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Ya Yang
,
Xiang Li
,
Jing Wang
, and
Dongliang Yuan

Abstract

The North Equatorial Subsurface Current (NESC) is a subthermocline ocean current uncovered recently in the tropical Pacific Ocean, flowing westward below the North Equatorial Countercurrent. In this study, the dynamics of the seasonal cycle of this current are studied using historical shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements and Argo absolute geostrophic currents. Both data show a westward current at the depths of 200–1000 m between 4° and 6°N, with a typical core speed of about 5 and 2 cm s−1, respectively. The subsurface current originates in the eastern Pacific, with its core descending to deeper isopycnal surfaces and moving to the equator as it flows westward. The zonal velocity of the NESC shows pronounced seasonal variability, with the annual-cycle harmonics of vertical isothermal displacement and zonal velocity presenting characters of vertically propagating baroclinic Rossby waves. A simple analytical Rossby wave model is employed to simulate the propagation of the seasonal variations of the westward zonal currents successfully, which is the basis for exploring the wind forcing dynamics. The results suggest that the wind curl forcing in the central-eastern basin between 170° and 140°W associated with the meridional movement of the intertropical convergence zone dominates the NESC seasonal variability in the western Pacific, with the winds west of 170°W and east of 140°W playing a minor role in the forcing.

Free access
Daosheng Wang
,
Jicai Zhang
,
Ya Ping Wang
,
Xianqing Lv
,
Yang Yang
,
Daidu Fan
, and
Shu Gao

Abstract

The model parameters in the suspended cohesive sediment transport model are quite important for the accurate simulation of suspended sediment concentrations (SSCs). Based on a three-dimensional cohesive sediment transport model and its adjoint model, the in situ observed SSCs at four stations are assimilated to simulate the SSCs and to estimate the parameters in Hangzhou Bay in China. Numerical experimental results show that the adjoint method can efficiently improve the simulation results, which can benefit the prediction of SSCs. The time series of the modeled SSCs present a clear semidiurnal variation, in which the maximal SSCs occur during the flood tide and near the high water level due to the large current speeds. Sensitivity experiments prove that the estimated results of the settling velocity and resuspension rate, especially the temporal variations, are robust to the model settings. The temporal variations of the estimated settling velocity are negatively correlated with the tidal elevation. The main reason is that the mean size of the suspended sediments can be reduced during the flood tide, which consequently decreases the settling velocity according to Stokes’s law, and it is opposite in the ebb tide. The temporal variations of the estimated resuspension rate and the current speeds have a significantly positive correlation, which accords with the dynamics of the resuspension rate. The temporal variations of the settling velocity and resuspension rate are reasonable from the viewpoint of physics, indicating the adjoint method can be an effective tool for estimating the parameters in the sediment transport models.

Full access
Ching-Yuang Huang
,
Jia-Yang Lin
,
William C. Skamarock
, and
Shu-Ya Chen

Abstract

A dynamical vortex initialization (DVI) scheme is implemented on unstructured meshes for the global model MPAS for typhoon forecasts. The DVI extracts the departure vortex within a specified radius of the vortex center and implants this vortex at the observed vortex location in continuously cycled 1-h integrations of the model. The cycling integration is stopped when either the simulated central sea level pressure or maximum wind speed of the typhoon has reached the value in the best track data, denoted as P-match or V-match, respectively. The DVI may spin up the initial vortex with a more contracting eyewall, but still keeping the same size of the outer vortex. Forecasts for 16 typhoons over the western North Pacific in 2015–20 are investigated. Predictions from the experiments with the 60–15-km variable-resolution MPAS mesh show that both P-match and V-match significantly improve the track forecasts, where V-match mostly requires less cycle runs than P-match. Cycling results with P-match or V-match are also dependent on the choice of physics suites within MPAS. Positive impacts are larger for V-match than P-match using the mesoscale reference physics suite, with significantly improved track forecasts and earlier intensity forecasts. Intensity differences resulting from the DVI have gradually decreased with forecast time, which are closely correlated to the differences in the averaged tropospheric potential vorticity of the inner vortex. The DVI with the 60–15–3-km variable-resolution mesh also works well and improves intensity forecasts. The DVI can also help produce asymmetric structures and spin up inner vortex cores for typhoons near high topography, which leads to improved intensity forecasts.

Open access
Zong-Liang Yang
,
Robert E. Dickinson
,
Alan Robock
, and
K. Ya Vinnikov

Abstract

Snow cover is one of the most important variables affecting agriculture, hydrology, and climate, but detailed measurements are not widely available. Therefore, the effectiveness and validity of snow schemes in general circulation models have been difficult to assess. Using long-term snow cover data from the former Soviet Union, this paper focuses on the validation of the snow submodel in the Biosphere–Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) using 6 years of data (1978–83) at six stations. Fundamental uncertainties in the datasets limit the accuracy of our assessment of the model’s performance.

In the absence of a wind correction for the gauge-measured precipitation and with the standard rain–snow transition criterion (2.2°C), the model gives reasonable simulations of snow water equivalent and surface temperature for all of the six stations and the six winters examined. In particular, the time of accumulation and the end of ablation and the alteration due to aging are well captured. With some simple modifications of the code, the model can also reproduce snow depth, snow cover fraction, and surface albedo. In view of the scheme’s simplicity and efficiency, these results are encouraging.

However, if a wind correction is applied to the gauge-measured precipitation, the model shows increased root-mean-square errors in snow water equivalent for all six stations except Tulun. Perhaps, the better agreement without wind correction means that the snow has blown beyond the area of snow measurement, as might be accounted for only by a detailed regional snow–wind distribution model.

This study underlines four aspects that warrant special attention: (i) estimation of the downward longwave radiation, (ii) separation of the aging processes for snowpack density and snow surface albedo, (iii) parameterization of snow cover fraction, and (iv) choice of critical temperature for rain–snow transition.

Full access
Yan Du
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Ya-Li Yang
,
Xiao-Tong Zheng
,
Lin Liu
, and
Gang Huang

Abstract

This study evaluates the simulation of the Indian Ocean Basin (IOB) mode and relevant physical processes in models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Historical runs from 20 CMIP5 models are available for the analysis. They reproduce the IOB mode and its close relationship to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Half of the models capture key IOB processes: a downwelling oceanic Rossby wave in the southern tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) precedes the IOB development in boreal fall and triggers an antisymmetric wind anomaly pattern across the equator in the following spring. The anomalous wind pattern induces a second warming in the north Indian Ocean (NIO) through summer and sustains anticyclonic wind anomalies in the northwest Pacific by radiating a warm tropospheric Kelvin wave. The second warming in the NIO is indicative of ocean–atmosphere interaction in the interior TIO. More than half of the models display a double peak in NIO warming, as observed following El Niño, while the rest show only one winter peak. The intermodel diversity in the characteristics of the IOB mode seems related to the thermocline adjustment in the south TIO to ENSO-induced wind variations. Almost all the models show multidecadal variations in IOB variance, possibly modulated by ENSO.

Full access
Shu-Chih Yang
,
Shu-Hua Chen
,
Shu-Ya Chen
,
Ching-Yuang Huang
, and
Ching-Sen Chen

Abstract

Global positioning system (GPS) radio occultation (RO) data have been broadly used in global and regional numerical weather predictions. Assimilation with the bending angle often performs better than refractivity, which is inverted from the bending angle under spherical assumption and is sometimes associated with negative biases at the lower troposphere; however, the bending angle operator also requires a higher model top as used in global models. This study furnishes the feasibility of bending-angle assimilation in the prediction of heavy precipitation systems with a regional model. The local RO operators for simulating bending angle and refractivity are implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)–local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF) framework. The impacts of assimilating RO data from the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) using both operators are evaluated on the prediction of a heavy precipitation episode during Southwest Monsoon Experiment intensive observing period 8 (SoWMEX-IOP8) in 2008. Results show that both the refractivity and bending angle provide a favorable condition for generating this heavy rainfall event. In comparison with the refractivity data, the advantage of assimilating the bending angle is identified in the midtroposphere for deepening of the moist layer that leads to a rainfall forecast closer to the observations.

Full access
Shen-Ming Fu
,
Zi Mai
,
Jian-Hua Sun
,
Wan-Li Li
,
Yang Ding
, and
Ya-Qiang Wang

Abstract

In summer, convective activity over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is vigorous, with some of it moving eastward and vacating the plateau [defined as the eastward-moving type (EMT)]. Although the EMT only accounts for a small proportion, it is closely related to heavy precipitation east of the TP. This study investigates EMT impacts based on a series of composite semi-idealized simulations and piecewise potential vorticity (PV) inversion. The main results are as follows. (i) An EMT begins to affect downstream precipitation before it vacates the TP. A weaker EMT tends to cause the main downstream rainband to reduce in intensity and move southward. (ii) The EMT contributes to the formation of an eastward-moving plateau vortex (PLV) by enhancing convergence-induced stretching. Over the TP, the PLV mainly enhances/maintains the EMT, whereas during the vacating stage, the PLV dissipates (since convergence decreases rapidly when sensible heating from the TP reduces), which substantially reduces the intensity of the EMT. (iii) After PLV dissipation, a southwest vortex (SWV) forms around the Sichuan basin mainly due to convergence-induced stretching, convection-related tilting, and background transport. Piecewise PV inversion indicates that an EMT can directly contribute to SWV formation via lowering geopotential height and enhancing cyclonic wind perturbations around the Sichuan basin (even before its vacating stage), while neither of them governs the SWV formation. Sensitivity runs show that an EMT is not necessary for SWV formation, but can modify the SWV formation time and location, as well as its displacement, which significantly affects downstream precipitation.

Free access
Ching-Yuang Huang
,
Shu-Ya Chen
,
S. K. A. V. Prasad Rao Anisetty
,
Shu-Chih Yang
, and
Ling-Feng Hsiao

Abstract

The impact of global positioning system (GPS) radio occultation (RO) soundings on the prediction of severe mei-yu frontal rainfall near Taiwan in June 2012 was investigated in this study using a developed local bending angle (LBA) operator. Two operators for local refractivity (REF) and nonlocal refractivity [excess phase (EPH)] were also used for comparisons. The devised LBA simplifies the calculation of the Abel transform in inverting model local refractivity without a loss of accuracy. These operators have been implemented into the three-dimensional variational data assimilation system of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to assimilate GPS RO soundings available from the Formosa Satellite Mission 3/Constellation Observing Systems for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC). The RO data are found to be beneficial to the WRF forecast of local severe rainfall in Taiwan. Characteristics of assimilation performance and innovation for the three operators are discussed. Both of the local operators performing assimilation at observation levels appear to produce mostly larger positive moisture increments than do the current nonlocal operators performing assimilation on the mean height of each model vertical level. As the information of the initial increments has propagated farther south with the frontal flow, the simulation for LBA shows better prediction of rainfall peaks in Taiwan on the second day than both REF and EPH, with a maximum improvement of about 25%. The positive impact of the RO data results partially from several RO observations near Mongolia and north China. This study provides an intercomparison among the three RO operators, and shows the feasibility of regional assimilation with LBA.

Full access
Zhongbin Sun
,
Zhiwei Zhang
,
Cheng Li
,
Dongliang Yuan
,
Qingguo Yuan
,
Wenbo Lu
,
Yuelin Liu
,
Chun Zhou
,
Jing Wang
,
Ya Yang
,
Wei Zhao
, and
Jiwei Tian

Abstract

Full-depth ocean zonal currents in the tropical and extratropical northwestern Pacific (TNWP) are studied using current measurements from 17 deep-ocean moorings deployed along the 143°E meridian from the equator to 22°N during January 2016–February 2017. Mean transports of the North Equatorial Current and North Equatorial Countercurrent are estimated to be 42.7 ± 7.1 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) and 10.5 ± 5.3 Sv, respectively, both of which exhibit prominent annual cycles with opposite phases in this year. The observations suggest much larger vertical extents of several of the major subsurface currents than previously reported, including the Lower Equatorial Intermediate Current, Northern Intermediate Countercurrent, North Equatorial Subsurface Current, and North Equatorial Undercurrent (NEUC) from south to north. The Northern Subsurface Countercurrent and NEUC are found to be less steady than the other currents. Seasonal variations of these currents are also revealed in the study. In the deep ocean, the currents below 2000 m are reported for the first time. The observations confirm the striation patterns of meridionally alternating zonal currents in the intermediate and deep layers. Further analyses suggest a superposition of at least the first four and two baroclinic modes to represent the mean equatorial and off-equatorial currents, respectively. Meanwhile, seasonal variations of the currents are generally dominated by the first baroclinic mode associated with the low-mode Rossby waves. Overall, the above observational results not only enhance the knowledge of full-depth current system in the TNWP but also provide a basis for future model validation and skill improvement.

Restricted access
Shu-Chih Yang
,
Yi-Pin Chang
,
Hsiang-Wen Cheng
,
Kuan-Jen Lin
,
Ya-Ting Tsai
,
Jing-Shan Hong
, and
Yu-Chi Li

Abstract

In this study, we investigate the impact of assimilating densely distributed Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) zenith total delay (ZTD) and surface station (SFC) data on the prediction of very short-term heavy rainfall associated with afternoon thunderstorm (AT) events in the Taipei basin. Under weak synoptic-scale conditions, four cases characterized by different rainfall features are chosen for investigation. Experiments are conducted with a 3-h assimilation period, followed by 3-h forecasts. Also, various experiments are performed to explore the sensitivity of AT initialization. Data assimilation experiments are conducted with a convective-scale Weather Research and Forecasting–local ensemble transform Kalman filter (WRF-LETKF) system. The results show that ZTD assimilation can provide effective moisture corrections. Assimilating SFC wind and temperature data could additionally improve the near-surface convergence and cold bias, further increasing the impact of ZTD assimilation. Frequently assimilating SFC data every 10 min provides the best forecast performance especially for rainfall intensity predictions. Such a benefit could still be identified in the earlier forecast initialized 2 h before the start of the event. Detailed analysis of a case on 22 July 2019 reveals that frequent assimilation provides initial conditions that can lead to fast vertical expansion of the convection and trigger an intense AT. This study proposes a new metric using the fraction skill score to construct an informative diagram to evaluate the location and intensity of heavy rainfall forecast and display a clear characteristic of different cases. Issues of how assimilation strategies affect the impact of ground-based observations in a convective ensemble data assimilation system and AT development are also discussed.

Significance Statement

In this study, we investigate the impact of frequently assimilating densely distributed ground-based observations on predicting four afternoon thunderstorm events in the Taipei basin. While assimilating GNSS-ZTD data can improve the moisture fields for initializing convection, assimilating surface station data improves the prediction of rainfall location and intensity, particularly when surface data are assimilated at a very high frequency of 10 min.

Open access