2015 Volume 93 Issue 2 Pages 161-179
We performed a 20-year numerical experiment over the period 1985 to 2004 using a high-resolution North Pacific Ocean General Circulation Model (NPOGCM) and a 20 km-resolution regional climate model (RCM20) to clarify the impact of the Kuroshio large meander (LM) on the climate around Japan. The NPOGCM reproduced the two primary quasi-stationary states, straight path (SP), and large meander (LM), although the periods during which each state prevailed differed from those indicated in the observational data. The NPOGCM result also showed that the Kuroshio LM causes a cold sea surface temperature anomaly to the south of the Pacific coast of the central Japan. Using the result as a lower boundary condition, a continuous numerical integration was performed by the RCM20. An 8-year composite analysis of the atmospheric circulations of the RCM20 simulation for the Kuroshio LM and SP showed that, in both winter and summer, substantial decreases in the upward surface turbulent heat flux, the frequency of precipitation, and the frequency of steep horizontal gradients in equivalent potential temperature over the ocean are caused by the cold sea surface temperature anomaly. Similar effects are evident over the land area of Japan, although they are less intense, at most 20-50 % of magnitude over the cold sea surface temperature anomaly area, and limited to the coastal region on the Pacific Ocean side in the central part of the country.