2020 Volume 98 Issue 1 Pages 235-255
In this study, we examined the characteristics of a rainfall system that brought heavy rainfall to a broad portion of western Japan on July 5–8, 2018, and the role played by an upper-tropospheric trough which stayed at the rear of the extensive rainfall area during the event. The Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar onboard the core satellite of the Global Precipitation Measurement revealed the significant contribution of rainfall with its top below 10 km, the broad spatial extent covered by stratiform rainfall, and the presence of convective rainfall embedded in the large stratiform rainfall area. These features are characteristic of well-organized rainfall systems. Based on the analysis of meteorological data, large-scale environmental conditions related to the event were found to be relatively stable and very humid throughout most of the troposphere compared with the climatology. This large-scale environment, which is consistent with previous statistical results for extreme rainfall events, was present across an extensive area of Japan.
We found that the trough played an important role in the maintenance of an environment favorable for rainfall organization. Dynamical ascent associated with the trough acted to produce vertical moisture flux convergence in the mid-troposphere and upper troposphere and moistened most of the troposphere in conjunction with horizontal moisture flux convergence. Humid conditions in the mid- to lower troposphere enhanced the development of deep convection when the lower troposphere was convectively unstable. Once deep convection was promoted in this way, convection itself could moisten the mid- to upper troposphere further through diabatic ascent, thereby loading the free troposphere with moisture. This synergy between the dynamical effect and the diabatic effect enhanced the conditions that allowed for a well-organized rainfall system that produced very heavy rainfall over a large portion of Japan.