2022 Volume 18A Issue Special_Edition Pages 21-26
Several regions in western Japan experienced a record-breaking early onset of the rainy season called Baiu in mid-May 2021, which is attributed to the northward movement and enhancement of the Baiu frontal zone. This study investigates large-scale atmospheric circulation that contributes to the early onset of Baiu. Diagnostic and statistical analyses based on reanalysis datasets reveal that both enhanced convection over the western Indian Ocean associated with the Madden–Julian oscillation and a blocking high near western Russia promote the excitation of Rossby waves to propagate downstream along the upper-tropospheric jet, and thus contributing to the northward movement of the Baiu frontal zone. The anomalous convection over the western Indian Ocean and the subtropical western North Pacific also may affect anticyclonic circulation anomalies to the northeast of the Philippines in the lower troposphere, which promotes moisture inflow toward western Japan and consequently intensifies the Baiu frontal zone. Numerical and quantitative analyses of the circulation anomalies near Japan based on a linear baroclinic model confirm the aforementioned results. The results indicate that the anomalous convection over the Asian monsoon region and the blocking high near western Russia are the primary factors contributing to the early onset of Baiu.