2019 Volume 15A Pages 49-54
This study investigates the influence of strong southerly moisture flux on an extreme rainfall event over western Japan in early July 2018, by using a global atmospheric reanalysis dataset. During its peak period from 5 to 7 July, extensive and unprecedented rainfall observed along the well-defined quasi-stationary Baiu front was attributed to two branches of extremely moist inflow from the southern confluence into western Japan. One was a shallow southerly airstream enhanced by the surface North Pacific Subtropical High, and the other was a deeper southwesterly airstream accompanying enhanced convection over the East China Sea. Both the vertically integrated moisture flux from the south and its convergence into western Japan reached the highest levels for 60 years due to an overwhelming contribution from the intensified southerlies. Anomalous diabatic heating associated with the active convection over the East China Sea acted to maintain the southwesterly moisture flux by inducing low-level cyclonic potential vorticity anomalies. During the rainfall event, a strong meander of the upper-level subtropical jet associated with the intensified surface North Pacific Subtropical High accompanied an amplified upper-level trough over the Korean Peninsula, which acted to induce ascent dynamically along the Baiu front.