Using observational data and the pre-industrial simulations of 19 models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), the El Niño (EN) and La Niña (LN) events in positive and negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) phases are examined. In the observational data, with EN (LN) events the positive (negative) SST anomaly in the equatorial eastern Pacific is much stronger in positive (negative) PDO phases than in negative (positive) phases. Meanwhile, the models cannot reasonably reproduce this difference. Besides, the modulation of ENSO frequency asymmetry by the PDO is explored. Results show that, in the observational data, EN is 300% more (58% less) frequent than LN in positive (negative) PDO phases, which is significant at the 99% confidence level using the Monte Carlo test. Most of the CMIP5 models exhibit results that are consistent with the observational data.
The present study investigates the interannual variation of June-November synoptic disturbance activity over the western North Pacific (WNP) and its relationship with large-scale circulation for the period 1958-2014. Two leading modes of eddy kinetic energy for the disturbance variability over the WNP are obtained by EOF analysis, characterized by anomalous eddy kinetic energy over the subtropical WNP and around the Philippines, respectively. These modes explain a large portion of the interannual variance of synoptic disturbance activity over the WNP. Both are associated with lower-level cyclonic anomalies, but with different locations: over the subtropical WNP for the first mode and over the South China Sea for the second mode. Considering the impact of ENSO on synoptic disturbance activity over the WNP, we repeat the analyses after removing the effect of ENSO, which is simply defined as the components linearly regressed onto the Niño3.4 index, and find similar results, suggesting that the leading modes and their relationships with large-scale circulation exist without SST effects. Further analyses suggest that the meridional shear of zonal winds caused by cyclonic anomalies is crucial for maintaining the leading modes through barotropic conversion.
A dual-resolution (DR) version of a regional ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF)-3D ensemble variational (3DEnVar) coupled hybrid data assimilation system is implemented as a prototype for the operational Rapid Refresh forecasting system. The DR 3DEnVar system combines a high-resolution (HR) deterministic background forecast with lower-resolution (LR) EnKF ensemble perturbations used for flow-dependent background error covariance to produce a HR analysis. The computational cost is substantially reduced by running the ensemble forecasts and EnKF analyses at LR. The DR 3DEnVar system is tested with 3-h cycles over a 9-day period using a 40/∼13-km grid spacing combination. The HR forecasts from the DR hybrid analyses are compared with forecasts launched from HR Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) 3D variational (3DVar) analyses, and single LR hybrid analyses interpolated to the HR grid. With the DR 3DEnVar system, a 90% weight for the ensemble covariance yields the lowest forecast errors and the DR hybrid system clearly outperforms the HR GSI 3DVar. Humidity and wind forecasts are also better than those launched from interpolated LR hybrid analyses, but the temperature forecasts are slightly worse. The humidity forecasts are improved most. For precipitation forecasts, the DR 3DEnVar always outperforms HR GSI 3DVar. It also outperforms the LR 3DEnVar, except for the initial forecast period and lower thresholds.
Wave ray theory is employed to study features of propagation pathways (rays) of vortex Rossby waves in typhoons with asymmetric basic flow, where the tangential asymmetric basic flow is constructed by superimposing the wavenumber-1 perturbation flow on the symmetric basic flow, and the radial basic flow is derived from the non-divergence equation. Results show that, in a certain distance, the influences of the asymmetry in the basic flow on group velocities and slopes of rays of vortex Rossby waves are mainly concentrated near the radius of maximum wind (RMW), whereas it decreases outside the RMW. The distributions of radial and tangential group velocities of the vortex Rossby waves in the asymmetric basic flow are closely related to the azimuth location of the maximum speed of the asymmetric basic flow, and the importance of radial and tangential basic flow on the group velocities would change with radius. In addition, the stronger asymmetry in the basic flow always corresponds to faster outward energy propagation of vortex Rossby waves. In short, the group velocities, and thereby the wave energy propagation and vortex Rossby wave ray slope in typhoons, would be changed by the asymmetry of the basic flow.
Severe weather reports and composite radar reflectivity data from 2010-14 over North China were used to analyze the distribution of severe convective wind (SCW) events and their organizational modes of radar reflectivity. The six organizational modes for SCW events (and their proportions) were cluster cells (35.4%), squall lines (18.4%), nonlinear-shaped systems (17.8%), broken lines (11.6%), individual cells (1.2%), and bow echoes (0.5%). The peak month for both squall lines and broken lines was June, whereas it was July for the other four modes. The highest numbers of SCW events were over the mountains, which were generally associated with disorganized systems of cluster cells. In contrast, SCW associated with linear systems occurred mainly over the plains, where stations recorded an average of less than one SCW event per year. Regions with a high frequency of SCW associated with nonlinear-shaped systems also experienced many SCW events associated with squall lines. Values of convective available potential energy, precipitable water, 0-3-km shear, and 0-6-km shear, were demonstrably larger over the plains than over the mountains, which had an evident effect on the organizational modes of SCW events. Therefore, topography may be an important factor in the organizational modes for SCW events over North China.
This study investigates the structure and propagation of intraseasonal sea surface temperature (SST) variability in the South China Sea (SCS) on the 30-60-day timescale during boreal summer (May-September). TRMM-based SST, GODAS oceanic reanalysis and ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis datasets from 1998 to 2013 are used to examine quantitatively the atmospheric thermodynamic and oceanic dynamic mechanisms responsible for its formation. Power spectra show that the 30-60-day SST variability is predominant, accounting for 60% of the variance of the 10-90-day variability over most of the SCS. Composite analyses demonstrate that the 30-60-day SST variability is characterized by the alternate occurrence of basin-wide positive and negative SST anomalies in the SCS, with positive (negative) SST anomalies accompanied by anomalous northeasterlies (southwesterlies). The transition and expansion of SST anomalies are driven by the monsoonal trough-ridge seesaw pattern that migrates northward from the equator to the northern SCS. Quantitative diagnosis of the composite mixed-layer heat budgets shows that, within a strong 30-60-day cycle, the atmospheric thermal forcing is indeed a dominant factor, with the mixed-layer net heat flux (MNHF) contributing around 60% of the total SST tendency, while vertical entrainment contributes more than 30%. However, the entrainment-induced SST tendency is sometimes as large as the MNHF-induced component, implying that ocean processes are sometimes as important as surface fluxes in generating the 30-60-day SST variability in the SCS.
Typhoon Chan-Hom (2015) underwent a weakening in the tropical western North Pacific (WNP) when it interacted with a monsoon gyre, but all operational forecasts failed to predict this intensity change. A recent observational study indicated that it resulted from its interaction with a monsoon gyre on the 15-30-day timescale. In this study, the results of two numerical experiments are presented to investigate the influence of the monsoon gyre on the intensity changes of Typhoon Chan-Hom (2015). The control experiment captures the main observed features of the weakening process of Chan-Hom (2015) during a sharp northward turn in the Philippine Sea, including the enlargement of the eye size, the development of strong convection on the eastern side of the monsoon gyre, and the corresponding strong outer inflow. The sensitivity experiment suggests that intensity changes of Chan-Hom (2015) were mainly associated with its interaction with the monsoon gyre. When Chan-Hom (2015) initially moved westward in the eastern part of the monsoon gyre, the monsoon gyre enhanced the inertial stability for the intensification of the typhoon. With its coalescence with the monsoon gyre, the development of the strong convection on the eastern side of the monsoon gyre prevented moisture and mass entering the inner core of Chan-Hom (2015), resulting in the collapse of the eyewall. Thus, the weakening happened in the deep tropical WNP region. The numerical simulations confirm the important effects of the interaction between tropical cyclones and monsoon gyres on tropical cyclone intensity.
The characteristics of tropical cyclone (TC) extreme rainfall events over Hainan Island from 1969 to 2014 are analyzed from the viewpoint of the TC maximum daily rainfall (TMDR) using daily station precipitation data from the Meteorological Information Center of the China Meteorological Administration, TC best-track data from the Shanghai Typhoon Institute, and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data. The frequencies of the TMDR reaching 50, 100 and 250 mm show a decreasing trend [-0.7 (10 yr)-1], a weak decreasing trend [-0.2 (10 yr)-1] and a weak increasing trend [0.1 (10 yr)-1], respectively. For seasonal variations, the TMDR of all intensity grades mainly occurs from July to October, with the frequencies of TMDR ≥ 50 mm and ≥ 100 mm peaking in September and the frequency of TMDR ≥ 250 mm [TC extreme rainstorm (TCER) events] peaking in August and September. The western region (Changjiang) of the Island is always the rainfall center, independent of the intensity or frequencies of different intensity grades. The causes of TCERs are also explored and the results show that topography plays a key role in the characteristics of the rainfall events. TCERs are easily induced on the windward slopes of Wuzhi Mountain, with the coordination of TC tracks and TC wind structure. A slower speed of movement, a stronger TC intensity and a farther westward track are all conducive to extreme rainfall events. A weaker northwestern Pacific subtropical high is likely to make the 500-hPa steering flow weaker and results in slower TC movement, whereas a stronger South China Sea summer monsoon can carry a higher moisture flux. These two environmental factors are both favorable for TCERs.
The geometric characteristics of tropical cyclone (TC) eyes before landfall in South China are examined using ground-based radar reflectivity. It is found that the median and mean eye area decrease with TC intensity, except for the severe typhoon category, and the eye size increases with height. The increasing rate of eye size is relatively greater in upper layers. Moreover, the ratio of eye size change in the vertical direction does not correlate with TC intensity. No relationship is presented between the ratio of eye size change in the vertical direction and the vertical wind shear. No relationship between the vertical change in eye size and the eye size at a certain level is found, inconsistent with other studies. No relationship exists between the vertical change in eye size and the intensity tendency. The eye roundness values range mainly from 0.5 to 0.7, and more intense TCs generally have eyes that are more circular.
A numerical experiment was performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to analyze the generation and propagation of inertia-gravity waves during an orographic rainstorm that occurred in the Sichuan area on 17 August 2014. To examine the spatial and temporal structures of the inertia-gravity waves and identify the wave types, three wave-number-frequency spectral analysis methods (Fourier analysis, cross-spectral analysis, and wavelet cross-spectrum analysis) were applied. During the storm, inertia-gravity waves appeared at heights of 10-14 km, with periods of 80-100 min and wavelengths of 40-50 km. These waves were generated over a mountain and propagated eastward at an average speed of 15-20 m s-1. Meanwhile, comparison between the reconstructed inertia-gravity waves and accumulated precipitation showed there was a mutual promotion process between them. The Richardson number and Scorer parameter were used to demonstrate that the eastward-moving inertia-gravity waves were trapped in an effective atmospheric ducting zone with favorable reflector and critical level conditions, which were the primary causes of the long lives of the waves. Finally, numerical experiments to test the sensitivity to terrain and diabatic heating were conducted, and the results suggested a cooperative effect of terrain and diabatic heating contributed to the propagation and enhancement of the waves.