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2017 Vol. 34, No. 2

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Preface to the Special Issue on the "Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters" (FEMD)
Huijun WANG
2017, 34(2): 127-128. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6007-0
Main Energy Paths and Energy Cascade Processes of the Two Types of Persistent Heavy Rainfall Events over the Yangtze River-Huaihe River Basin
Yuanchun ZHANG, Jianhua SUN, Shenming FU
2017, 34(2): 129-143. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6117-8
Two types of persistent heavy rainfall events (PHREs) over the Yangtze River-Huaihe River Basin were determined in a recent statistical study: type A, whose precipitation is mainly located to the south of the Yangtze River; and type B, whose precipitation is mainly located to the north of the river. The present study investigated these two PHRE types using a newly derived set of energy equations to show the scale interaction and main energy paths contributing to the persistence of the precipitation. The main results were as follows. The available potential energy (APE) and kinetic energy (KE) associated with both PHRE types generally increased upward in the troposphere, with the energy of the type-A PHREs stronger than that of the type-B PHREs (except for in the middle troposphere). There were two main common and universal energy paths of the two PHRE types: (2) the baroclinic energy conversion from APE to KE was the dominant energy source for the evolution of large-scale background circulations; and (3) the downscaled energy cascade processes of KE and APE were vital for sustaining the eddy flow, which directly caused the PHREs. The significant differences between the two PHRE types mainly appeared in the lower troposphere, where the baroclinic energy conversion associated with the eddy flow in type-A PHREs was from KE to APE, which reduced the intensity of the precipitation-related eddy flow; whereas, the conversion in type-B PHREs was from APE to KE, which enhanced the eddy flow.
Responses of the East Asian Jet Stream to the North Pacific Subtropical Front in Spring
Leying ZHANG, Haiming XU, Ning SHI, Jiechun DENG
2017, 34(2): 144-156. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6026-x
This study concerns atmospheric responses to the North Pacific subtropical front (NPSTF) in boreal spring over the period 1982-2014. Statistical results show that a strong NPSTF in spring can significantly enhance the East Asian jet stream (EAJS). Both transient eddy activity and the atmospheric heat source play important roles in this process. The enhanced atmospheric temperature gradient due to a strong NPSTF increases atmospheric baroclinicity, resulting in an intensification of transient eddy and convection activities. On the one hand, the enhanced transient eddy activities can excite an anomalous cyclonic circulation with a quasi-baraotropical structure in the troposphere to the north of the NPSTF. Accordingly, the related westerly wind anomalies around 30°N can intensify the component of the EAJS over the Northeast Pacific. On the other hand, an enhanced atmospheric heat source over the NPSTF, which is related to increased rainfall, acts to excite an anomalous cyclonic circulation system in the troposphere to the northwest of the NPSTF, which can explain the enhanced component of the EAJS over the Northwest Pacific. The two mechanisms may combine to enhance the EAJS.
Impact of Surface Sensible Heating over the Tibetan Plateau on the Western Pacific Subtropical High: A Land-Air-Sea Interaction Perspective
Anmin DUAN, Ruizao SUN, Jinhai HE
2017, 34(2): 157-168. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6008-z
The impact of surface sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau (SHTP) on the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) with and without air-sea interaction was investigated in this study. Data analysis indicated that SHTP acts as a relatively independent factor in modulating the WPSH anomaly compared with ENSO events. Stronger spring SHTP is usually followed by an enhanced and westward extension of the WPSH in summer, and vice versa. Numerical experiments using both an AGCM and a CGCM confirmed that SHTP influences the large-scale circulation anomaly over the Pacific, which features a barotropic anticyclonic response over the northwestern Pacific and a cyclonic response to the south. Owing to different background circulation in spring and summer, such a response facilitates a subdued WPSH in spring but an enhanced WPSH in summer. Moreover, the CGCM results showed that the equatorial low-level westerly at the south edge of the cyclonic anomaly brings about a warm SST anomaly (SSTA) in the equatorial central Pacific via surface warm advection. Subsequently, an atmospheric Rossby wave is stimulated to the northwest of the warm SSTA, which in turn enhances the atmospheric dipole anomalies over the western Pacific. Therefore, the air-sea feedbacks involved tend to reinforce the effect of SHTP on the WPSH anomaly, and the role of SHTP on general circulation needs to be considered in a land-air-sea interaction framework.
Establishment of the South Asian High over the Indo-China Peninsula During Late Spring to Summer
Lijuan WANG, Aiguo DAI, Shuaihong GUO, Jing GE
2017, 34(2): 169-180. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6061-7
The establishment of the upper-level South Asian high (SAH) over the Indo-China Peninsula (ICP) during late boreal spring and its possible causes are investigated using long-term NCEP-NCAR and ERA-40 reanalysis and satellite-observed OLR data. Results show that, from early March to mid-April, deep convection stays south of ∼6°N over the northern Sumatran islands. As the maximum solar radiation moves over the latitudes of the ICP (10°-20°N) in late April, the air over the ICP becomes unstable. It ascends over the ICP and descends over the adjacent waters to the east and west. This triggers deep convection over the ICP that induces large latent heating and strong updrafts and upper-level divergence, leading to the formation of an upper-level anticyclonic circulation and the SAH over the ICP. During early to mid-May, deep convection over the ICP intensifies and extends northwards to the adjacent waters. Strong latent heating from deep convection enhances and maintains the strong updrafts and upper-level divergence, and the SAH is fully established by mid-May. Thus, the seasonal maximum solar heating and the land-sea contrast around the ICP provide the basic conditions for deep convection to occur preferentially over the ICP, which leads to the formation of the SAH over the ICP from late April to mid-May. Simulations using RegCM4 also indicate that the diabatic heating over the ICP is conducive to the generation and development of upper-level anticyclonic circulation, which leads to an earlier establishment of the SAH.
On the Contrasting Decadal Changes of Diurnal Surface Temperature Range between the Tibetan Plateau and Southeastern China during the 1980s-2000s
Yang YANG, Rongcai REN
2017, 34(2): 181-198. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6077-z
The diurnal surface temperature range (DTR) has become significantly smaller over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) but larger in southeastern China, despite the daily mean surface temperature having increased steadily in both areas during recent decades. Based on ERA-Interim reanalysis data covering 1979-2012, this study shows that the weakened DTR over TP is caused by stronger warming of daily minimum surface temperature (Tmin) and a weak cooling of the daily maximum surface temperature (Tmax); meanwhile, the enhanced DTR over southeastern China is mainly associated with a relatively stronger/weaker warming of Tmax/Tmin. A further quantitative analysis of DTR changes through a process-based decomposition method——the Coupled Surface-Atmosphere Climate Feedback Response Analysis Method (CFRAM)——indicates that changes in radiative processes are mainly responsible for the decreased DTR over the TP. In particular, the increased low-level cloud cover tends to induce the radiative cooling/warming during daytime/nighttime, and the increased water vapor helps to decrease the DTR through the stronger radiative warming during nighttime than daytime. Contributions from the changes in all radiative processes (over -2°C) are compensated for by those from the stronger decreased surface sensible heat flux during daytime than during nighttime (approximately 2.5°C), but are co-contributed by the changes in atmospheric dynamics (approximately -0.4°C) and the stronger increased latent heat flux during daytime (approximately -0.8°C). In contrast, the increased DTR over southeastern China is mainly contributed by the changes in cloud, water vapor and atmospheric dynamics. The changes in surface heat fluxes have resulted in a decrease in DTR over southeastern China.
Preliminary Study on Direct Assimilation of Cloud-affected Satellite Microwave Brightness Temperatures
2017, 34(2): 199-208. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6043-9
Direct assimilation of cloud-affected microwave brightness temperatures from AMSU-A into the GSI three-dimensional variational (3D-Var) assimilation system is preliminarily studied in this paper. A combination of cloud microphysics parameters retrieved by the 1D-Var algorithm (including vertical profiles of cloud liquid water content, ice water content, and rain water content) and atmospheric state parameters from objective analysis fields of an NWP model are used as background fields. Three cloud microphysics parameters (cloud liquid water content, ice water content, and rain water content) are applied to the control variable. Typhoon Halong (2014) is selected as an example. The results show that direct assimilation of cloud-affected AMSU-A observations can effectively adjust the structure of large-scale temperature, humidity and wind analysis fields due to the assimilation of more AMSU-A observations in typhoon cloudy areas, especially typhoon spiral cloud belts. These adjustments, with temperatures increasing and humidities decreasing in the movement direction of the typhoon, bring the forecasted typhoon moving direction closer to its real path. The assimilation of cloud-affected satellite microwave brightness temperatures can provide better analysis fields that are more similar to the actual situation. Furthermore, typhoon prediction accuracy is improved using these assimilation analysis fields as the initial forecast fields in NWP models.
Regional Frequency Analysis of Observed Sub-Daily Rainfall Maxima over Eastern China
Hemin SUN, Guojie WANG, Xiucang LI, Jing CHEN, Buda SU, Tong JIANG
2017, 34(2): 209-225. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6086-y
Based on hourly rainfall observational data from 442 stations during 1960-2014, a regional frequency analysis of the annual maxima (AM) sub-daily rainfall series (1-, 2-, 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-h rainfall, using a moving window approach) for eastern China was conducted. Eastern China was divided into 13 homogeneous regions: Northeast (NE1, NE2), Central (C), Central North (CN1, CN2), Central East (CE1, CE2, CE3), Southeast (SE1, SE2, SE3, SE4), and Southwest (SW). The generalized extreme value performed best for the AM series in regions NE, C, CN2, CE1, CE2, SE2, and SW, and the generalized logistic distribution was appropriate in the other regions. Maximum return levels were in the SE4 region, with value ranges of 80-270 mm (1-h to 24-h rainfall) and 108-390 mm (1-h to 24-h rainfall) for 20- and 100 yr, respectively. Minimum return levels were in the CN1 and NE1 regions, with values of 37-104 mm and 53-140 mm for 20 and 100 yr, respectively. Comparing return levels using the optimal and commonly used Pearson-III distribution, the mean return-level differences in eastern China for 1-24-h rainfall varied from -3-4 mm to -23-11 mm (-10%-10%) for 20-yr events, reaching -6-26 mm (-10%-30%) and -10-133 mm (-10%-90%) for 100-yr events. In view of the large differences in estimated return levels, more attention should be given to frequency analysis of sub-daily rainfall over China, for improved water management and disaster reduction.
Impact of Taihu Lake on City Ozone in the Yangtze River Delta
Liang ZHANG, Bin ZHU, Jinhui GAO, Hanqing KANG
2017, 34(2): 226-234. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6099-6
The lake-breeze at Taihu Lake generates a different specific heat capacity between the water body and the surrounding land. Taihu Lake has a significant impact on the atmospheric conditions and the air quality in the Yangtze River Delta. This phenomenon is referred to as the Taihu Lake effect. In this study, two simulations were conducted to determine the impact of the Taihu Lake effect in the reference experiment (R-E) and sensitivity experiments (NO_TH). The control simulations demonstrated that the meteorological field and the spatial distribution of ozone (O3) concentrations over Taihu lake obviously changed once the land-use type of water body was substituted by cropland. The surface temperature of Taihu Lake was reduced under the impact of Taihu Lake, and a huge temperature difference caused a strong lake-breeze effect. The results also showed that the difference in the average concentrations of O3 between the R-E and NO_TH experiments reached 12 ppbv in most areas of Taihu Lake, all day, on 20 May 2014. During daytime (0800-1600 LST, LST=UTC+8), the influence of the Taihu Lake effect on O3 in the Suzhou region was not significant. However, the influence of the Taihu Lake effect on O3 in the Suzhou region was obvious during nighttime (1800-2400 LST). The larger changes in the physical and chemical processes were horizontal and vertical advections under the influence of the Taihu Lake effect in Taihu Lake.
Relationship between Lightning Activity and Tropospheric Nitrogen Dioxide and the Estimation of Lightning-produced Nitrogen Oxides over China
Fengxia GUO, Xiaoyu JU, Min BAO, Ganyi LU, Zupei LIU, Yawen LI, Yijun MU
2017, 34(2): 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6087-x
To better understand the relationship between lightning activity and nitrogen oxides (NO X) in the troposphere and to estimate lightning-produced NO X (LNOX) production in China more precisely, spatial and temporal distributions of vertical column densities of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2 VCDs) and lightning activity were analyzed using satellite measurements. The results showed that the spatial distribution of lightning activity is greater in the east than in the west of China, as with NO2 VCDs. However, the seasonal and annual variation between lightning and NO2 density show different trends in the east and west. The central Tibetan Plateau is sparsely populated without modern industry, and NO2 VCDs across the plateau are barely affected by anthropogenic sources. The plateau is an ideal area to study LNOX. By analyzing 15 years of satellite data from that region, it was found that lightning density is in strong agreement with annual, spatial and seasonal variations of NO2 VCDs, with a correlation coefficient of 0.79 from the linear fit. Combining Beirle's method and the linear fit equation, LNOX production in the Chinese interior was determined to be 0.07 (0.02-0.27) TgN yr-1 for 1997-2012, within the range of 0.016-0.384 TgN yr-1 from previous estimates.
Multi-scale Cyclone Activity in the Changjiang River-Huaihe River Valleys during Spring and Its Relationship with Rainfall Anomalies
Yujing QIN, Chuhan LU, Liping LI
2017, 34(2): 246-257. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6042-x
Based on the recognition framework of the outermost closed contours of cyclones, an automated identification algorithm capable of identifying the multi-scale cyclones that occur during spring in the Changjiang River-Huaihe River valleys (CHV) were developed. We studied the characteristics of the multi-scale cyclone activity that affects CHV and its relationship with rainfall during spring since 1979. The results indicated that the automated identification algorithm for cyclones proposed in this paper could intuitively identify multi-scale cyclones that affect CHV. The algorithm allows for effectively describing the shape and coverage area of the closed contours around the periphery of cyclones. We found that, compared to the meso- and sub-synoptic scale cyclone activities, the synoptic-scale cyclone activity showed more intimate correlation with the overall activity intensity of multi-scale CHV cyclones during spring. However, the frequency of occurrence of sub-synoptic scale cyclones was the highest, and their effect on changes in CHV cyclone activity could not be ignored. Based on the area of impact and the depth of the cyclones, the sub-synoptic scale, synoptic scale and comprehensive cyclone intensity indices were further defined, which showed a positive correlation with rainfall in CHV during spring. Additionally, the comprehensive cyclone intensity index was a good indicator of strong rainfall events.
Analysis of a Mesoscale Convective System that Produced a Single Sprite
Jing YANG, Gaopeng LU, Ningyu LIU, Haihua CUI, Yu WANG, Morris COHEN
2017, 34(2): 258-271. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6092-0
Sprites are brief optical emissions occurring above thunderstorms. Features of sprites and their parent thunderstorms and lightning activities have been studied by many researchers. Here, we report a single sprite recorded over a mesoscale convective system during its life cycle in Northeast China. The results show that the sprite might have been a dancing one, with a 20 km horizontal displacement from its parent cloud-to-ground flash (CG) and a 38 ms time delay; all the sprite elements occurred during the continuing current process of the parent flash. The peak current of the parent CG was the largest during the almost one-hour time window containing the sprite, and the absolute values of all the negative flashes were smaller than 100 kA during the same time period and did not produce sprite. The sprite did not occur during the time period in which the maximum area of the thunderstorm reached. The occurrence of sprite corresponded well with the decay of the thunderstorm convection, and no significant relationship between the occurrence of sprite and the increase in the 30-35 dBZ and 35-40 dBZ interval was found. The large wind gradient in the 8-12 km region of the thunderstorm may have played an important role in the sprite production.
Derivation of Cloud-Free-Region Atmospheric Motion Vectors from FY-2E Thermal Infrared Imagery
Zhenhui WANG, Xinxiu SUI, Qing ZHANG, Lu YANG, Hang ZHAO, Min TANG, Yizhe ZHAN, Zhiguo ZHANG
2017, 34(2): 272-282. doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-6098-7
The operational cloud-motion tracking technique fails to retrieve atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) in areas lacking cloud; and while water vapor shown in water vapor imagery can be used, the heights assigned to the retrieved AMVs are mostly in the upper troposphere. As the noise-equivalent temperature difference (NEdT) performance of FY-2E split window (10.3-11.5 μm, 11.6-12.8 μm) channels has been improved, the weak signals representing the spatial texture of water vapor and aerosols in cloud-free areas can be strengthened with algorithms based on the difference principle, and applied in calculating AMVs in the lower troposphere. This paper is a preliminary summary for this purpose, in which the principles and algorithm schemes for the temporal difference, split window difference and second-order difference (SD) methods are introduced. Results from simulation and cases experiments are reported in order to verify and evaluate the methods, based on comparison among retrievals and the "truth". The results show that all three algorithms, though not perfect in some cases, generally work well. Moreover, the SD method appears to be the best in suppressing the surface temperature influence and clarifying the spatial texture of water vapor and aerosols. The accuracy with respect to NCEP 800 hPa reanalysis data was found to be acceptable, as compared with the accuracy of the cloud motion vectors.