A dataset of hourly sea surface temperature (SST) from the period 1 January 1982 to 31 December 2012, and covering the global ocean at a resolution of 0.3°× 0.3°, was created using a validated ocean mixed-layer model (MLSST). The model inputs were heat flux and surface wind speed obtained from the Coupled Forecast System Reanalysis dataset. Comparisons with in-situ data from the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean array and the National Data Buoy Center showed that the MLSST fitted very well with observations, with a mean bias of 0.07°C, and a root-mean-square error (RMSE) and correlation coefficient of 0.37°C and 0.98, respectively. Also, the MLSST fields successfully reproduced the diurnal cycle of SST in the in-situ data, with a mean bias of -0.005°C and RMSE of 0.26°C. The 31-year climatology revealed that the diurnal range was small across most regions, with higher values in the eastern and western equatorial Pacific, northern Indian Ocean, western Central America, northwestern Australia, and several coastal regions. Significant seasonal variation of diurnal SST existed in all basins. In the Atlantic and Pacific basins, this seasonal pattern was oriented north-south, following the variation in solar insolation, whereas in the Indian basin it was dominated by monsoonal variability. At the interannual scale, the results highlighted the relationship between diurnal and interannual variations of SST, and revealed that the diurnal warming in the central equatorial Pacific could be a potential climatic indicator for ENSO prediction.
Three-month wind profiles, 260 m PM1 concentrations [i.e., particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 1 μm], and carrier-to-noise ratio data at two Beijing sites 55 km apart (urban and suburban) were collected to analyze the characteristics of low-level nocturnal wind and PM in autumn and winter. Three mountain-plain wind events with wind shear were selected for analysis. The measurements indicated that the maximum wind speeds of the northerly weak low-level jet (LLJ) below 320 m at the suburban site were weaker than those at the urban site, and the LLJ heights and depths at the suburban site were lower than those at the urban site. The nocturnal 140 m mean vertical velocities and the variations in vertical velocity at the urban site were larger than those at the suburban site. A nocturnal breeze with a weak LLJ of ～3 m s-1 noticeably offset nocturnal PM transport due to southerly flow and convergence within the northern urban area of Beijing. Characteristics of the nocturnal LLJ, such as start-up time, structure, intensity, and duration, were important factors in determining the decrease in the nocturnal horizontal range and site-based low-level variations in PM.
This study investigates the tropical cyclone (TC) activity associated with the two leading modes of interannual variability in synoptic disturbances. Both leading modes are found to be related to a dipole pattern of TC occurrence between the subtropical western North Pacific and the South China Sea. Therefore, in this study we performed composite analyses on TC tracks and landfalls, based on the cases of combined modes, to highlight the differences. The composite results indicate that these cases are characterized by distinct features of TC tracks and landfalls: more TCs tend to take recurving tracks and attack eastern China, Korea and Japan, or more TCs exhibit straight-moving tracks and hit the Philippines, Vietnam and southern China. Further analyses suggest that these distinctions in the TC prevailing tracks and landfalls can be attributed to the differences in large-scale steering flow and TC genesis location.
Flash drought is a rapidly intensifying drought with abnormally high temperature, which has greatly threatened crop yields and water supply, and aroused wide public concern in a warming climate. However, the preferable hydrometeorological conditions for flash drought and its association with conventional drought at longer time scales remain unclear. Here, we investigate two types of flash drought over China: one is high-temperature driven (Type I), while the other is water-deficit driven (Type II). Results show that the frequencies of the two types of flash drought averaged over China during the growing season are comparable. Type I flash drought tends to occur over southern China, where moisture supply is sufficient, while Type II is more likely to occur over semi-arid regions such as northern China. Both types of flash drought increase significantly (p<0.01) during 1979-2010, with a doubled rise in Type I as compared with Type II. Composite analysis shows that high temperature quickly increases evapotranspiration (ET) and reduces soil moisture from two pentads before the onset of Type I flash drought. In contrast, there are larger soil moisture deficits two pentads before the onset of Type II flash drought, leading to a decrease in ET and increase in temperature. For flash drought associated with seasonal drought, there is a greater likelihood of occurrence during the onset and recovery phases of seasonal drought, suggesting perfect conditions for flash drought during transition periods. This study provides a basis for the early warning of flash drought by connecting multiscale drought phenomena.
In this study, the nonlinear local Lyapunov exponent (NLLE) approach was used to quantitatively determine the predictability limit of tropical cyclone (TC) tracks based on observed TC track data obtained from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The results show that the predictability limit of all TC tracks over the whole western North Pacific (WNP) basin is about 102 h, and the average lifetime of all TC tracks is about 174 h. The predictability limits of the TC tracks for short-, medium-, and long-lived TCs are approximately 72 h, 120 h, and 132 h, respectively. The predictability limit of the TC tracks depends on the TC genesis location, lifetime, and intensity, and further analysis indicated that these three metrics are closely related. The more intense and longer-lived TCs tend to be generated on the eastern side of the WNP (EWNP), whereas the weaker and shorter-lived TCs tend to form in the west of the WNP (WWNP) and the South China Sea (SCS). The relatively stronger and longer-lived TCs, which are generated mainly in the EWNP, have a longer travel time before they curve northeastwards and hence tend to be more predictable than the relatively weaker and shorter-lived TCs that form in the WWNP region and SCS. Furthermore, the results show that the predictability limit of the TC tracks obtained from the best-track data may be underestimated due to the relatively short observational records currently available. Further work is needed, employing a numerical model to assess the predictability of TC tracks.