In this study, the initial perturbations that are the easiest to trigger the Kuroshio Extension (KE) transition connecting a basic weak jet state and a strong, fairly stable meandering state, are investigated using a reduced-gravity shallow water ocean model and the CNOP (Conditional Nonlinear Optimal Perturbation) approach. This kind of initial perturbation is called an optimal precursor (OPR). The spatial structures and evolutionary processes of the OPRs are analyzed in detail. The results show that most of the OPRs are in the form of negative sea surface height (SSH) anomalies mainly located in a narrow band region south of the KE jet, in basic agreement with altimetric observations. These negative SSH anomalies reduce the meridional SSH gradient within the KE, thus weakening the strength of the jet. The KE jet then becomes more convoluted, with a high-frequency and large-amplitude variability corresponding to a high eddy kinetic energy level; this gradually strengthens the KE jet through an inverse energy cascade. Eventually, the KE reaches a high-energy state characterized by two well defined and fairly stable anticyclonic meanders. Moreover, sensitivity experiments indicate that the spatial structures of the OPRs are not sensitive to the model parameters and to the optimization times used in the analysis.
In summer, water vapor over the eastern China monsoon region (ECMR) comes mainly from low latitudes and is modulated by tropical cyclone (TC) activity in East Asia (EA). This study examines the variability of water vapor transport over the ECMR, especially of the moisture inflow via the southern and eastern boundaries. The results of composite and correlation analyses, using data from 1979 to 2010, reveal significant differences in moisture budgets along the boundaries between TC days and non-TC days. Almost 80% of the water vapor transport via the eastern boundary occurs during TC days, while at the southern boundary most inflow occurs on non-TC days. The ratio of the total water vapor transport between TC and non-TC days is about 4:6. In addition, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exhibits a remarkable influence on moisture transport over EA and the contributions of moisture inflow on TC days increase (reduce) in El Niño (La Niña) years. Moreover, different types of TCs, based on their tracks, have different effects on the moisture budgets along the southern and eastern boundaries. When TCs enter EA (but not the ECMR), they favor the moisture inflow via the eastern boundary and hinder the moisture inflow via the southern boundary. After TCs enter the ECMR, the inhibition of moisture inflow via the southern boundary will be weakened, and more water vapor can be brought into the ECMR. For some recurving TCs with an increase in TC activity in the midlatitudes, the influence is uncertain in different cases. The results herein suggest that TC activity is an important factor that influences the boundary moisture budgets in the ECMR.
This study investigates the trends in the mean state and the day-to-day variability (DDV) of the surface weather conditions over northern and northeastern China (NNEC) during 1961-2014 using CN05.1 observational data. In this study, we show that the surface temperature (wind speed) has increased (decreased) over NNEC and that the DDV of the surface temperatures and wind speeds has decreased, indicating a trend towards a stable warm and windless state of the surface weather conditions over NNEC. This finding implies a trend towards more persistent hot and windless episodes, which threaten human health and aggravate environmental problems. The trends are also examined in reanalysis data. Both the ERA-40 and the NCEP data show an increasing (decreasing) trend in the mean state of the surface temperatures (wind speeds). However, the reanalysis data show a consistent decreasing trend in the DDV of the surface weather conditions only in the spring. The underlying reason for the decreased DDV of the surface weather conditions is further analyzed, focusing on the spring season. Essentially, the decreased DDV of the surface weather conditions can be attributed to a decrease in synoptic-scale wave activity, which is caused by a decrease in the baroclinic instability. There is a contrasting change in the baroclinic instability over East Asia, showing a decreasing (increasing) trend north (south) of 40°N. This contrasting change in the baroclinic instability is primarily caused by a tropospheric cooling zone over East Asia at approximately 40°N, which influences the meridional temperature gradient over East Asia.
The characteristics of raindrop size distribution (DSD) over the Tibetan Plateau and southern China are studied in this paper, using the DSD data from April to August 2014 collected by HSC-PS32 disdrometers in Nagqu and Yangjiang, comprising a total of 9430 and 6366 1-min raindrop spectra, respectively. The raindrop spectra, characteristics of parameter variations with rainfall rate, and the relationships between reflectivity factor (Z) and rainfall rate (R) are analyzed, as well as their DSD changes with precipitation type and rainfall rate. The results show that the average raindrop spectra appear to be one-peak curves, the number concentration for larger drops increase significantly with rainfall rate, and its value over southern China is much higher, especially in convective rain. Standardized Gamma distributions better describe DSD for larger drops, especially for convective rain in southern China. All three Gamma parameters for stratiform precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau are much higher, while its shape parameter (μ) and mass-weighted mean diameter (D m), for convective precipitation, are less. In terms of parameter variation with rainfall rate, the normalized intercept parameter (N w) over the Tibetan Plateau for stratiform rain increases with rainfall rate, which is opposite to the situation in convective rain. The μ over the Tibetan Plateau for stratiform and convective precipitation types decreases with an increase in rainfall rate, which is opposite to the case for D m variation. In Z-R relationships, like "Z=ARb", the coefficient A over the Tibetan Plateau is smaller, while its b is higher, when the rain type transfers from stratiform to convective ones. Furthermore, with an increase in rainfall rate, parameters A and b over southern China increase gradually, while A over the Tibetan Plateau decreases substantially, which differs from the findings of previous studies. In terms of geographic location and climate over the Tibetan Plateau and southern China, the precipitation in the pre-flood seasons is dominated by strong convective rain, while weak convective rain occurs frequently in northern Tibet with lower humidity and higher altitude.
This paper compares data from linearized and nonlinear Zebiak-Cane model, as constrained by observed sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA), in simulating central Pacific (CP) and eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño. The difference between the temperature advections (determined by subtracting those of the linearized model from those of the nonlinear model), referred to here as the nonlinearly induced temperature advection change (NTA), is analyzed. The results demonstrate that the NTA records warming in the central equatorial Pacific during CP El Niño and makes fewer contributions to the structural distinctions of the CP El Niño, whereas it records warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific during EP El Niño, and thus significantly promotes EP El Niño during El Niño-type selection. The NTA for CP and EP El Niño varies in its amplitude, and is smaller in CP El Niño than it is in EP El Niño. These results demonstrate that CP El Niño are weakly modulated by small intensities of NTA, and may be controlled by weak nonlinearity; whereas, EP El Niño are significantly enhanced by large amplitudes of NTA, and are therefore likely to be modulated by relatively strong nonlinearity. These data could explain why CP El Niño are weaker than EP El Niño. Because the NTA for CP and EP El Niño differs in spatial structures and intensities, as well as their roles within different El Niño modes, the diversity of El Niño may be closely related to changes in the nonlinear characteristics of the tropical Pacific.