance is qualitatively similar to that of a cumulus cloud in mean wind. The updraft at the center of this cloud is surrounded by the compensating downdrafts at early times even if that air has also been heated. Once the updraft at the drifting center weakens, upward motion begins in the adjacent regions. An integration of the pulse solution yields the response to steady heating, turned on at t = 0. As steady state is approached, this solution exhibits a region of positive displacement moving downstream while negative displacement develop near the stationary heat source. The solution offers an explanation to a curious negative phase relationship between heating and displacement and the lack of a true steady state noted by other authors. It is suggested that the nature of this response may help to explain three problems in mesoscale dynamics: cloud interaction, heat island/orographic rain, and the squall line.

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L.-Y. Oey, Y.-L. Chang, Y.-C. Lin, M.-C. Chang, S. Varlamov, and Y. Miyazawa

Abstract

In winter, a branch of the China Coastal Current can turn in the Taiwan Strait to join the poleward-flowing Taiwan Coastal Current. The associated cross-strait flows have been inferred from hydrographic and satellite data, from observed abundances off northwestern Taiwan of cold-water copepod species Calanus sinicus and, in late March of 2012, also from debris found along the northwestern shore of Taiwan of a ship that broke two weeks earlier off the coast of China. The dynamics related to such cross flows have not been previously explained and are the focus of this study using analytical and numerical models. It is shown that the strait’s currents can be classified into three regimes depending on the strength of the winter monsoon: equatorward (poleward) for northeasterly winds stronger (weaker) than an upper (lower) bound and cross-strait flows for relaxing northeasterly winds between the two bounds. These regimes are related to the formation of the stationary Rossby wave over the Changyun Ridge off midwestern Taiwan. In the weak (strong) northeasterly wind regime, a weak (no) wave is produced. In the relaxing wind regime, cross-strait currents are triggered by an imbalance between the pressure gradient and wind and are amplified by the finite-amplitude meander downstream of the ridge where a strong cyclone develops.

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J. E. Stout, Y-L. Lin, and S. P. S. Arya

Abstract

Trajectories of 500- and 1000-μm diameter particles are calculated as they fall through the spatially varying flow field above sinusoidal terrain for various combinations of atmospheric stability, wind speed, and terrain wavelength. In each case, a set of 20 uniformly spaced particles are released simultaneously above sinusoidal topography and their trajectories are obtained numerically by coupling a linear wave solution for flow over sinusoidal topography with equations for particle motion. The flow field and the associated patterns of deposition are shown to be strongly influenced by atmospheric stratification. For strong stratification, the presence of vertically propagating waves produces relatively concentrated “particle streams.” For less stratified conditions with evanescent waves, little focusing of particle trajectories is apparent. The ability of the atmosphere to focus or concentrate falling particles may ultimately produce regions along the surface with enhanced deposition.

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L. Lin, X. Zou, R. Anthes, and Y-H. Kuo

Abstract

Thermodynamic states in clouds are closely related to physical processes such as phase changes of water and longwave and shortwave radiation. Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) data are not affected by clouds and have high vertical resolution, making them ideally suited to cloud profiling on a global basis. By comparing the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) RO refractivity data with those of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis and ECMWF analysis for soundings in clouds and clear air separately, a systematic bias of opposite sign was found between large-scale global analyses and the GPS RO observations under cloudy and clear-sky conditions. As a modification to the standard GPS RO wet temperature retrieval that does not distinguish between cloudy- and clear-sky conditions, a new cloudy retrieval algorithm is proposed to incorporate the knowledge that in-cloud specific humidity (which affects the GPS refractivities) should be close to saturation. To implement this new algorithm, a linear regression model for a sounding-dependent relative humidity parameter α is first developed based on a high correlation between relative humidity and ice water content. In the absence of ice water content information, α takes an empirical value of 85%. The in-cloud temperature profile is then retrieved from GPS RO data modeled by a weighted sum of refractivities with and without the assumption of saturation. Compared to the standard wet retrieval, the cloudy temperature retrieval is consistently warmer within clouds by ∼2 K and slightly colder near the cloud top (∼1 K) and cloud base (1.5 K), leading to a more rapid increase of the lapse rate with height in the upper half of the cloud, from a nearly constant moist lapse rate below and at the cloud middle (∼6°C km−1) to a value of 7.7°C km−1, which must be closer to the dry lapse rate than the standard wet retrieval.

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Y.-C. Lin, L.-Y. Oey, J. Wang, and K.-K. Liu

Abstract

Annual Rossby waves in northern South China Sea had previously been studied using altimetry and model data; however, how they connect to subsurface temperature fluctuations has not been examined. This study analyzed a 22-month, surface to −500-m temperature time series at 18.3°N, 115.5°E, together with satellite and other data, to show the arrivals near z ≈ −300 m and deeper cool (warm) Rossby waves after their generation near the Luzon Strait in winter (summer). Temperature fluctuations with time scales of a few weeks, and with maximum anomalies near z ≈ −100 m, were also found embedded in the smooth Rossby waves and caused by propagating eddies. Eddy fluctuations and propagation past the mooring were of two types: southwestward from southwestern Taiwan, triggered by Kuroshio intrusion that produced anticyclone–cyclone pairs in late fall and winter, and eddies propagating westward from Luzon forced by annual anomalies of wind stress curl and Kuroshio path in the Luzon Strait

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K. M. Lin, J. Y. Juang, Y.-W. Shiu, and L. F. W. Chang

Abstract

In air quality models, daytime sensible and latent heat fluxes are important factors that influence atmospheric stability. These heat fluxes originate from heat that is generated from solar radiation and is then released from the earth’s surface. Different climates and surface conditions may lead to varying heat flux distributions. Because latent heat flux is influenced by both solar radiation and plant evapotranspiration, it is often difficult to estimate. The objective of this study was to apply thermodynamic concepts to determine an equation that could be used to estimate the Bowen ratio in the absence of latent and sensible heat fluxes. This study showed that, using two meteorological parameters (i.e., absolute temperature and relative humidity), the Bowen ratio for the climate in Taiwan could be obtained and then used to estimate sensible and latent heat fluxes in a series of equations. Furthermore, the approach’s applicability was determined by testing the sensitivities of parameters used in the Bowen ratio equation. A comparison of results determined through the Priestly–Taylor and Penman–Monteith methods with meteorological data for Yilan and Chiayi counties, Taiwan, for the 2006 summer and winter is performed. The results of this study showed that, among the simulated latent heat fluxes in the two study areas, the values estimated using the Penman–Monteith method were the largest, followed by those estimated using the Priestly–Taylor method. Values estimated using the Bowen ratio method were the smallest. Predictions generated by the proposed Bowen ratio equation correlated with those generated by the other models; however, the values estimated with the Priestly–Taylor method were closest to the simulated values.

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Chenjie Huang, Y-L. Lin, M. L. Kaplan, and J. J. Charney

Abstract

This study has employed both observational data and numerical simulation results to diagnose the synoptic-scale and mesoscale environments conducive to forest fires during the October 2003 extreme fire event in southern California. A three-stage process is proposed to illustrate the coupling of the synoptic-scale forcing that is evident from the observations, specifically the high pressure ridge and the upper-level jet streak, which leads to meso-α-scale subsidence in its exit region, and the mesoscale forcing that is simulated by the numerical model, specifically the wave breaking and turbulence as well as the wave-induced critical level, which leads to severe downslope (Santa Ana) winds. Two surges of dry air were found to reach the surface in southern California as revealed in the numerical simulation. The first dry air surge arrived as a result of moisture divergence and isallobaric adjustments behind a surface cold front. The second dry air surge reached southern California as the meso-α- to meso-β-scale subsidence and the wave-induced critical level over the coastal ranges phased to transport the dry air from the upper-level jet streak exit region toward the surface and mix the dry air down to the planetary boundary layer on the lee side of the coastal ranges in southern California. The wave-breaking region on the lee side acted as an internal boundary to reflect the mountain wave energy back to the ground and created severe downslope winds through partial resonance with the upward-propagating mountain waves.

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H-C. Kuo, L-Y. Lin, C-P. Chang, and R. T. Williams

Abstract

An important issue in the formation of concentric eyewalls in a tropical cyclone is the development of a symmetric structure from asymmetric convection. It is proposed herein, with the aid of a nondivergent barotropic model, that concentric vorticity structures result from the interaction between a small and strong inner vortex (the tropical cyclone core) and neighboring weak vortices (the vorticity induced by the moist convection outside the central vortex of a tropical cyclone). The results highlight the pivotal role of the vorticity strength of the inner core vortex in maintaining itself, and in stretching, organizing, and stabilizing the outer vorticity field. Specifically, the core vortex induces a differential rotation across the large and weak vortex to strain out the latter into a vorticity band surrounding the former. The straining out of a large, weak vortex into a concentric vorticity band can also result in the contraction of the outer tangential wind maximum. The stability of the outer band is related to the Fjørtoft sufficient condition for stability because the strong inner vortex can cause the wind at the inner edge to be stronger than the outer edge, which allows the vorticity band and therefore the concentric structure to be sustained. Moreover, the inner vortex must possess high vorticity not only to be maintained against any deformation field induced by the outer vortices but also to maintain a smaller enstrophy cascade and to resist the merger process into a monopole. The negative vorticity anomaly in the moat serves as a “shield” or a barrier to the farther inward mixing the outer vorticity field. The binary vortex experiments described in this paper suggest that the formation of a concentric vorticity structure requires 1) a very strong core vortex with a vorticity at least 6 times stronger than the neighboring vortices, 2) a large neighboring vorticity area that is larger than the core vortex, and 3) a separation distance between the neighboring vorticity field and the core vortex that is within 3 to 4 times the core vortex radius.

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X. Y. Zhang, Y. Q. Wang, W. L. Lin, Y. M. Zhang, X. C. Zhang, S. Gong, P. Zhao, Y. Q. Yang, J. Z. Wang, Q. Hou, X. L. Zhang, H. Z. Che, J. P. Guo, and Y. Li

Before and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics from June to September, ground-based and satellite monitoring were carried out over Beijing and its vicinity (BIV) in a campaign to quantify the outcomes of various emission control measures. These include hourly surface PM10 and PM2.5 and their fraction of black carbon (BC), organics, nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, and daily aerosol optical depth (AOD), together with hourly reactive gases, surface ozone, and daily columnar NO2 from satellite. The analyses, excluding the estimates from weather contributions, demonstrate that after the control measures, including banning ~300,000 “yellow-tag” vehicles from roads, the even–odd turn of motor vehicles on the roads, and emission reduction aiming at coal combustion, were implemented, air quality in Beijing improved substantially. The levels of NO, NO2, NOx, CO, SO2, BC, organics, and nitrate dropped by about 30%–60% and the ozone moderately increased by ~40% while the sulfate and ammonium exhibited different patterns during various control stages. Weather conditions have a great impact on the summertime secondary aerosol (~80% of total PM) and O3 formations over BIV. During the Olympic Game period, various atmospheric components decreased dramatically at Beijing compared to the same period in the previous years. This decrease was related not only to the implementation of rigorous control measures, but also to the favorable weather processes. The subtropical high was located to the south so that Beijing's weather was dominated by the interaction between a frequently eastward shifting trough in the westerlies and a cold continental high with clear to cloudy days or showery weather.

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