This review paper aims to provide readers with a broad range of meteorological backgrounds with basic information on marine low clouds and the concept of their parameterizations used in global climate models. The first part of the paper presents basic information on marine low clouds and their importance in climate simulations in a comprehensible way. It covers the global distribution and important physical processes related to the clouds, typical examples of observational and modeling studies of such clouds, and the considerable importance of changes in low cloud for climate simulations. In the latter half of the paper, the concept of cloud parameterizations that determine cloud fraction and cloud water content in global climate models, which is sometimes called cloud “macrophysics”, is introduced. In the parameterizations, the key element is how to assume or determine the inhomogeneity of water vapor and cloud water content in model grid boxes whose size is several tens to several hundreds of kilometers. Challenges related to cloud representation in such models that must be tackled in the next couple of decades are discussed.
To reveal a maintenance mechanism for Rossby wave breaking (RWB) east of Japan and Pacific-Japan (PJ) pattern, which are triggered due to quasi-stationary Rossby wave propagation along the Asian jet, the past 44 RWB cases east of Japan is analyzed using a reanalysis dataset. A comparison between the composites of 7 persistent and 7 non-persistent cases, which are classified based on duration of the RWB and the PJ pattern, indicates that the persistent case shows the stronger and longer-lived quasi-stationary Rossby wave propagation along the Asian jet. The subsequent stronger RWB in the persistent case causes the consequential formation of the more enhanced PJ pattern, through the stronger high potential vorticity intrusion toward the subtropical western North Pacific. The persistent case further shows a persistent northward tilting vertical structure of the anomalous anticyclone east of Japan, accompanied by the enhanced anomalous warm air advection in the lower to middle troposphere north of the anomalously extended North Pacific Subtropical High associated with the PJ pattern. The Q-vector diagnosis and partial correlation analysis indicate that the anomalous warm air advection in the middle troposphere is closely associated with dynamically induced anomalous ascent from Japan to the east by an adiabatic process. Enhanced anomalous moisture flux convergence from Japan to the east, which is due to moisture inflow along the fringe of North Pacific Subtropical High from the subtropical western North Pacific, also causes the anomalous ascent over the region by a diabatic process. A simple correlation analysis indicates nearly equivalent associations of the adiabatic and diabatic factors with the anomalous ascent. The anomalous ascent contributes to the enhanced and persistent RWB, through negative vorticity tendency due to vortex squashing in the upper troposphere, which further contributes to the enhanced and persistent PJ pattern in the persistent case.
The impacts of the saturation adjustment type approach to sub-grid-scale (SGS) ice clouds in a turbulent closure scheme on the high clouds and their response to global warming were investigated based on the radiative–convective equilibrium experiments (RCEs). This was motivated by the fact that the time scale of ice condensation is several orders of magnitude longer than that for liquid water. The RCEs were conducted with uniform sea surface temperatures over the spherical domain for the Earth's radius without rotation using an explicit cloud microphysics and a non-hydrostatic icosahedral atmospheric model. This study revealed that suppressing the phase change effect associated with the SGS ice condensation on the buoyancy of the SGS turbulence could cause approximately a 20 % reduction of the total high cloud covers and a significantly different response of high cloud amounts to global warming due to the change in static stability near high clouds, which leads to weaker vertical heat transport at a sub-grid scale there. Since the typical value of the time scale of the ice-phase cloud is much longer than that for liquid water and the ice supersaturation is in general, using the saturation adjustment type approach for SGS ice clouds could lead to an overestimation of the effect of ice condensation for the turbulent mixing and model biases in simulations with both cloud resolving models and general circulation models. The present result underlines the critical nature of the treatment of SGS ice clouds in turbulence schemes which reflects a realistic ice condensation time scale not only for a better representation of high clouds in the current climate but for an improved projection of changes of high clouds due to global warming.
The impact of assimilating thermodynamic profiles measured with lidars into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Noah-Multiparameterization model system on a 2.5-km convection-permitting scale was investigated. We implemented a new forward operator for direct assimilation of the water vapor mixing ratio (WVMR). Data from two lidar systems of the University of Hohenheim were used: the water vapor differential absorption lidar (UHOH WVDIAL) and the temperature rotational Raman lidar (UHOH TRL). Six experiments were conducted with 1-hour assimilation cycles over a 10-hour period by applying a 3DVAR rapid update cycle (RUC): 1) no data assimilation 2) assimilation of conventional observations (control run), 3) lidar–temperature added, 4) lidar–moisture added with relative humidity (RH) operator, 5) same as 4) but with the WVMR operator, 6) both lidar–temperature and moisture profiles assimilated (impact run). The root-mean-square-error (RMSE) of the temperature with respect to the lidar observations was reduced from 1.1 K in the control run to 0.4 K in the lidar–temperature assimilation run. The RMSE of the WVMR with respect to the lidar observations was reduced from 0.87 g kg−1 in the control run to 0.53 g kg−1 in the lidar–moisture assimilation run with the WVMR operator, while no improvement was found with the RH operator; it was reduced further to 0.51 g kg−1 in the impact run. However, the RMSE of the temperature in the impact run did not show further improvement. Compared to independent radiosonde measurements, the temperature assimilation showed a slight improvement of 0.71 K in the RMSE to 0.63 K, while there was no conclusive improvement in the moisture impact. The correlation between the temperature and WVMR variables in the static-background error-covariance matrix affected the improvement in the analysis of both fields simultaneously. In the future, we expect better results with a flow-dependent error covariance matrix. In any case, the initial attempt to develop an exclusive thermodynamic lidar operator gave promising results for assimilating humidity observations directly into the WRF data assimilation system.
The tropical oceans spawn hundreds of tropical disturbances during the tropical cyclone (TC) peak season every year, but only a small fraction eventually develop into TCs. In this study, using observations from Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite, tropical disturbances over the western North Pacific (WNP) from July to October during 2014-2016 are categorized into developing and nondeveloping groups to investigate the differences between satellite-retrieved convective and stratiform precipitation properties in both the inner- (within 200 km of the disturbance center) and outer-core (within 200-400 km of the disturbance center) regions. The developing disturbances experience a remarkably more oscillatory process in the inner-core region than in the outer-core region. The large areal coverage of strong rainfall in the inner-core region of the disturbance breaks into scattered remnants, and then reorganizes and strengthens near the disturbance center again. In contrast, the precipitation characteristics in the nondeveloping group evolve more smoothly. It can be summarized that disturbances prone to develop into a TC over the WNP satisfy two essential preconditions in terms of precipitation characteristics. First, a large fraction of stratiform precipitation covers the region that is within 400 km from the disturbance center. The mean vertically-integrated unconditional latent heating rate of stratiform and convective precipitation in the developing group above 5.5 km is 6.6 K h−1 and 2.4 K h−1, respectively; thus, the stratiform rainfall makes a major contribution to warming the upper troposphere. Second, strong convective precipitation occurs within the inner-core region. Compared with stratiform precipitation, which has a critical role in warming the mid-to-upper levels, the most striking feature of convective precipitation is that it heats the mid-to-lower troposphere. Overall, tropical cyclone formations evolving from parent disturbances can be regarded as an outcome of the joint contribution from the two distinct types (convective and stratiform) of precipitation clouds.
This study proposes a new energy balance model to determine the cloud fraction of low-level clouds. It is assumed that the horizontal cloud field consists of several individual cloud cells having a similar structure. Using a high–resolution simulation dataset with a wide numerical domain, we conducted an energy budget analysis. It is shown that the energy injected into the domain by surface flux is approximately balanced with the energy loss due to radiation and advection due to large–scale motion. The analysis of cloud cells within the simulated cloud field showed that the cloud field consists of a number of cloud cells with similar structures. We developed a simple model for the cloud fraction from the energy conservation equation. The cloud fraction diagnosed using the model developed in this study was able to quantitatively capture the simulated cloud fraction.
The effects of an upper-level anticyclonic circulation and a lower-level cyclonic circulation on tropical cyclone (TC) genesis are examined by idealized simulations using the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model. The simulation results show that the upper-level anticyclonic circulation makes a negative contribution to TC genesis, whereas the lower-level cyclonic circulation makes a positive contribution. The upper-level anticyclonic circulation results in slower TC genesis due to a large vertical zonal wind shear that shifts the upper-level vortex eastward from its initial position, which is unfavorable for the vertical alignment and warm core maintenance of the vortex. This large vertical zonal wind shear is associated with the asymmetries of the vertical motion and associated diabatic heating induced by the lower-level beta gyre. The upper-level anticyclonic circulation increases the westerly wind to the north of the vortex, resulting in a large vertical westerly wind shear. Thus, the initial upper-level anticyclonic circulation is not necessary for TC genesis, and the strong upper-level anticyclonic circulation generally observed with a strong TC should be regarded as a result of deep convection. In contrast, strong lower-level winds due to the superposition of the large-scale lower-level cyclonic circulation and vortex induce large surface heat fluxes and vorticity, leading to strengthened convection and diabatic heating and a quick build-up of positive vorticity, resulting in rapid TC genesis.
Uncertainty in numerical weather forecasts arising from an imperfect knowledge of the initial condition of the atmospheric system and the discrete modelling of physical processes is addressed with ensemble prediction systems. The breeding method allows the creation of initial condition perturbations in a simple and computationally inexpensive way. This technique uses the full nonlinear dynamics of the system to identify fast-growing modes in the analysis fields, obtained from the difference between control and perturbed runs rescaled at regular time intervals. This procedure is more suitable for the high resolution ensemble forecasts required to reproduce small scale high impact weather events, as the complete nonlinear model is applied to generate the perturbations. The underdispersion commonly found in ensemble forecasts emphasizes the need to develop methods that increase ensemble spread and diversity at no cost to forecast skill. In this sense, we investigate the benefits of different breeding techniques in terms of ensemble diversity and forecast skill for a mesoscale ensemble over the Western Mediterranean region. In addition, we propose a new method, Bred Vectors Tailored Ensemble Perturbations designed to control the scale of the perturbations and indirectly the ensemble spread. The combination of this method with orthogonal bred vectors shows significant improvements in terms of ensemble diversity and forecast skill with respect to the current arithmetic methods.
The southerly surface wind index over the summertime East Asia (SWI) is strengthened in the future in the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). However, the differences among the models are much larger than the ensemble average. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is applied to the future changes in the East Asian surface pressure pattern responsible for the SWI. The ensemble average and five EOF modes for the pressure patterns and the associated precipitation changes are identified, and their possible sources are examined.
The CMIP5 ensemble mean change in the summertime Asia Pacific surface pressure pattern possesses the characteristics of the first to third modes. The first and second mode components contribute to the positive SWI in the future, but are cancelled mostly by the third mode component. The first mode is high surface pressure anomalies over low Asia Pacific sea surface temperature. The second mode is related to warm temperature anomalies over the Northern Hemisphere continents and the increased equatorial Pacific precipitation. The large model dependence of the SWI is created by the third mode, which represents the weak Pacific High in northern East Asia and is characterized with suppressed vertical motions over the northern Indian and Pacific oceans. The fourth mode is the Okhotsk High. The fifth mode represents the east–west contrast of the southern East Asian surface pressure anomalies and is associated with the Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures. The fourth and fifth modes feature the mean projection using the 10 models reproducing an accurate present-day summertime East Asian climatology.
The mode-related suppressed vertical motions in global warming reflect the present-day vertical motion (i.e., precipitation) climatology; hence, the future increase/decrease in the SWI tends to be projected by models simulating the relatively small/large Asia Pacific monsoon precipitation over the tropical oceans, except near the mountains, in the present-day model climatology.
While the terrain-following (sigma) system of representing topography in atmospheric models has been dominant for about the last 60 years, already half a century ago problems using the system were reported in areas of steep topography. A number of schemes had been proposed to address these problems. However, when topography steepness exceeds a given limit all these schemes except the vertical interpolation of the pressure gradient begin to use model information that for physical reasons they should not use.
A radical departure from the system was that of the step-topography eta; but its attractiveness was reduced by the discovery of the corner separation problem. The shaved-cell scheme, nowadays referred to as cut-cell, was free of that problem, and was tested subsequently in idealized as well as real case experiments with encouraging results. The eta discretization has lately been refined to make it also a cut-cell scheme. Another method referred to usually as Immersed Boundary Method enabling treatment of terrain as complex as urban landscape came from computational fluid dynamics. It was made available coupled to the atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting model.
Results of recent experiments of the cut-cell Eta driven by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ensemble members are analyzed. In these experiments, all cut-cell Eta members achieved better verification scores with respect to 250 hPa wind speed than their ECMWF driver members. This occurred when an upper tropospheric trough was crossing the Rocky Mountains barrier. These results are considerably less favorable for the Eta when switched to use sigma, i.e., Eta/sigma, pointing to the benefits of using topography intersecting as opposed to terrain-following systems. But even so the Eta/sigma shows an advantage over its driver members, suggesting that its other features deserve attention.
Accurate forecast of ground horizontal irradiance (GHI) is one of the key issues for power grid managements with large penetration of solar energy. A challenge for solar forecasting is to forecast the solar irradiance with a lead time of 1-8 hours, here termed as intra-day forecast. This study investigated an algorithm using a long short-term memory (LSTM) model to predict the GHI in 1-8 hours. The LSTM model has been applied before for inter-day (> 24 hours) solar forecast but never for the intra-day forecast. Four years (2010-2013) of observations by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at Golden, Colorado were used to train the model. Observations in 2014 at the same site were used to test the model performance. The results show that, for a 1-4 hour lead time, the LSTM-based model can make predictions of GHIs with root-mean-square-errors (RMSE) ranging from 77 to 143 W m−2, and normalized RMSEs around 18.4 ∼ 33.0 %. With 5-minute inputs, the forecast skill of LSTM with respect to smart persistence model is 0.34 ∼ 0.42, better than random forest forecast (0.27) and the numerical weather forecast (−0.40) made by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The performance levels off beyond 4-hour lead time. The model performs better in fall and winter than in spring and summer, and better under clear-sky conditions than under cloudy conditions. Using adjacent information from the reanalysis as extra inputs can further improve the forecast performance.
This study compares the regional characteristics of heavy rain clouds in terms of Cloud Top Height (CTH) and Storm Height (SH) from long-term Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observations. The SH is derived from Precipitation Radar reflectivity and the CTH is estimated using Visible and InfraRed Scanner brightness temperature (10.8 μm) and reanalysis temperature profiles. As the rain rate increases, the average CTH and average SH increase, but by different degrees in different regions. Heavy rainfall in continental rainfall regimes such as Central Africa and the United States is characterized by high SH, in contrast to oceanic rainfall regions such as the northwestern Pacific, Korea, and Japan; the increase of atmospheric instability in dry environments is interpreted as a mechanism of continental floods. Conversely, heavy rain events in Korea and Japan occur in a thermodynamically near-neutral environment with large amounts of water vapor; these are characterized by the lowest CTH, SH, and ice water content. The northwestern Pacific exhibits the lowest SH in humid environments, similar to Korea and Japan; however, this region also characteristically exhibits the highest convective instability condition as well as high CTH and CTH–SH values, in contrast to Korea and Japan. The observed CTH and SH characteristics of heavy rain clouds are expected to be useful for the evaluation and improvement of satellite-based precipitation estimation and numerical model cloud parameterization.
Precipitation characteristics and environment are compared between two rainfall events in Japan: the July 2018 heavy rainfall event (2018 case) and the 2017 Northern Kyushu rainfall event (2017 case). Both events occurred in the later stage of the Baiu season, after the passage of a tropical cyclone, south of a subtropical jet and to the front side of an upper tropospheric trough. However, contrasting precipitation properties and environments are observed between these cases. In the 2018 case, long-lasting heavy precipitation was observed over a large area with moderately tall precipitation systems. Environment was stable and moist compared with the climatology. A deep trough over the Korean Peninsula played a role to prepare the environment favorable for organizing precipitation systems through moistening of mid-troposphere by quasi-geostrophic dynamically forced ascent. In contrast, in the 2017 case, a short-term intense precipitation was observed over a small area with exceptionally tall precipitation systems. The environment was unstable and moist compared with the climatology but was dryer than the 2018 case. In this case, a shallow trough over the Korean Peninsula destabilized the atmosphere via associated high-altitude cold air.
The observed contrast of characteristics between the 2018 and 2017 cases is like that found between composites of extreme rainfall events and extremely tall convection events included in the previous statistical study by Hamada and Takayabu (2018, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0632.1). Temperature anomalies and specific humidity anomalies from climatological values in the 2018 and 2017 cases are several times as large as those in the composites of the extreme events although the previous study analyzed the uppermost 0.1 % of extreme events. This result means that the 2018 case is an extreme among the extreme rainfall events and the 2017 case corresponds to an extreme event of the extremely tall convection events.
From 9 to 11 September 2015, the Kanto and Tohoku regions of Japan experienced an extremely heavy rainfall event. The synoptic-scale field was characterized by two typhoons, Etau (T1518) and Kilo (T1517). After Etau made landfall in the Tokai region and transformed into an extra-tropical cyclone over the Sea of Japan, meridionally oriented rain bands persisted over the Kanto region for about 12 hours and caused heavy rainfall, particularly over the Tochigi prefecture. During this time, Kilo approached the eastern ocean of the Kanto region. In this study, we examine the role of Kilo in this event by conducting numerical experiments using a stretched version of the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model configured with a minimum grid interval of about 5.6 km. The control experiment reproduced intense rain bands around the same period and place as the observed event, although they were not reproduced in an experiment with a longer lead time. Sensitivity experiments were conducted in which Kilo was weakened by removing moisture in its central region with a longer lead time. In contrast to the expectation that reduced moisture would lead to a weaker typhoon and hence weaker rain, the sensitivity experiment reproduced the rain band with realistic location but 5 % less precipitation than the control experiment. Furthermore, this experiment indicated that precipitation over the outer band of Etau, which covers the Kanto region, increased by 10 % compared to the control experiment. We found that a southeasterly wind induced by a high-pressure ridge between Kilo and the Kanto region played a greater role in supplying moisture to the Kanto region than the strong easterly wind produced by the pressure gradient between Kilo and the Okhotsk high. In this case, weaker Kilo resulted in enhanced northwestward moisture flux associated with the ridge, thereby inducing heavier rainfall over the Kanto region.
This study investigates the global drop size distribution (DSD) of rainfall and its relationship to large-scale precipitation characteristics using the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) onboard the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. This study focuses on seasonal variations in the dominant precipitation systems regarding variations in DSD. A mass-weighted mean diameter (Dm), which is estimated based on the dual-frequency information derived from the GPM/DPR, is statistically analyzed as a typical parameter of the DSD. Values of the annual mean Dm, in general, are larger over land than over the oceans, and the relationship between Dm and precipitation rate (R) is not a simple one-to-one relationship. Furthermore, Dm exhibits statistically significant seasonal variations, specifically over the northwest Pacific Ocean, whereas R shows insignificant variations, indicating the variations in R cannot explain the distinct seasonal changes in Dm. Focusing on the seasonal variation in Dm over the northwest Pacific Ocean, the results indicate that the variation in Dm is related to the seasonal change in the dominant precipitation systems. In the summer over the northwest Pacific Ocean, Dm is related to the organized precipitation systems associated with the Baiu front over the mid-latitudes and tropical disturbances over the subtropical region, with relatively higher precipitation top heights, composed of both stratiform and convective precipitations. Contrary to the summer, larger Dm over the mid-latitudes in winter is related to extratropical frontal systems with ice particles in the upper layers, which consists of more stratiform precipitation in the storm track region. The smaller Dm over the subtropical northwest Pacific Ocean in winter is associated with shallow convective precipitation systems with trade-wind cumulus clouds and cumulus congestus under the subtropical high.
In August 2016, a total of eight typhoons formed in the western North Pacific, and four of which landed on northern and eastern Japan. These typhoons were associated with heavy rainfall and strong winds and caused massive damages in the Japanese archipelago. Moreover, five of the eight typhoons underwent extratropical transition (ET), which was more frequent than an average of 2.1 typhoons per year during August. To clarify the characteristics of the typhoon tracks that caused such unusual landfall and frequent ET in August 2016, we conducted k-means cluster and cyclone phase space (CPS) analyses for typhoons that occurred in August and September. Composite analysis and case study were also conducted to clarify the synoptic environments around the typhoons. To examine the unusual characteristics in August 2016, we compared the results of the analyses for this period with those in August from 2001 to 2015 and those in September 2016. The k-means cluster analysis showed that the direction of the typhoon tracks in August 2016 were more northward than that of the typhoons in August from 2001 to 2015 and those in September 2016. Moreover, the CPS analysis revealed that ET in August 2016 was characterized by a more indistinct structural change from a warm-core structure to a cold-core structure with a shorter duration than ET in August from 2001 to 2015. The synoptic environments around the typhoons in August 2016 were characterized by enhanced undulations of the upper-tropospheric jet stream, increased amplitudes of the mid-tropospheric trough, and relatively warm air around the typhoons in the lower troposphere. These synoptic environments explained the unusual landfall of typhoons with a more northward track and the more frequent ET and more indistinct structural evolution of ET in August 2016.
Based on observations, the number of tropical cyclones (TCs) approaching the southern coast of Japan, including Tokyo, has increased over the last 40 years, and these TCs are increasing in strength when they approach land. The environmental conditions for TC development have become more favorable, with warmer sea surface temperature, less vertical wind shear and more moisture in the atmosphere. In addition, the translation speed of TCs has decreased, which indicates a longer influence time. Comparison of the synoptic environment during July–October between the first (1980-1999, P1) and second (2000-2019, P2) 20 years shows that the sub-tropical high is strengthened in P2, where the western and northern edge of the high extends further the west and the north, respectively. Also, the westerly jet is weakened in P2 over and south of Japan in the middle to upper troposphere. These changes in the synoptic environment are considered to play a role in increasing the number of TCs approaching Tokyo and also in producing more favorable conditions for TC development. The relationship between the changes in TC characteristics over the last 40 years and global warming is unclear. As the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is in a positive phase in P1 and a negative phase in many years of the P2 period, decadal oscillations may have played some role in the increase in the number of approaching TCs and in the changes in the synoptic environment.
The effectiveness of the probability ellipse for tropical cyclone (TC) track forecasts is investigated with multiple ensembles from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the Met Office in the United Kingdom. All TCs during the 3 years from 2016 to 2018 are included in the verification. We show that the multiple ensembles composed of these four global ensembles are capable of predicting the situation-dependent uncertainties of TC track forecasts appropriately in both the along-track and cross-track directions. The use of a probability circle involves the implicit assumption of an isotropic error distribution, whereas the introduction of the probability ellipse makes it possible to provide information as to which is more uncertain; the direction or the speed of TC movement. Compared to the probability circle adopted operationally at JMA, the probability ellipse can potentially reduce the area by 16, 15, and 24 %, on average, at forecast times of 3, 4, and 5 days, respectively. This indicates that narrowing warning areas of TC track forecasts by the probability ellipse enables us to enhance disaster prevention/mitigation measures.
We propose a new procedure for the objective identification and classification of heavy rainfall areas (HRAs) to advance the understanding of mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) in Japan. The distributions of accumulated precipitation amounts are evaluated from the radar/raingauge-analyzed precipitation amounts and characteristic features of HRAs are examined. The HRAs extracted during the warm season (April–November) in 2009-2018 are classified into four types (e.g., linear-stationary, linear, stationary, and others) from their morphological features and temporal variations. HRAs are frequently distributed on the Pacific sides of eastern and western Japan; 80 % of HRAs appeared from June to September and 60 % of the HRAs were observed in association with stationary fronts and tropical cyclones. Approximately 80 % of those HRAs of the linear-stationary type corresponded to typical elongated and stagnated MCSs, as has been suggested in previous studies.
A quasi-stationary convective band that persisted for approximately ten hours caused precipitation in the northern part of Kyushu Island, Japan on 5 July 2017. The extreme amount of rainfall produced by this convective band caused a number of landslides and flash floods and resulted in a severe disaster. The Weather and Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to perform numerical simulations and to clarify the genesis and maintenance processes of the convective band. A full-physics WRF simulation successfully reproduced the observed features of the convective band and extreme precipitation. It is shown that a quasi-stationary convergence zone in the low level played a crucial role in generating and maintaining the convective band. Trajectory and frontogenesis analyses showed that low-level confluent flows due to the blocking effects of a high pressure system located over the Sea of Japan were responsible for the formation, intensification, and sustenance of the convergence zone. Furthermore, the frontal structure of the convergence zone was intensified due to the land-sea thermal contrast between Kyushu Island and the Tsushima Strait. Two additional experiments, namely a simulation with flattened topography of Kyushu Island and a simulation without considering raindrop evaporation also reproduced the observed band well. These results indicate that topography and a cold pool due to raindrop evaporation played only minor roles in the genesis and maintenance of the convective band.
Observed surface air temperature (SAT) warming at urban stations often contains both the signal of global warming and that of local urban heat island (UHI) effects which are difficult to be separated. In this study, an urban impact indicator (Uii) developed by the authors was modified to represent the extent to which the observed temperature from a station was influenced by UHI effects. While Uii was calculated through simplifying the city's shape to a circle, the modified Uii (MUii) was calculated considering the realistic horizontal distribution of the urban lands. We selected 45 urban stations in mainland China, and then selected an adjacent station for each urban station to constitute a station pair for which the background climate changes are nearly homogeneous. Thus, difference in the trends of annual averaged daily mean SAT (Trendmean), maximum SAT (Trendmax), and minimum SAT (Trendmin) between urban and adjacent stations (ΔTrend) could be mainly attributed to the difference in MUii changes between urban and adjacent stations (ΔMUii). Several linear regressions between ΔTrend and ΔMUii of 45 station pairs were calculated to estimate the UHI effects on Trendmean (UTmean), Trendmax (UTmax), and Trendmin (UTmin) of the 45 urban stations. The results showed that the mean MUii of the 45 urban stations has increased from 0.06 to 0.35 during 1992-2013. The positive correlations between ΔMUii and ΔTrend of the selected 45 station pairs were significant at the 0.001 significance level except for Trendmax. The average UTmean and UTmin of the 45 urban stations during 1954-2013 were approximately 0.05 and 0.11°C decade−1, respectively, accounting for 18 % and 31 % of the overall warming trends, respectively. The UTmin estimated in this study is about twice that of the previous result based on the regression equations between Uii and SAT trends.
Through a set of ensemble experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM), potential influence of sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies is assessed on large-scale atmospheric circulation anomalies that induced two extreme events observed over Japan in July 2018. One is a heavy rain event in early July mainly over western Japan, which was primarily due to extreme moisture inflow associated with a cyclonic anomaly to the southwest of Japan and an anticyclonic anomaly to the east of Japan. An AGCM experiment with global SST anomalies prescribed cannot reproduce the anticyclonic anomaly, which leads to the failure to simulate the enhancement of the moisture inflow and thereby precipitation over western Japan. The other extreme event is a heat wave in mid- and late July almost over entire Japan, which was due to a strong anticyclonic anomaly around Japan. The AGCM experiment with global SST anomalies can well reproduce the warm anticyclonic anomalies. The additional experiments have confirmed that SST anomalies in both the Tropics and midlatitude North Pacific have potential for forcing the leading mode of the atmospheric variability over the western North Pacific that brought the heat wave. Both the tropical and extratropical SST anomalies are also found to force poleward shift of the subtropical jet axis over the western Pacific and anomalous tropospheric warming in the midlatitude Northern Hemisphere both of which persisted in June and July.
In this study, the impacts of Typhoon Morakot (2009)'s vortex structure on the extreme rainfall in Taiwan are investigated through an application of piecewise potential vorticity (PV) inversion. The control (CTL) experiment, starting at 0000 UTC 7 August or 15 h before landfall, reproduces the event realistically and is validated against the observations. By altering the PV perturbation inside 750 km from its center, we conduct sensitivity experiments in which the size and/or circulation strength of Morakot is reduced/weakened in the initial field in several different ways.
In the sensitivity tests, particularly those where the initial PV within the inner core (≤ 250 km) is significantly weakened, the storm makes landfall earlier, stays over land longer, and exits Taiwan later. Such track changes are accompanied by a contraction and spin-up of the inner core at early stages of the integration, caused by convection/latent heating within the inner core under large-scale low-level southwesterly flow. As a result, Taiwan receives an overall rainfall amount either comparable to, or even more than (up to +12 %), CTL in all tests. Thus, a weaker Morakot does not necessarily lead to less total rainfall over Taiwan, and the strong southwesterly flow and its moisture supply were bigger factors than the vortex structure in this event.
On the other hand, the rainfall in the southern Central Mountain Range on 8 August, which were the most-rainy area and period in reality, tended to decrease by up to 40 % with the contraction and a weaker outer circulation. Thus, the rainfall patterns and evolution in the sensitivity tests are considerably different than those in CTL, indicating that the vortex structure plays an important role in the rainfall of this region.
Using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, Joint Typhoon Warning Center best track, and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation data, two long-lasting synoptic-scale wave trains in 2004 and 2006 are selected to investigate the atmospheric factors controlling the structures of westward-propagating synoptic-scale disturbances over the tropical western North Pacific. The essential difference between these two wave trains is found in their vertical structures, such that the maximum perturbations occurred from the middle to lower troposphere with an equivalent barotropic structure in 2004 but primarily occurred in the upper troposphere with a prominent tilt with height in 2006. Distinct configurations of the monsoon troughs, the tropical upper-tropospheric troughs (TUTT), and associated vertical wind shear caused such structural differences. In 2004, the TUTT shifted eastward, creating an easterly sheared environment to confine synoptic-scale waves in the lower troposphere. Then, the monsoon trough enhanced the wave activity through barotropic energy conversion in the lower troposphere. In contrast, while the TUTT shifted westward in 2006, synoptic-scale waves prevailed in the upper troposphere by the environmental westerly shear. Meanwhile, the disturbances developed in the upper troposphere through to the conversion of kinetic energy from the TUTT, exhibiting a top-heavy vertical structure. The coherent movement of the monsoon trough and the TUTT modulate the vertical structure and the development of the synoptic-scale waves.