Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II
Online ISSN : 2186-9057
Print ISSN : 0026-1165
ISSN-L : 0026-1165
Characteristics of Large-Scale Atmospheric Fields during Heavy Rainfall Events in Western Japan: Comparison with an Extreme Event in Early July 2018
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JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication
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Article ID: 2020-062


 To explore large-scale atmospheric factors causing heavy rainfall events that occurred widely in western Japan, a composite analysis of atmospheric fields during the past heavy rainfall events in the region is performed using the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis. During heavy rainfall events, atmospheric fields are characterized by an upper-tropospheric trough over the Korean Peninsula (KP), an upper-tropospheric ridge to the east of Japan, a surface high-pressure system to the southeast of Japan, and southwesterly moisture flux. The composite analysis indicates that a clear wave train due to quasi-stationary Rossby wave-packet propagation (RWPP) along the polar front jet (PFJ) over Siberia tends to occur just before extreme events. Further analysis considering various time-scale variabilities in the atmosphere reveals that surface high-pressure anomalies to the southeast of Japan are dominated by variability with a 25–90-day period, whereas variability with an 8–25-day period dominates lower-pressure anomalies over the East China Sea (ECS) in relation to the development of the upper-tropospheric trough around the KP.

 We also investigate atmospheric fields during an extreme heavy rainfall event that occurred in early July 2018 (HR18). Atmospheric features during HR18 are generally similar to those of the other heavy rainfall events. However, a remarkable RWPP occurred along the sub-tropical jet (STJ) in late June 2018 and intensified a surface high-pressure system to the southeast of Japan. In addition, a low-pressure system with an 8–25-day period to the south of Japan developed in association with wave breaking induced by the remarkable RWPP along the STJ and propagated northwestward toward the ECS and then to Japan. The simultaneous development of high- and low-pressure systems contributed to the extreme southerly moisture flux into western Japan. HR18 is also characterized by a sharp upper-tropospheric trough over the KP that is dominated by high-frequency variability with a period < 8 days.

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© The Author(s) 2020. This is an open access article published by the Meteorological Society of Japan under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
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