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2021 Vol. 38, No. 12

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Our Warmest Thanks to AAS Reviewers 2021
2021, 38(12): 1-3.
Editorial Notes
Preface to the Special Issue on Summer 2020: Record Rainfall in Asia — Mechanisms, Predictability and Impacts
Robin T. CLARK, Xiquan DONG, Chang-Hoi HO, Jianhua SUN, Huiling YUAN, Tetsuya TAKEMI
2021, 38(12): 1977-1979. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1010-5
Original Paper
The Record-breaking Mei-yu in 2020 and Associated Atmospheric Circulation and Tropical SST Anomalies
Yihui DING, Yunyun LIU, Zeng-Zhen HU
2021, 38(12): 1980-1993. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-0361-2
The record-breaking mei-yu in the Yangtze-Huaihe River valley (YHRV) in 2020 was characterized by an early onset, a delayed retreat, a long duration, a wide meridional rainbelt, abundant precipitation, and frequent heavy rainstorm processes. It is noted that the East Asian monsoon circulation system presented a significant quasi-biweekly oscillation (QBWO) during the mei-yu season of 2020 that was associated with the onset and retreat of mei-yu, a northward shift and stagnation of the rainbelt, and the occurrence and persistence of heavy rainstorm processes. Correspondingly, during the mei-yu season, the monsoon circulation subsystems, including the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), the upper-level East Asian westerly jet, and the low-level southwesterly jet, experienced periodic oscillations linked with the QBWO. Most notably, the repeated establishment of a large southerly center, with relatively stable latitude, led to moisture convergence and ascent which was observed to develop repeatedly. This was accompanied by a long-term duration of the mei-yu rainfall in the YHRV and frequent occurrences of rainstorm processes. Moreover, two blocking highs were present in the middle to high latitudes over Eurasia, and a trough along the East Asian coast was also active, which allowed cold air intrusions to move southward through the northwestern and/or northeastern paths. The cold air frequently merged with the warm and moist air from the low latitudes resulting in low-level convergence over the YHRV. The persistent warming in the tropical Indian Ocean is found to be an important external contributor to an EAP/PJ-like teleconnection pattern over East Asia along with an intensified and southerly displaced WPSH, which was observed to be favorable for excessive rainfall over YHRV.
Cause of Extreme Heavy and Persistent Rainfall over Yangtze River in Summer 2020
Xiao PAN, Tim LI, Ying SUN, Zhiwei ZHU
2021, 38(12): 1994-2009. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-0433-3
Record-breaking heavy and persistent precipitation occurred over the Yangtze River Valley (YRV) in June-July (JJ) 2020. An observational data analysis has indicated that the strong and persistent rainfall arose from the confluence of southerly wind anomalies to the south associated with an extremely strong anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific (WNPAC) and northeasterly anomalies to the north associated with a high-pressure anomaly over Northeast Asia. A further observational and modeling study has shown that the extremely strong WNPAC was caused by both La Niña-like SST anomaly (SSTA) forcing in the equatorial Pacific and warm SSTA forcing in the tropical Indian Ocean (IO). Different from conventional central Pacific (CP) El Niños that decay slowly, a CP El Niño in early 2020 decayed quickly and became a La Niña by early summer. This quick transition had a critical impact on the WNPAC. Meanwhile, an unusually large area of SST warming occurred in the tropical IO because a moderate interannual SSTA over the IO associated with the CP El Niño was superposed by an interdecadal/long-term trend component. Numerical sensitivity experiments have demonstrated that both the heating anomaly in the IO and the heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific contributed to the formation and maintenance of the WNPAC. The persistent high-pressure anomaly in Northeast Asia was part of a stationary Rossby wave train in the midlatitudes, driven by combined heating anomalies over India, the tropical eastern Pacific, and the tropical Atlantic.
The Anomalous Mei-yu Rainfall of Summer 2020 from a Circulation Clustering Perspective: Current and Possible Future Prevalence
Robin T. CLARK, Peili WU, Lixia ZHANG, Chaofan LI
2021, 38(12): 2010-2022. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1086-y
Highly unusual amounts of rainfall were seen in the 2020 summer in many parts of China, Japan, and South Korea. At the intercontinental scale, case studies have attributed this exceptional event to a displacement of the climatological western North Pacific subtropical anticyclone, potentially associated Indian Ocean sea surface temperature patterns and a mid-latitude wave train emanating from the North Atlantic. Using clusters of spatial patterns of sea level pressure, we show that an unprecedented 80% of the 2020 summer days in East Asia were dominated by clusters of surface pressure greater than normal over the South China Sea. By examining the rainfall and water vapor fluxes in other years when these clusters were also prevalent, we find that the frequency of these types of clusters was likely to have been largely responsible for the unusual rainfall of 2020. From two ensembles of future climate projections, we show that summers like 2020 in East Asia may become more frequent and considerably wetter in a warmer world with an enhanced moisture supply.
Toward Understanding the Extreme Floods over Yangtze River Valley in June−July 2020: Role of Tropical Oceans
Shaolei TANG, Jing-Jia LUO, Jiaying HE, Jiye WU, Yu ZHOU, Wushan YING
2021, 38(12): 2023-2039. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1036-8
The extreme floods in the Middle/Lower Yangtze River Valley (MLYRV) during June−July 2020 caused more than 170 billion Chinese Yuan direct economic losses. Here, we examine the key features related to this extreme event and explore relative contributions of SST anomalies in different tropical oceans. Our results reveal that the extreme floods over the MLYRV were tightly related to a strong anomalous anticyclone persisting over the western North Pacific, which brought tropical warm moisture northward that converged over the MLYRV. In addition, despite the absence of a strong El Niño in 2019/2020 winter, the mean SST anomaly in the tropical Indian Ocean during June−July 2020 reached its highest value over the last 40 years, and 43% (57%) of it is attributed to the multi-decadal warming trend (interannual variability). Based on the NUIST CFS1.0 model that successfully predicted the wet conditions over the MLYRV in summer 2020 initiated from 1 March 2020 (albeit the magnitude of the predicted precipitation was only about one-seventh of the observed), sensitivity experiment results suggest that the warm SST condition in the Indian Ocean played a dominant role in generating the extreme floods, compared to the contributions of SST anomalies in the Maritime Continent, central and eastern equatorial Pacific, and North Atlantic. Furthermore, both the multi-decadal warming trend and the interannual variability of the Indian Ocean SSTs had positive impacts on the extreme floods. Our results imply that the strong multi-decadal warming trend in the Indian Ocean needs to be taken into consideration for the prediction/projection of summer extreme floods over the MLYRV in the future.
The Extreme Mei-yu Season in 2020: Role of the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the Cooperative Influence of the Pacific and Indian Oceans
Ping LIANG, Zeng-Zhen HU, Yihui DING, Qiwen QIAN
2021, 38(12): 2040-2054. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1078-y
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in eastern China during summer 2020 suffered the strongest mei-yu since 1961. In this work, we comprehensively analyzed the mechanism of the extreme mei-yu season in 2020, with focuses on the combined effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the cooperative influence of the Pacific and Indian Oceans in 2020 and from a historical perspective. The prediction and predictability of the extreme mei-yu are further investigated by assessing the performances of the climate model operational predictions and simulations.   It is noted that persistent MJO phases 1−2 during June−July 2020 played a crucial role for the extreme mei-yu by strengthening the western Pacific subtropical high. Both the development of La Niña conditions and sea surface temperature (SST) warming in the tropical Indian Ocean exerted important influences on the long-lived MJO phases 1−2 by slowing down the eastward propagation of the MJO and activating convection related to the MJO over the tropical Indian Ocean. The spatial distribution of the 2020 mei-yu can be qualitatively captured in model real-time forecasts with a one-month lead. This can be attributed to the contributions of both the tropical Indian Ocean warming and La Niña development. Nevertheless, the mei-yu rainfall amounts are seriously underestimated. Model simulations forced with observed SST suggest that internal processes of the atmosphere play a more important role than boundary forcing (e.g., SST) in the variability of mei-yu anomaly, implying a challenge in quantitatively predicting an extreme mei-yu season, like the one in 2020.
The Seasonal Prediction of the Exceptional Yangtze River Rainfall in Summer 2020
Chaofan LI, Riyu LU, Nick DUNSTONE, Adam A. SCAIFE, Philip E. BETT, Fei ZHENG
2021, 38(12): 2055-2066. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1092-0
During June and July of 2020, the Yangtze River basin suffered from extreme mei-yu rainfall and catastrophic flooding. This study explores the seasonal predictability and associated dynamical causes for this extreme Yangtze River rainfall event, based on forecasts from the Met Office GloSea5 operational forecast system. The forecasts successfully predicted above-average rainfall over the Yangtze River basin, which arose from the successful reproduction of the anomalous western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH). Our results indicate that both the Indian Ocean warm sea surface temperature (SST) and local WNP SST gradient were responsible for the westward extension of the WNPSH, and the forecasts captured these tropical signals well. We explore extratropical drivers but find a large model spread among the forecast members regarding the meridional displacements of the East Asian mid-latitude westerly jet (EAJ). The forecast members with an evident southward displacement of the EAJ favored more extreme Yangtze River rainfall. However, the forecast Yangtze River rainfall anomaly was weaker compared to that was observed and no member showed such strong rainfall. In observations, the EAJ displayed an evident acceleration in summer 2020, which could lead to a significant wind convergence in the lower troposphere around the Yangtze River basin, and favor more mei-yu rainfall. The model forecast failed to satisfactorily reproduce these processes. This difference implies that the observed enhancement of the EAJ intensity gave a large boost to the Yangtze River rainfall, hindering a better forecast of the intensity of the event and disaster mitigation.
Why Does Extreme Rainfall Occur in Central China during the Summer of 2020 after a Weak El Niño?
Congxi FANG, Yu LIU, Qiufang CAI, Huiming SONG
2021, 38(12): 2067-2081. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1009-y
In summer 2020, extreme rainfall occurred throughout the Yangtze River basin, Huaihe River basin, and southern Yellow River basin, which are defined here as the central China (CC) region. However, only a weak central Pacific (CP) El Niño happened during winter 2019/20, so the correlations between the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indices and ENSO-induced circulation anomalies were insufficient to explain this extreme precipitation event. In this study, reanalysis data and numerical experiments are employed to identify and verify the primary ENSO-related factors that cause this extreme rainfall event. During summer 2020, unusually strong anomalous southwesterlies on the northwest side of an extremely strong Northwest Pacific anticyclone anomaly (NWPAC) contributed excess moisture and convective instability to the CC region, and thus, triggered extreme precipitation in this area. The tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) has warmed in recent decades, and consequently, intensified TIO basinwide warming appears after a weak El Niño, which excites an extremely strong NWPAC via the pathway of the Indo-western Pacific Ocean capacitor (IPOC) effect. Additionally, the ENSO event of 2019/20 should be treated as a fast-decaying CP El Niño rather than a general CP El Niño, so that the circulation and precipitation anomalies in summer 2020 can be better understood. Last, the increasing trend of tropospheric temperature and moisture content in the CC region after 2000 is also conducive to producing heavy precipitation.
Magnitude, Scale, and Dynamics of the 2020 Mei-yu Rains and Floods over China
2021, 38(12): 2082-2096. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1085-z
Large parts of East and South Asia were affected by heavy precipitation and flooding during early summer 2020. This study provides both a statistical and dynamical characterization of rains and floods affecting the Yangtze River Basin (YRB). By aggregating daily and monthly precipitation over river basins across Asia, it is shown that the YRB is one of the areas that was particularly affected. June and July 2020 rainfall was higher than in the previous 20 years, and the YRB experienced anomalously high rainfall across most of its sub-basins. YRB discharge also attained levels not seen since 1998/1999. An automated method detecting the daily position of the East Asian Summer Monsoon Front (EASMF) is applied to show that the anomalously high YRB precipitation was associated with a halted northward progression of the EASMF and prolonged mei-yu conditions over the YRB lasting more than one month. Two 5-day heavy-precipitation episodes (12−16 June and 4−8 July 2020) are selected from this period for dynamical characterization, including Lagrangian trajectory analysis. Particular attention is devoted to the dynamics of the airstreams converging at the EASMF. Both episodes display heavy precipitation and convergence of monsoonal and subtropical air masses. However, clear differences are identified in the upper-level flow pattern, substantially affecting the balance of airmass advection towards the EASMF. This study contextualizes heavy precipitation in Asia in summer 2020 and showcases several analysis tools developed by the authors for the study of such events.
The Extraordinary Rainfall over the Eastern Periphery of the Tibetan Plateau in August 2020
Xuelin HU, Weihua YUAN, Rucong YU
2021, 38(12): 2097-2107. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1134-7
A large amount of accumulated precipitation was recorded over the Eastern Periphery of the Tibetan Plateau (EPTP) in August 2020. Using hourly rain gauge records and the ERA5 reanalysis dataset, we analyzed the unique characteristics of rainfall in August and the accompanying circulation conditions and conducted a comparison with previous data. This record-breaking amount of accumulated rainfall was centered on the northern slope of the EPTP. This location was in contrast with the historical records of the concentration of rainfall over the middle and southern slopes. The hourly rainfall in August 2020 was both more frequent and more intense than the climatological mean rainfall. An amplification effect of the topography was observed, with the precipitation over the EPTP showing a more significant change with terrain height in August 2020. A circulation analysis showed that cold (warm) anomalies existed over the north (south) of approximately 35°N compared with those in the years when the southern EPTP received more rain. The western Pacific subtropical high was more intense and extended to the west, and the low-level cold air from the north was more active. The enhanced low-level southerly winds on the periphery of the subtropical high injected warm, moist air further north than the climatological mean. These winds became easterly near the northern EPTP and were forced to ascend by the steep terrain.
Subseasonal and Synoptic Variabilities of Precipitation over the Yangtze River Basin in the Summer of 2020
Liudan DING, Tim LI, Ying SUN
2021, 38(12): 2108-2124. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1133-8
Summer precipitation over the Yangtze River basin (YRB) in 2020 experienced a strong subseasonal and synoptic fluctuation in addition to contributing to an exceptionally large seasonal mean precipitation. The cause of this higher-frequency fluctuation is examined based on observational analyses. Apart from the continuous northward movement of the climatological mei-yu rainband, the mei-yu rainbelt in the summer of 2020 experienced multiple northward and southward swings. The cause of the swings was attributed to the subseasonal variability of southerly winds to the south and northeasterly winds to the north of the YRB. In addition, synoptic-scale variability, characterized by the eastward propagation of low-level cyclonic vorticity and precipitation anomalies, was also commonplace in the summer of 2020. While the strengthening of both the subseasonal and synoptic variabilities in the summer of 2020 was attributed to the increase of the background mean moisture, the synoptic variability was greatly affected by the subseasonal rainfall variability. As a result, both the synoptic-scale and subseasonal variabilities contributed to the north-south swings of the rainbelt. The large-scale modulations by both the seasonal mean and subseasonal anomalies provide insight regarding the optimization of issuing accurate, extended-range forecasts of extreme weather events.
Moisture Origins and Transport Processes for the 2020 Yangtze River Valley Record-Breaking Mei-yu Rainfall
Lixia ZHANG, Dan ZHAO, Tianjun ZHOU, Dongdong PENG, Chan XIAO
2021, 38(12): 2125-2136. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1097-8
The summer of 2020 recorded a record-breaking flood due to excessive mei-yu rain falling over the Yangtze River Valley (YRV). Using the Lagrangian model FLEXPART, this paper investigates moisture sources and transport processes behind this extreme event. Based on climate data from 1979 to 2019, the air-particle (an infinitesimally small air parcel) trajectories reaching the YRV show sectors that correspond to five main moisture sources: the Indian monsoon region (IND, 27.5% of the total rainfall), the local evaporation (27.4%), the Western Pacific Ocean (WPO, 21.3%), the Eurasian continent (8.5%) and Northeast Asia (4.4%). In the 2020 mei-yu season, moisture from all source regions was above normal except that from Northeast Asia. A record-breaking moisture source from the IND and WPO dominated this extreme mei-yu flood in 2020, which was 1.5 and 1.6 times greater than the climate mean, respectively. This study reveals a significant relationship between the moisture source with three moisture transport processes, i.e., trajectory density, moisture content, and moisture uptake of air-particles. A broad anomalous anticyclonic circulation over the Indo-Northwestern Pacific (Indo-NWP) provides a favorable environment to enhance the moisture transport from the IND and WPO into the YRV. In the 2020 mei-yu season, a record-breaking Indo-NWP anomalous anticyclonic circulation contributed to a higher trajectory density as well as higher moisture content and moisture uptake of air-particles from the IND and WPO regions. This collectively resulted in unprecedented moisture transport from source origins, thus contributing to the mei-yu flood over the YRV in 2020.
Atmospheric Rivers and Mei-yu Rainfall in China: A Case Study of Summer 2020
Ting WANG, Ke WEI, Jiao MA
2021, 38(12): 2137-2152. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1096-9
Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are long, narrow, and transient filaments of strong horizontal water vapor transport that can lead to extreme precipitation. To investigate the relationship between ARs and mei-yu rainfall in China, the mei-yu season of 2020 in the Yangtze-Huaihe River basin is taken as an example. An adjusted AR-detection algorithm is applied on integrated water vapor transport (IVT) of the ERA5 reanalysis. The JRA-55 reanalysis and the data from Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) are also utilized to study the impacts of ARs on mei-yu rainfall in 2020. The results reveal that ARs in East Asia have an average length of 5400 km, a width of 600 km, a length/width ratio of 9.3, and a northeastward orientation of 30°. ARs are modulated by the western North Pacific subtropical high. The IVT core is located at the south side of low pressure systems, moving eastward with a speed of 10° d−1. For the cross sections of ARs in the Yangtze-Huaihe River basin, 75% of the total flux is concentrated below 4 km with low-level jets near AR cores. Moreover, ARs occur mainly in the mei-yu period with a frequency of 20%–60%. The intensity of AR-related precipitation is 6–12 times that of AR-unrelated precipitation, and AR-related precipitation contributes about 50%–80% to total mei-yu precipitation. As shown in this case study of summer 2020, ARs are an essential part of the mei-yu system and have great impacts on mei-yu rainfall. Thus, ARs should receive more attention in research and weather forecast practices.
On the Second-Year Warming in Late 2019 over the Tropical Pacific and Its Attribution to an Indian Ocean Dipole Event
Licheng FENG, Fei LIU, Rong-Hua ZHANG, Xue HAN, Bo YU, Chuan GAO
2021, 38(12): 2153-2166. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1234-4
After its maturity, El Niño usually decays rapidly in the following summer and evolves into a La Niña pattern. However, this was not the case for the 2018/19 El Niño event. Based on multiple reanalysis data sets, the space-time evolution and triggering mechanism for the unusual second-year warming in late 2019, after the 2018/19 El Niño event, are investigated in the tropical Pacific. After a short decaying period associated with the 2018/19 El Niño condition, positive sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) re-intensified in the eastern equatorial Pacific in late 2019. Compared with the composite pattern of El Niño in the following year, two key differences are evident in the evolution of SSTAs in 2019. First, is the persistence of the surface warming over the central equatorial Pacific in May, and second, is the re-intensification of the positive SSTAs over the eastern equatorial Pacific in September. Observational results suggest that the re-intensification of anomalous westerly winds over the western and central Pacific, induced remotely by an extreme Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event, acted as a triggering mechanism for the second-year warming in late 2019. That is, the IOD-related cold SSTAs in the eastern Indian Ocean established and sustained anomalous surface westerly winds over the western equatorial Pacific, which induced downwelling Kelvin waves propagating eastward along the equator. At the same time, the subsurface ocean provided plenty of warm water in the western and central equatorial Pacific. Mixed-layer heat budget analyses further confirm that positive zonal advection, induced by the anomalous westerly winds, and thermocline feedback played important roles in leading to the second-year warming in late 2019. This study provides new insights into the processes responsible for the diversity of El Niño evolution, which is important for improving the physical understanding and seasonal prediction of El Niño events.
Typical Circulation Patterns and Associated Mechanisms for Persistent Heavy Rainfall Events over Yangtze–Huaihe River Valley during 1981–2020
Huijie WANG, Jianhua SUN, Shenming FU, Yuanchun ZHANG
2021, 38(12): 2167-2182. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1194-8
Persistent heavy rainfall events (PHREs) over the Yangtze–Huaihe River Valley (YHRV) during 1981–2020 are classified into three types (type-A, type-B and type-C) according to pattern correlation. The characteristics of the synoptic systems for the PHREs and their possible development mechanisms are investigated. The anomalous cyclonic disturbance over the southern part of the YHRV during type-A events is primarily maintained and intensified by the propagation of Rossby wave energy originating from the northeast Atlantic in the mid–upper troposphere and the northward propagation of Rossby wave packets from the western Pacific in the mid–lower troposphere. The zonal propagation of Rossby wave packets and the northward propagation of Rossby wave packets during type-B events are more coherent than those for type-A events, which induces eastward propagation of stronger anomaly centers of geopotential height from the northeast Atlantic Ocean to the YHRV and a meridional anomaly in geopotential height over the Asian continent. Type-C events have “two ridges and one trough” in the high latitudes of the Eurasian continent, but the anomalous intensity of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) and the trough of the YHRV region are weaker than those for type-A and type-B events. The composite synoptic circulation of four PHREs in 2020 is basically consistent with that of the corresponding PHRE type. The location of the South Asian high (SAH) in three of the PHREs in 2020 moves eastward as in the composite of the three types, but the position of the WPSH of the four PHREs is clearly westward and northward. Two water vapor conveyor belts and two cold air conveyor belts are tracked during the four PHREs in 2020, but the water vapor path from the western Pacific is not seen, which may be caused by the westward extension of the WPSH.
On the Diurnal Cycle of Heavy Rainfall over the Sichuan Basin during 10–18 August 2020
Rudi XIA, Yali LUO, Da-Lin ZHANG, Mingxin LI, Xinghua BAO, Jisong SUN
2021, 38(12): 2183-2200. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1118-7
A sustained heavy rainfall event occurred over the Sichuan basin in southwest China during 10–18 August 2020, showing pronounced diurnal rainfall variations with nighttime peak and afternoon minimum values, except on the first day. Results show that the westward extension of the anomalously strong western Pacific subtropical high was conducive to the maintenance of a southerly low-level jet (LLJ) in and to the southeast of the basin, which favored continuous water vapor transport and abnormally high precipitable water in the basin. The diurnal cycle of rainfall over the basin was closely related to the periodic oscillation of the LLJ in both wind speed and direction that was caused by the combination of inertial oscillation and terrain thermal forcing. The nocturnally enhanced rainfall was produced by moist convection mostly initiated during the evening hours over the southwest part of the basin where high convective available potential energy with moister near-surface moist air was present. The convective initiation took place as cold air from either previous precipitating clouds from the western Sichuan Plateau or a larger-scale northerly flow met a warm and humid current from the south. It was the slantwise lifting of the warm, moist airflow above the cold air, often facilitated by southwest vortices and quasi-geostrophic ascent, that released the convective instability and produced heavy rainfall.
Notes & Letters
Two Types of Diurnal Variations in Heavy Rainfall during July over Korea
Chang-Kyun PARK, Minhee CHANG, Chang-Hoi HO, Kyung-Ja HA, Jinwon KIM, Byung-Ju SOHN
2021, 38(12): 2201-2211. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1178-8
This study examined the characteristics of the diurnal variations of heavy rainfall (≥110 mm in 12 hours) in Korea and the related atmospheric circulation for July from 1980−2020. During the analysis period, two dominant pattens of diurnal variation of the heavy rainfall emerged: all-day heavy rainfall (AD) and morning only heavy rainfall (MO) types. For the AD-type, the heavy rainfall is caused by abundant moisture content in conjunction with active convection in the morning (0000−1200, LST; LST = UTC + 9) and the afternoon hours (1200−2400 LST). These systems are related to the enhanced moisture inflow and upward motion induced by the strengthening of the western North Pacific subtropical high and upper-tropospheric jet. For the MO-type, heavy rainfall occurs mostly in the morning hours; the associated atmospheric patterns are similar to the climatology. We find that the atmospheric pattern related to severe heavy rainfalls in 2020 corresponds to a typical AD-type and resembles the 1991 heavy-rainfall system in its overall synoptic/mesoscale circulations. The present results imply that extremely heavy rainfall episodes in Korea during the 2020 summer may occur again in the future associated with the recurring atmospheric phenomenon related to the heavy rainfall.
Seasonal Rainfall Forecasts for the Yangtze River Basin in the Extreme Summer of 2020
Philip E. BETT, Gill M. MARTIN, Nick DUNSTONE, Adam A. SCAIFE, Hazel E. THORNTON, Chaofan LI
2021, 38(12): 2212-2220. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1087-x
Seasonal forecasts for Yangtze River basin rainfall in June, May–June–July (MJJ), and June–July–August (JJA) 2020 are presented, based on the Met Office GloSea5 system. The three-month forecasts are based on dynamical predictions of an East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) index, which is transformed into regional-mean rainfall through linear regression. The June rainfall forecasts for the middle/lower Yangtze River basin are based on linear regression of precipitation. The forecasts verify well in terms of giving strong, consistent predictions of above-average rainfall at lead times of at least three months. However, the Yangtze region was subject to exceptionally heavy rainfall throughout the summer period, leading to observed values that lie outside the 95% prediction intervals of the three-month forecasts. The forecasts presented here are consistent with other studies of the 2020 EASM rainfall, whereby the enhanced mei-yu front in early summer is skillfully forecast, but the impact of midlatitude drivers enhancing the rainfall in later summer is not captured. This case study demonstrates both the utility of probabilistic seasonal forecasts for the Yangtze region and the potential limitations in anticipating complex extreme events driven by a combination of coincident factors.