2019 Volume 15 Pages 80-86
This study examines dominant precipitation patterns during winter in the north-central region (Hokuriku District) of Japan, based on empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) analysis. The pattern of the first leading component is similar to that of the mean precipitation, and the second leading component shows a dipole structure in which positive and negative regions are separated by the coast line. This dipole pattern across the coast line is robust regardless of data stratifications for the EOF calculation. Composites reveal that maritime and inland precipitation is relatively enhanced before and after the passage of a mid-level trough, respectively. In the former case, the temperature is higher and westerly or southwesterly wind prevails, while northwesterly wind dominates in the latter case. It is suggested that interactions between cold air over the land and warm air over the ocean are essentially important to the distinct precipitation patterns; offshore winds wedge the inland cold air under the maritime warm air, and intensifies the precipitation over the ocean. On the other hand, the northwesterly monsoonal flow pushes the maritime warm air onto the inland cold air, and more precipitation is brought about around the mountain range.