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2020 Vol. 37, No. 11

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Original Paper
Combined Impacts of Warm Central Equatorial Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures and Anthropogenic Warming on the 2019 Severe Drought in East China
Shuangmei MA, Congwen ZHU, Juan LIU
2020, 37(11): 1149-1163. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0077-8
A severe drought occurred in East China (EC) from August to October 2019 against a background of long-term significant warming and caused widespread impacts on agriculture and society, emphasizing the urgent need to understand the mechanism responsible for this drought and its linkage to global warming. Our results show that the warm central equatorial Pacific (CEP) sea surface temperature (SST) and anthropogenic warming were possibly responsible for this drought event. The warm CEP SST anomaly resulted in an anomalous cyclone over the western North Pacific, where enhanced northerly winds in the northwestern sector led to decreased water vapor transport from the South China Sea and enhanced descending air motion, preventing local convection and favoring a precipitation deficiency over EC. Model simulations in the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble Project confirmed the physical connection between the warm CEP SST anomaly and the drought in EC. The extremely warm CEP SST from August to October 2019, which was largely the result of natural internal variability, played a crucial role in the simultaneous severe drought in EC. The model simulations showed that anthropogenic warming has greatly increased the frequency of extreme droughts in EC. They indicated an approximate twofold increase in extremely low rainfall events, high temperature events, and concurrently dry and hot events analogous to the event in 2019. Therefore, the persistent severe drought over EC in 2019 can be attributed to the combined impacts of warm CEP SST and anthropogenic warming.
Application and Characteristic Analysis of the Moist Singular Vector in GRAPES-GEPS
Jing WANG, Bin WANG, Juanjuan LIU, Yongzhu LIU, Jing CHEN, Zhenhua HUO
2020, 37(11): 1164-1178. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0092-9
The singular vector (SV) initial perturbation method can capture the fastest-growing initial perturbation in a tangent linear model (TLM). Based on the global tangent linear and adjoint model of GRAPES-GEPS (Global/Regional Assimilation and Prediction System—Global Ensemble Prediction System), some experiments were carried out to analyze the structure of the moist SVs from the perspectives of the energy norm, energy spectrum, and vertical structure. The conclusions are as follows: The evolution of the SVs is synchronous with that of the atmospheric circulation, which is flow-dependent. The moist and dry SVs are located in unstable regions at mid-to-high latitudes, but the moist SVs are wider, can contain more small- and medium-scale information, and have more energy than the dry SVs. From the energy spectrum analysis, the energy growth caused by the moist SVs is reflected in the relatively small-scale weather system. In addition, moist SVs can generate perturbations associated with large-scale condensation and precipitation, which is not true for dry SVs. For the ensemble forecasts, the average anomaly correlation coefficient of large-scale circulation is better for the forecast based on moist SVs in the Northern Hemisphere, and the low-level variables forecasted by the moist SVs are also improved, especially in the first 72 h. In addition, the moist SVs respond better to short-term precipitation according to statistical precipitation scores based on 10 cases. The inclusion of the large-scale condensation process in the calculation of SVs can improve the short-term weather prediction effectively.
Upper- and Lower-tropospheric Circulation Anomalies Associated with Interannual Variation of Pakistan Rainfall during Summer
Riyu LU, Saadia HINA, Xiaowei HONG
2020, 37(11): 1179-1190. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0137-0
This study investigated the large-scale circulation anomalies, in both the upper and lower troposphere, associated with the interannual variation of rainfall in Pakistan during summer, using the station observation data in this country and circulation data of the NCEP−NCAR reanalysis from 1981 to 2017. Results showed that the upper- and lower-tropospheric circulation anomalies associated with monthly rainfall variability exhibit similar features from June to August, so analyses were performed on June−August circulation and Pakistan rainfall data. The analyzed results indicated that summer rainfall in Pakistan is enhanced when there is an anticyclonic anomaly to the northwest of Pakistan in the upper troposphere and easterly anomalies along the southern foothills of the Himalayas in the lower troposphere, and vice versa. These upper- and lower-tropospheric circulation anomalies were found to be related, but show unique features. The upper-tropospheric anticyclonic anomaly is closely related to the Silk Road Pattern along the Asian westerly jet, while the lower-tropospheric easterly anomalies are related to the cyclonic anomaly to the south of Pakistan, i.e., intensified South Asian monsoon trough. The results presented here suggest that the interannual variability of summer rainfall in Pakistan is a combined result of upper- and lower-tropospheric circulation anomalies, and of extratropical and tropical circulation anomalies.
Bias Correction and Ensemble Projections of Temperature Changes over Ten Subregions in CORDEX East Asia
Chenwei SHEN, Qingyun DUAN, Chiyuan MIAO, Chang XING, Xuewei FAN, Yi WU, Jingya HAN
2020, 37(11): 1191-1210. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0026-6
Regional climate models (RCMs) participating in the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) have been widely used for providing detailed climate change information for specific regions under different emissions scenarios. This study assesses the effects of three common bias correction methods and two multi-model averaging methods in calibrating historical (1980−2005) temperature simulations over East Asia. Future (2006−49) temperature trends under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios are projected based on the optimal bias correction and ensemble averaging method. Results show the following: (1) The driving global climate model and RCMs can capture the spatial pattern of annual average temperature but with cold biases over most regions, especially in the Tibetan Plateau region. (2) All bias correction methods can significantly reduce the simulation biases. The quantile mapping method outperforms other bias correction methods in all RCMs, with a maximum relative decrease in root-mean-square error for five RCMs reaching 59.8% (HadGEM3-RA), 63.2% (MM5), 51.3% (RegCM), 80.7% (YSU-RCM) and 62.0% (WRF). (3) The Bayesian model averaging (BMA) method outperforms the simple multi-model averaging (SMA) method in narrowing the uncertainty of bias-corrected results. For the spatial correlation coefficient, the improvement rate of the BMA method ranges from 2% to 31% over the 10 subregions, when compared with individual RCMs. (4) For temperature projections, the warming is significant, ranging from 1.2°C to 3.5°C across the whole domain under the RCP8.5 scenario. (5) The quantile mapping method reduces the uncertainty over all subregions by between 66% and 94%.
Establishment of an Objective Standard for the Definition of Binary Tropical Cyclones in the Western North Pacific
Fumin REN, Yanjun XIE, Biwen YIN, Mingyang WANG, Guoping LI
2020, 37(11): 1211-1221. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-9287-3
To develop an objective standard for defining binary tropical cyclones (BTCs) in the western North Pacific (WNP), two best-track datasets, from the China Meteorological Administration and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, were adopted for statistical analyses on two important characteristics of BTCs—two TCs approaching each other, and counterclockwise spinning. Based on the high consistency between the two datasets, we established an objective standard, which includes a main standard for defining BTCs and a secondary standard for identifying typical/atypical BTCs. The main standard includes two requirements: two coexisting TCs are a pair of BTCs if (i) the separation distance is ≤ 1800 km, and (ii) this separation maintains for at least 12 h. Meanwhile, the secondary standard defines a typical BTC as one for which there is at least one observation when the two TCs approach each other and spin counterclockwise simultaneously. Under the standard, the ratio of typical BTCs increases as the BTC duration increases or the minimum distance between the two TCs decreases. Then, using the JTWC dataset, it was found that there are 505 pairs of BTCs during the period 1951−2014, including 328 typical BTCs and 177 atypical BTCs, accounting for 65.0% and 35.0% of the total, respectively. In addition, a study of two extreme phenomena—the maximum approaching speed and the maximum counterclockwise angular velocity in typical BTCs—shows that the configuration of the circulation conditions and the distribution of the BTCs favor the formation of these extreme phenomena.
Characteristics of Fengyun-4A Satellite Atmospheric Motion Vectors and Their Impacts on Data Assimilation
Yaodeng CHEN, Jie SHEN, Shuiyong FAN, Deming MENG, Cheng WANG
2020, 37(11): 1222-1238. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0080-0
The high observation efficiency, scanning speed and observation frequency of the Fengyun-4A (FY-4A) satellite indicates the progress of Chinese geostationary meteorological satellites. The characteristics of FY-4A atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) derived from the high-level water vapor (WV-High) channel, mid-level water vapor (WV-Mid) channel, and infrared (IR) channel of FY-4A are analyzed, and their corresponding observation errors estimated. Then, the impacts of single-channel and multi-channel FY-4A AMVs on RMAPS-ST (the Rapid-refresh Multi-scale Analysis and Prediction System—Short Term) are evaluated based on one-month data assimilation cycling and forecasting experiments. Results show that the observation errors of FY-4A AMVs from the three channels have an explicit vertical structure. Results from the cycling experiments indicate that the assimilation of AMVs from WV-High produces more apparent improvement of the wind in the upper layer, while a more positive effect in the lower layer is achieved by the assimilation of AMVs from IR. Furthermore, the assimilation of AMVs from IR is more skillful for medium and moderate precipitation than from other channels owing to the good quality of data in the lower layer in the AMVs from IR. Assimilation of FY-4A AMVs from the three channels could combine the advantages of assimilation from each individual channel to improve the wind in the upper, middle and lower layers simultaneously.
Azimuthal Variations of the Convective-scale Structure in a Simulated Tropical Cyclone Principal Rainband
Yue JIANG, Liguang WU, Haikun ZHAO, Xingyang ZHOU, Qingyuan LIU
2020, 37(11): 1239-1255. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-9248-x
Previous numerical simulations have focused mainly on the mesoscale structure of the principal rainband in tropical cyclones with a relatively coarse model resolution. In this study, the principal rainband was simulated in a semi-idealized experiment at a horizontal grid spacing of 1/9 km and its convective-scale structure was examined by comparing the convective elements of the simulated principal rainband with previous observational studies. It is found that the convective scale structure of the simulated principal rainband is well comparable to the observation.  The azimuthal variations of the convective scale structure were examined by dividing the simulated principal rainband into the upwind, middle and downwind portions. Some new features are found in the simulated principal rainband. First, the overturning updraft contains small-scale rolls aligned along the inward side of the outward-leaning reflectivity tower in the middle portion. Second, the inner-edge downdraft is combined with a branch of inflow from the upper levels in middle and downwind portions, carrying upper-level dry air to the region between the overturning updrafts and eyewall, and the intrusion of the upper-level dry air further limits the altitude of the overturning updrafts in the middle and downwind portions of the principal rainband. Third, from the middle to downwind portions, the strength of the secondary horizontal wind maximum is gradually replaced by a low-level maximum of the tangential wind collocated with the low-level downdraft.
Impacts of Increased SST Resolution on the North Pacific Storm Track in ERA-Interim
Chao ZHANG, Hailong LIU, Jinbo XIE, Chongyin LI, Pengfei LIN
2020, 37(11): 1256-1266. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0072-0
This study examines the artificial influence of increasing the SST resolution on the storm track over the North Pacific in ERA-Interim. Along with the mesoscale oceanic eddies and fronts resolved during the high-resolution-SST period, the low-level storm track strengthens northward, reaching more than 30% of the maximum values in the low-resolution-SST period after removing the influence of ENSO. The mesoscale structure firstly imprints on the marine atmospheric boundary layer, which then leads to changes in turbulent heat flux and near-surface convergence, forcing a secondary circulation into the free atmosphere, strengthening the vertical eddy heat, momentum and specific humidity fluxes, and contributing to the enhancement of the storm track. Results from a high-resolution atmospheric model further indicate the changes in the storm track due to the mesoscale SST and their relationship.
System of Multigrid Nonlinear Least-squares Four-dimensional Variational Data Assimilation for Numerical Weather Prediction (SNAP): System Formulation and Preliminary Evaluation
Hongqin ZHANG, Xiangjun TIAN, Wei CHENG, Lipeng JIANG
2020, 37(11): 1267-1284. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-9252-1
A new forecasting system—the System of Multigrid Nonlinear Least-squares Four-dimensional Variational (NLS-4DVar) Data Assimilation for Numerical Weather Prediction (SNAP)—was established by building upon the multigrid NLS-4DVar data assimilation scheme, the operational Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI)−based data-processing and observation operators, and the widely used Weather Research and Forecasting numerical model. Drawing upon lessons learned from the superiority of the operational GSI analysis system, for its various observation operators and the ability to assimilate multiple-source observations, SNAP adopts GSI-based data-processing and observation operator modules to compute the observation innovations. The multigrid NLS-4DVar assimilation framework is used for the analysis, which can adequately correct errors from large to small scales and accelerate iteration solutions. The analysis variables are model state variables, rather than the control variables adopted in the conventional 4DVar system. Currently, we have achieved the assimilation of conventional observations, and we will continue to improve the assimilation of radar and satellite observations in the future. SNAP was evaluated by case evaluation experiments and one-week cycling assimilation experiments. In the case evaluation experiments, two six-hour time windows were established for assimilation experiments and precipitation forecasts were verified against hourly precipitation observations from more than 2400 national observation sites. This showed that SNAP can absorb observations and improve the initial field, thereby improving the precipitation forecast. In the one-week cycling assimilation experiments, six-hourly assimilation cycles were run in one week. SNAP produced slightly lower forecast RMSEs than the GSI 4DEnVar (Four-dimensional Ensemble Variational) as a whole and the threat scores of precipitation forecasts initialized from the analysis of SNAP were higher than those obtained from the analysis of GSI 4DEnVar.
Contribution of Global Warming and Atmospheric Circulation to the Hottest Spring in Eastern China in 2018
Chunhui LU, Ying SUN, Nikolaos CHRISTIDIS, Peter A. STOTT
2020, 37(11): 1285-1294. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0088-5
The spring of 2018 was the hottest on record since 1951 over eastern China based on station observations, being 2.5°C higher than the 1961−90 mean and with more than 900 stations reaching the record spring mean temperature. This event exerted serious impacts in the region on agriculture, plant phenology, electricity transmission systems, and human health. In this paper, the contributions of human-induced climate change and anomalous anticyclonic circulation to this event are investigated using the newly homogenized observations and updated Met Office Hadley Centre system for attribution of extreme events, as well as CanESM2 (Second Generation Canadian Earth System Model) simulations. Results indicate that both anthropogenic influences and anomalous anticyclonic circulation played significant roles in increasing the probability of the 2018 hottest spring. Quantitative estimates of the probability ratio show that anthropogenic forcing may have increased the chance of this event by ten-fold, while the anomalous circulation increased it by approximately two-fold. The persistent anomalous anticyclonic circulation located on the north side of China blocked the air with lower temperature from high latitudes into eastern China. Without anthropogenic forcing or without the anomalous circulation in northern China, the occurrence probability of the extreme warm spring is significantly reduced.
Erratum to: Could the Recent Taal Volcano Eruption Trigger an El Niño and Lead to Eurasian Warming?
Fei LIU, Chen XING, Jinbao LI, Bin WANG, Jing CHAI, Chaochao GAO, Gang HUANG, Jian LIU, Deliang CHEN
2020, 37(11): 1295-1295. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-2013-3
Erratum to: An Examination of the Predictability of Tropical Cyclone Genesis in High-Resolution Coupled Models with Dynamically Downscaled Coupled Data Assimilation Initialization
Mingkui LI, Shaoqing ZHANG, Lixin WU, Xiaopei LIN, Ping CHANG, Gohkan DANABASOGLU, Zhiqiang WEI, Xiaolin YU, Huiqin HU, Xiaohui MA, Weiwei MA, Haoran ZHAO, Dongning JIA, Xin LIU, Kai MAO, Youwei MA, Yingjing JIANG, Xue WANG, Guangliang LIU, Yuhu CHEN
2020, 37(11): 1296-1296. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-2015-1