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  • Author or Editor: Yukari N. Takayabu x
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Atsushi Hamada
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the impact of the enhancement in detectability by the dual-frequency precipitation radar (DPR) on board the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory. By setting two minimum detectable reflectivities—12 and 18 dBZ—artificially to 6 months of GPM DPR measurements, the precipitation occurrence and volume increase by ~21.1% and ~1.9%, respectively, between 40°S and 40°N.

GPM DPR is found to be able to detect light precipitation, which mainly consists of two distinct types. One type is shallow precipitation, which is most significant for convective precipitation over eastern parts of subtropical oceans, where deep convection is typically suppressed. The other type is probably associated with lower parts of anvil clouds associated with organized precipitation systems.

While these echoes have lower reflectivities than the official value of the minimum detectable reflectivity, they are found to mostly consist of true precipitation signals, suggesting that the official value may be too conservative for some sort of meteorological analyses. These results are expected to further the understanding of both global energy and water budgets and the diabatic heating distribution.

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Chie Yokoyama
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Differences in the characteristics of rain systems in the eastern Pacific (EP) intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the western Pacific (WP) warm pool are quantitatively examined in relation to the large-scale environment. This study mainly uses precipitation feature (PF) data observed by the precipitation radar (PR) on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The PFs are classified into four types according to their areas and maximum heights. Rain from tall unorganized systems and very tall organized systems tends to be dominant in high-SST regions such as the WP. On the other hand, the EP has more rain from congestus and organized systems with moderate heights than the WP. It is shown that shallow rain from congestus and moderately deep rain from organized systems are highly correlated with shallow (1000–925 hPa) convergence fields with coefficients of 0.75 and 0.66, respectively. These relationships between characteristics of rain systems and the large-scale environment are robust through all seasons.

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Chie Yokoyama
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Synoptic-scale westward-propagating disturbances over the eastern Pacific (EP) are analyzed in boreal autumn, utilizing spectral analysis, composite analysis, and energy budget analysis. The results are compared with those over the western Pacific (WP).

Spectral peaks of total precipitable water (TPW) and vertical velocity at 850 hPa (ω850), and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) are detected at periods of ~3–7 days over the EP. Meanwhile over the WP, a spectral peak of OLR is pronounced, but peaks of TPW and ω850 are not detected. Composite analysis reveals that disturbances that have a coupled structure, with a vortex at its center near ~9°N and a mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) wave–type disturbance, frequently exist over the EP. At the same time, the disturbances have a double-deck structure associated with divergence both in the upper and in the middle to lower troposphere. These disturbances are associated with both deep convection and congestus, which generate kinetic energy of the disturbance in the upper and in the lower troposphere, respectively.

Examining diabatic heating in relation to the coupled disturbances, deep heating with the peak at the height of ~7.5 km is greatest in the northeastern part of the vortex. The coupled MRG wave–type disturbance provides a relatively deep cross-equatorial southerly flow into the northeastern part of the vortex. It is suggested that deep rain is maintained with the existence of deep convergence produced by the coupled disturbances over the EP, where a very shallow convergence field exists on average.

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Ayako Seiki
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

The mechanism of synoptic-scale eddy development in the generation of westerly wind bursts (WWBs) over the western–central Pacific, and their relationship with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), were examined. In the WWB occurrences, barotropic structures of equatorial eddy westerlies with cyclonic disturbances were found from the surface to the upper troposphere. The dominant contributions to substantial eddy kinetic energy (EKE) were the barotropic energy conversion (KmKe) in the lower and middle tropospheres and the conversion from eddy available potential energy (PeKe) in the upper troposphere. Low-frequency environmental westerlies centered near the equator preceded strong zonal convergence and meridional shear, resulting in the substantial KmKe. The activation of synoptic convection also contributed to an increase in EKE through PeKe. These energies were redistributed to the lower-equatorial troposphere through energy flux convergence (GKe). These results showed that environmental fields contribute to the EKE increase near the equator and are important factors in WWB occurrences. Next, eddy growth was compared under different phases of MJO and ENSO. The MJO westerly phases of strong MJO events were classified into two groups, in terms of ENSO phases. Higher EKE values were found over the equatorial central Pacific in the WWB–ENSO correlated (pre–El Niño) periods. The energetics during these periods comported with those of the WWB generations. In the uncorrelated periods, the enhancement of eddy disturbances occurred far from the equator near the Philippines, where the activities of the easterly wave disturbances are well known. It is noteworthy that the enhanced region of the disturbances in the pre–El Niño periods coincided with the vicinity of large-scale MJO convection. It is suggested that coincidence corresponds with an enhancement of the internal disturbances embedded in the MJO, which is found only when the environmental conditions are favorable in association with ENSO.

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Ayako Seiki
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Statistical features of the relationship among westerly wind bursts (WWBs), the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and intraseasonal variations (ISVs) were examined using 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis data (ERA-40) for the period of January 1979–August 2002. WWBs were detected over the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, but not over the Atlantic Ocean. WWB frequencies for each region were lag correlated with a sea surface temperature anomaly over the Niño-3 region. WWBs tended to occur in sequence, from the western to eastern Pacific, leading the El Niño peak by 9 months to 1 month, respectively, and after around 11 months, over the Indian Ocean. These results suggest that WWB occurrences are not random, but interactive with ENSO. Composite analysis revealed that most WWBs were associated with slowdowns of eastward-propagating convective regions like the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), with the intensified Rossby wave response. However, seasonal and interannual variations in MJO amplitude were not correlated with WWB frequency, while a strong MJO event tended to bear WWBs. It is suggested that the strong MJO amplitude promotes favorable conditions, but it is not the only factor influencing WWB frequency. An environment common to WWB generation in all regions was the existence of background westerlies around the WWB center near the equator. It is inferred that ENSO prepares a favorable environment for the structural transformation of an MJO, that is, the intensified Rossby wave response, that results in WWB generations. The role of the background wind fields on WWB generations will be discussed in a companion paper from the perspective of energetics.

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Yuya Hamaguchi
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

In this study, the statistical relationship between tropical upper-tropospheric troughs (TUTTs) and the initiation of summertime tropical depression–type disturbances (TDDs) over the western and central North Pacific is investigated. By applying a spatiotemporal filter to the 34-yr record of brightness temperature and using JRA-55 products, TDD-event initiations are detected and classified as trough-related (TR) or non-trough-related (non-TR). The conventional understanding is that TDDs originate primarily in the lower troposphere; our results refine this view by revealing that approximately 30% of TDDs in the 10°–20°N latitude ranges are generated under the influence of TUTTs. Lead–lag composite analysis of both TR- and non-TR-TDDs clarifies that TR-TDDs occur under relatively dry and less convergent large-scale conditions in the lower troposphere. This result suggests that TR-TDDs can form in a relatively unfavorable low-level environment. The three-dimensional structure of the wave activity flux reveals southward and downward propagation of wave energy in the upper troposphere that converges at the midtroposphere around the region where TR-TDDs occur, suggesting the existence of extratropical forcing. Further, the role of dynamic forcing associated with the TUTT on the TR-TDD initiation is analyzed using the quasigeostrophic omega equation. The result reveals that moistening in the mid- to upper troposphere takes place in association with the sustained dynamical ascent at the southeast side of the TUTT, which precedes the occurrence of deep convective heating. Along with a higher convective available potential energy due to the destabilizing effect of TUTTs, the moistening in the mid- to upper troposphere also helps to prepare the environment favorable to TDDs initiation.

Open access
Yuhi Nakamura
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Detailed precipitation characteristics coupled with equatorial Rossby and Kelvin waves are investigated. We prepare a rainfall event dataset using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) level 2 data. Utilizing three indices, area size, maximum echo-top height, and stratiform precipitation ratio, rainfall events are classified into mesoscale convective system (MCS), deep, congestus, and shallow convective events, and “other” type. We perform composite analyses based on the wave phase defined in Part I. Precipitation amount in Rossby waves is in phase with column water vapor (CWV) anomalies and is mainly contributed by MCSs, which are simultaneously activated with deep convection. The large CWV can support deep development and organization of convection. Shallow and congestus convective events indicate their peaks just before the active phase on 10°N or in the later part of the convectively suppressed phase on the equator. A five-step evolution is shown in Kelvin waves. In the first stage, shallow convective events are triggered by high SST, followed by a dominance of congestus convective events. Then, in the developing stage, deep convective events become dominant. In the mature stage, heavy precipitation is contributed by MCSs, and mostly stratiform rain is maximized at later stages. Kelvin waves indicate relatively weak connection to CWV fluctuation. Although contrasted evolutions are indicated, large contributions by MCSs to precipitation amount are common among the two coupled waves. This is considered to result in the commonality of the equivalent depths with their top-heavy heating.

Significance Statement

A coupling mechanism between equatorial waves and convective activity is a key issue in the tropical meteorology. While many previous idealized studies suggested some instability mechanisms, detailed precipitation characteristics is not enough investigated. We prepare rainfall-event dataset observed from a spaceborne Precipitation Radar on board the TRMM satellite to quantify detailed precipitation characteristics statistically and compare equatorial Rossby waves and equatorial Kelvin waves. We found that organized convective systems and deep convection are simultaneously activated in the Rossby waves and a clear transition of convective activity is shown in the Kelvin waves. These characteristics highly correspond to waves’ synoptic-scale structures. Our observational results of detailed evolutions of rainfall events will improve understanding of coupling processes.

Open access
Hiroki Tsuji
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

A significant enhancement of precipitation can result from the interplay between two independent, large-scale phenomena: an atmospheric river (AR) and a cutoff low. An AR is a long, narrow region with a deep moist layer. A cutoff low is an upper-level cyclonic eddy isolated from the meandering upper-level westerly jet. Herein, we construct composites of cutoff lows both close to an AR (AR-close category) and distant from an AR (AR-distant category) over a 14-yr period across the western North Pacific region. A comparison between the two categories shows an enhanced precipitation area to the northwest of the cutoff low and to the south of the AR axis in the AR-close category. The horizontal formation among the AR, cutoff low, and enhanced precipitation area in the composite coincides with that in a disastrous flood event that occurred in Hiroshima, Japan, in 2014. The deep moist layer associated with the AR, and the destabilization and isentropic up-gliding effect associated with the cutoff low are also observed in both the composite and the Hiroshima cases. We further evaluate the distribution of quasigeostrophic forcing (Q vector) for vertical motion. This shows that warm air advection associated with the AR overcomes the descending forcing inherent in the northwest of the cutoff low and makes the instability and up-gliding effect in that region more effective. These results indicate that the interplay between ARs and cutoff lows is a common mechanism in the enhancement of precipitation and the Hiroshima case is an extreme precipitation event caused by this interplay.

Open access
Atsushi Hamada
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

This study reports on the presence of suspicious “extreme rainfall” data in the 2A25 version-7 (V7) product of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) dataset and introduces a simple method for detecting and filtering out the suspicious data. These suspicious data in V7 are found by comparing the extreme rainfall characteristics in the V7 and version-6 products. Most of the suspicious extremes are located over land, especially in mountainous regions. Radar reflectivities in the suspicious extremes show significant monotonic increases toward the echo bottom. These facts indicate that the suspicious extremes are mainly caused by contamination from ground or sea clutter. A simple thresholding filter for eliminating the suspicious extreme data is developed using common characteristics in the horizontal and vertical rainfall structures and reflectivities in the suspicious extremes. The proposed filter mitigates deformations in the frequency distribution of the surface rainfall rate in the 2A25 V7 product.

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Satoru Yokoi
and
Yukari N. Takayabu

Abstract

Variability in tropical cyclone (TC) activity is a matter of direct concern for affected populations. On interannual and longer time scales, variability in TC passage frequency can be associated with total TC frequency over the concerned ocean basin [basinwide frequency (BF)], the spatial distribution of TC genesis in the basin [genesis distribution (GD)], and the preferable track (PT) that can be considered as a function of genesis locations. To facilitate investigation of mechanisms responsible for the variability, the authors propose an approach of decomposing anomalies in the passage frequency into contributions of variability in BF, GD, and PT, which is named the Integration of Statistics on TC Activity by Genesis Location (ISTAGL) analysis. Application of this approach to TC best track data in the western North Pacific (WNP) basin reveals that overall distribution of the passage frequency trends over the 1961–2010 period is mainly due to the PT trends. On decadal time scales, passage frequency variability in midlatitudes is primarily due to PT variability, while the BF and GD also play roles in the subtropics. The authors further discuss decadal variability over the East China Sea in detail. The authors demonstrate that northward shift of the PT for TCs generated around the Philippines Sea and westward shift for TCs generated in the eastern part of the WNP contribute the variability with almost equal degree. The relationships between these PT shifts and anomalies in environmental circulation fields are also discussed.

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