Typhoon Lionrock (2016) made landfall in the Pacific side of northern Japan. One of the intriguing events was consecutive deep convections (convective bursts, CBs) occurred before making landfall on 31 August. Lionrock paused the decay of the intensity of the storm, although sea surface cooling (SSC) was induced distinctly by Lionrock along the track. To examine the influence of CBs on changes in storm intensity during the decay phase, numerical simulations were conducted with a 3 km mesh coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model. The coupled model successfully simulated the occurrence of CBs north of the near-surface-convergence area, which was formed by the confluent of the storm's tangential winds with near-surface frictional spiral inflow from the surrounding region where the significant wave height was high. Simultaneously, the relatively fast translation and asymmetric tropical cyclone (TC) structure were maintained. Lower tropospheric horizontal moisture fluxes have enhanced around the convergence area, although SSC resulted in reduction of the air-sea latent heat fluxes within the storm's inner core. Local occurrences of upward moisture fluxes associated with CBs increased the mid-to-upper tropospheric condensational heating on the upstream side. This caused local increase in lower-tropospheric pressure gradient on the upstream side. This was favorable for pausing the decay of the simulated storm intensity even during the decay phase. Sensitivity experiments regarding the execution time of the coupled model showed that the vertical moisture fluxes and number of CBs could increase around the surface frictional convergence area ahead of the storm when the coupled model was not used. This suggests that the storm in mid-latitude could locally increase the maximum surface wind speed under favorable oceanic conditions. The number and distribution of CBs are indeed sensitive to oceanic conditions and are considered to affect the storm-track simulation and maximum surface wind speeds.
Accurate simulation of urban snow accumulation/melting processes is important to provide reliable information about climate change in snowy urban areas. The Japan Meteorological Agency operates a square prism urban canopy (SPUC) model within their regional model to simulate the urban atmosphere. However, presently, this model takes no account of snow processes. Therefore, in this study, we enhanced the SPUC by introducing a snowpack scheme, and assessed the simulated snow over Japanese urban areas by comparing the snow depths from the enhanced SPUC and those from a simple biosphere (iSiB) model with the observations. Snowpack schemes based on two approaches were implemented. The diagnostic approach (sSPUCdgn) uses empirical factors for snow temperature and melting/freezing amounts and the Penman equation for heat fluxes, whereas the prognostic approach (sSPUCprg) calculates snow temperatures using heat fluxes estimated from bulk equations. Both snowpack schemes enabled the model to accurately reproduce the seasonal variations and peaks in snow depth, but it is necessary to use sSPUCprg if we wish to consider the physical processes in the snow layer. Compared to iSiB, sSPUCprg resulted in a good performance for the seasonal variations in snow depth and the error fell to 20 %. While iSiB overestimated the snow depth, a cold bias of over 1°C appeared in the daily mean temperature, which can be attributed to excessive decreases in the snow surface temperature. sSPUCprg reduces the bias by a different calculation method for the snow surface temperature and by including heated building walls without snow; consequently, the simulated snow depth is improved. With an increase in the correlation coefficient, sSPUCprg generated a relationship between the seasonal variations in snowfall and snow depth close to the observed relationship. Therefore, the simulation accuracy of snowfall becomes more crucial for simulating the surface snow processes precisely by using the enhanced SPUC.
A new observational measure, the Morphological Index of Convective Aggregation (MICA), is developed to objectively detect the signs of convective self-aggregation on the basis of a simple morphological diagnosis of convective clouds in satellite imagery. The proposed index is applied to infrared imagery from the Meteosat-7 satellite and is assessed with sounding-array measurements in the tropics from Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability in the Year 2011 (CINDY2011)/Dynamics of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) (DYNAMO)/Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) MJO Investigation Experiment (AMIE). The precipitation events during the observational period are first classified by MICA into “aggregation events” and “nonaggregation events”. The large-scale thermodynamics implied from the sounding-array data are then examined, with a focus on the difference between the two classes. The composite time series show that drying proceeds over 6-12 h as precipitation intensifies in the aggregation events. Such drying is unclear in the nonaggregation events. The moisture budget balance is maintained in very different manners between the two adjacent sounding arrays for the aggregation events, in contrast to the nonaggregation events that lack such apparent asymmetry. These results imply the potential utility of the proposed metrics for future studies in search of convective self-aggregation in the real atmosphere.
In this study, we show analytically that vortex Rossby waves (VRWs) with azimuthal wavenumber m = 1 in a basic axisymmetric vortex can grow exponentially in a quasi-geostrophic system, although they cannot do so in a barotropic system.
VRWs grow exponentially if Rayleigh's condition and Fjørtoft's condition are satisfied. Satisfying Rayleigh's condition means that two horizontally aligned VRWs at two different radii propagate (here and hereafter “propagate” refers to propagation relative to the fluid) azimuthally counter to each other. Satisfying Fjørtoft's condition means that the cyclonic advective angular velocity of the basic vortex is distributed radially so as to enable the VRWs to be phase-locked with each other. Under these conditions, a strong mutual interaction between the VRWs becomes possible, and thus they grow exponentially.
In a barotropic system, even if Rayleigh's condition is satisfied, the azimuthal counter propagation of VRWs with azimuthal wavenumber m = 1 is so strong that phase-locking between them cannot occur, and thus they cannot grow exponentially.
In a quasi-geostrophic system, however, the upper and lower VRWs of the first baroclinic vertical mode are equal in magnitude and have opposite signs. Because of this baroclinic structure, the azimuthal counter propagation of the horizontally aligned VRWs is suppressed by the vertical interactions between the upper and lower VRWs. Consequently, horizontally aligned VRWs with azimuthal wavenumber m = 1 may become phase-locked, and hence they may grow exponentially. By analytically solving the linear problem of VRWs in a quasi-geostrophic system, we show that this is indeed the case.
The feasibility of regional reanalysis assimilating only conventional observations was investigated as an alternative to dynamical downscaling to estimate the past three-dimensional high-resolution atmospheric fields with long-term homogeneity over about 60 years. The two types of widely applied dynamical downscaling approaches have problems. One, with a serial long-term time-integration, often fails to reproduce synoptic-scale systems and precipitation patterns. The other, with frequent reinitializations, underestimates precipitation due to insufficient spin-up. To address these problems maintaining long-term homogeneity, we proposed the regional reanalysis assimilating only the conventional observations. We examined it by paying special attention to summer precipitation, through one-month experiment before conducting a long-term reanalysis.
The system was designed to assimilate surface pressure and radiosonde upper-air observations using the Japan Meteorological Agency's nonhydrostatic model (NHM) and the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF). It covered Japan and its surrounding area with a 5-km grid spacing and East Asia with a 25-km grid spacing, applying one-way double nesting in the Japanese 55-year reanalysis (JRA-55).
The regional reanalysis overcame the problems with both types of dynamical downscaling approaches. It reproduced actual synoptic-scale systems and precipitation patterns better. It also realistically described spatial variability and precipitation intensity. The 5-km grid spacing regional reanalysis reproduced frequency of heavy precipitation and described anomalous local fields affected by topography, such as circulations and solar radiation, better than the coarser reanalyses.
We optimized the NHM-LETKF for long-term reanalysis by sensitivity experiments. The lateral boundary perturbations that were derived from an empirical orthogonal function analysis of JRA-55 brought stable analysis, saving computational costs. The ensemble size of at least 30 was needed, because further reduction significantly degraded the analysis. The deterministic run from non-perturbed analysis was adopted as a first guess in LETKF instead of the ensemble mean of perturbed runs, enabling reasonable simulation of spatial variability in the atmosphere and precipitation intensity.
We investigate the effects of the stratospheric equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) on the extratropical circulation in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) from SH winter to early summer. The Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55) dataset is used for 1960-2010. The factors important for the variation of zonal wind of the SH polar vortex are identified via multiple linear regression, using equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine (EESC), middle- and lower-stratospheric QBO, solar cycle, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and volcanic aerosol terms as explanatory variables. The results show that the contributions to the SH polar vortex variability of ENSO are important in SH early winter (June) to mid-winter (July), while that of middle-stratospheric QBO is important from spring (September to November) to early summer (December).
Analyses of the regression coefficients associated with both middle- and lower-stratospheric QBO suggest an influence on the SH polar vortex from SH winter through early summer in the seasonal evolution. One possible pathway is that the middle-stratospheric QBO results in the SH low latitudes stratospheric response through the QBO-induced mean meridional circulation, leading to a high-latitude response. This favors delayed downward evolution of the polar-night jet (PNJ) at high latitudes (around 60°S) from late winter (August) to spring (September–November) during the westerly phase of the QBO, consequently tending to strengthen westerly winds from stratosphere to troposphere in the SH spring. The other possible pathway involves the response to lower-stratospheric QBO that induces the SH late winter increase in upward propagation of planetary waves from the extratropical troposphere to stratosphere, which is consistent with weakening of the PNJ.