J. Meteor. Res.
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2017 Vol. 31, No. 5
Published: 2017-10-28

Relative Contributions of Boundary-Layer Meteorological Factors to the Explosive Growth of PM2.5 during the Red-Alert Heavy Pollution Episodes in Beijing in December 2016
Junting ZHONG, Xiaoye ZHANG, Yaqiang WANG, Junying SUN, Yangmei ZHANG, Jizhi WANG, Kaiyan TAN, Xiaojing SHEN, Haochi CHE, Lu ZHANG, Zhouxiang ZHANG, Xuefei QI, Huarong ZHAO, Sanxue REN, Yang LI
2017, 31(5): 809-819 [Abstract]( 82 ) HTML PDF (3689 KB)  ( 112
Abstract:Based on observations of urban mass concentration of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5), ground meteorological data, vertical measurements of winds, temperature, and relative humidity (RH), and ECMWF reanalysis data, the major changes in the vertical structures of meteorological factors in the boundary layer (BL) during the heavy aerosol pollution episodes (HPEs) that occurred in winter 2016 in the urban Beijing area were analyzed. The HPEs are divided into two stages:the transport of pollutants under prevailing southerly winds, known as the transport stage (TS), and the PM2.5 explosive growth and pollution accumulation period characterized by a temperature inversion with low winds and high RH in the lower BL, known as the cumulative stage (CS). During the TS, a surface high lies south of Beijing, and pollutants are transported northwards. During the CS, a stable BL forms and is characterized by weak winds, temperature inversion, and moisture accumulation. Stable atmospheric stratification featured with light/calm winds and accumulated moisture (RH > 80%) below 250 m at the beginning of the CS is closely associated with the inversion, which is strengthened by the considerable decrease in near-surface air temperature due to the interaction between aerosols and radiation after the aerosol pollution occurs. A significant increase in the PLAM (Parameter Linking Aerosol Pollution and Meteorological Elements) index is found, which is linearly related to PM mass change. During the first 10 h of the CS, the more stable BL contributes approximately 84% of the explosive growth of PM2.5 mass. Additional accumulated near-surface moisture caused by the ground temperature decrease, weak turbulent diffusion, low BL height, and inhibited vertical mixing of water vapor is conducive to the secondary aerosol formation through chemical reactions, including liquid phase and heterogeneous reactions, which further increases the PM2.5 concentration levels. The contribution of these reaction mechanisms to the explosive growth of PM2.5 mass during the early CS and subsequent pollution accumulation requires further investigation.
A Comparison of the Effects of Interannual Arctic Sea Ice Loss and ENSO on Winter Haze Days: Observational Analyses and AGCM Simulations
Shuanglin LI, Zhe HAN, Huopo CHEN
2017, 31(5): 820-833 [Abstract]( 96 ) HTML PDF (6211 KB)  ( 114
Abstract:This study compares the impacts of interannual Arctic sea ice loss and ENSO events on winter haze days in mainland China through observational analyses and AGCM sensitivity experiments. The results suggest that (1) Arctic sea ice loss favors an increase in haze days in central-eastern China; (2) the impact of ENSO is overall contained within southern China, with increased (reduced) haze days during La Niña (El Niño) winters; and (3) the impacts from sea ice loss and ENSO are linearly additive. Mechanistically, Arctic sea ice loss causes quasi-barotropic positive height anomalies over the region from northern Europe to the Ural Mountains (Urals in brief) and weak and negative height anomalies over the region from central Asia to northeastern Asia. The former favors intensified frequency of the blocking over the regions from northern Europe to the Urals, whereas the latter favors an even air pressure distribution over Siberia, Mongolia, and East Asia. This large-scale circulation pattern favors more frequent occurrence of calm and steady weather in northern China and, as a consequence, increased occurrence of haze days. In comparison, La Niña (El Niño) exerts its influence along a tropical pathway by inducing a cyclonic (anticyclonic) lower-tropospheric atmospheric circulation response over the subtropical northwestern Pacific. The northeasterly (southwesterly) anomaly at the northwestern rear of the cyclone (anticyclone) causes reduced (intensified) rainfall over southeastern China, which favors increased (reduced) occurrence of haze days through the rain-washing effect.
Accounting for CO2 Variability over East Asia with a Regional Joint Inversion System and Its Preliminary Evaluation
Xingxia KOU, Xiangjun TIAN, Meigen ZHANG, Zhen PENG, Xiaoling ZHANG
2017, 31(5): 834-851 [Abstract]( 55 ) HTML PDF (6335 KB)  ( 98 Supplemental Material
Abstract:A regional surface carbon dioxide (CO2) flux inversion system, the Tan-Tracker-Region, was developed by incorporating an assimilation scheme into the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) regional chemical transport model to resolve fine-scale CO2 variability over East Asia. The proper orthogonal decomposition-based ensemble four-dimensional variational data assimilation approach (POD-4DVar) is the core algorithm for the joint assimilation framework, and simultaneous assimilations of CO2 concentrations and surface CO2 fluxes are applied to help reduce the uncertainty in initial CO2 concentrations. A persistence dynamical model was developed to describe the evolution of the surface CO2 fluxes and help avoid the "signal-to-noise" problem; thus, CO2 fluxes could be estimated as a whole at the model grid scale, with better use of observation information. The performance of the regional inversion system was evaluated through a group of single-observation-based observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs). The results of the experiments suggest that a reliable performance of Tan-Tracker-Region is dependent on certain assimilation parameter choices, for example, an optimized window length of approximately 3 h, an ensemble size of approximately 100, and a covariance localization radius of approximately 320 km. This is probably due to the strong diurnal variation and spatial heterogeneity in the fine-scale CMAQ simulation, which could affect the performance of the regional inversion system. In addition, because all observations can be artificially obtained in OSSEs, the performance of Tan-Tracker-Region was further evaluated through different densities of the artificial observation network in different CO2 flux situations. The results indicate that more observation sites would be useful to systematically improve the estimation of CO2 concentration and flux in large areas over the model domain. The work presented here forms a foundation for future research in which a thorough estimation of CO2 flux variability over East Asia could be performed with the regional inversion system.
Climatology of the Meteorological Factors Associated with Haze Events over Northern China and Their Potential Response to the Quasi-Biannual Oscillation
2017, 31(5): 852-864 [Abstract]( 104 ) HTML PDF (5282 KB)  ( 122 Supplemental Material
Abstract:An upswing in haze weather during autumn and winter has been observed over North and Northeast China in recent years, imposing adverse impacts upon local socioeconomic development and human health. However, such an increase in the occurrence of haze events and its association with natural climate variability and climate change are not well understood. To investigate the climatology of the meteorological factors associated with haze events and their natural variability, this study uses a meteorological pollution index called PLAM (Parameter Linking Air-quality to Meteorological conditions) and ERA-Interim reanalysis data. The results suggest that high PLAM values tend to occur over southern parts of northern China, implying the weather conditions over this area are favorable for the occurrence of haze weather. For the period 1979-2014, the regional mean PLAM shows an overall increase across Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province, and parts of Shanxi Province. Also, a periodicity of 28-34 months is found in the temporal variation of PLAM, which implies a potential association of PLAM with the stratospheric Quasi-Biannual Oscillation (QBO). By using the QBO index during the autumn and winter seasons in the preceding year, an increase in PLAM is found for the westerly phases of the QBO, relative to the easterly phases. An upper-tropospheric warming is also found in the westerly phases, which can induce a stable stratification that favors the increase in PLAM across the midlatitudes. The modulations of large-scale environmental factors, including moist static stability, vertical velocity, and temperature advection, also act to enhance PLAM in the westerly phases. However, the baroclinic term of moist potential vorticity at 700 hPa tends to decrease over the south, and an increase in low-level ascent is found over the north. These factors can reduce PLAM and possibly limit the statistical significance of the increased PLAM in the westerly phases of the QBO.
The Aerosol Radiative Effect on a Severe Haze Episode in the Yangtze River Delta
Kai SUN, Hongnian LIU, Xueyuan WANG, Zhen PENG, Zhe XIONG
2017, 31(5): 865-873 [Abstract]( 58 ) HTML PDF (5602 KB)  ( 51 Supplemental Material
Abstract:Due to increased aerosol emissions and unfavorable weather conditions, severe haze events have occurred frequently in China in the last 10 years. In addition, the interaction between the boundary layer and the aerosol radiative effect may be another important factor in haze formation. To better understand the effect of this interaction, the aerosol radiative effect on a severe haze episode that took place in December 2013 was investigated by using two WRF-Chem model simulations with different aerosol configurations. The results showed that the maximal reduction of regional average surface shortwave radiation, latent heat, and sensible heat during this event were 88, 12, and 37 W m-2, respectively. The planetary boundary layer height, daytime temperature, and wind speed dropped by 276 m, 1℃, and 0.33 m s-1, respectively. The ventilation coefficient dropped by 8%-24% for in the central and northwestern Yangtze River Delta (YRD). The upper level of the atmosphere was warmed and the lower level was cooled, which stabilized the stratification. In a word, the dispersion ability of the atmosphere was weakened due to the aerosol radiative feedback. Additional results showed that the PM2.5 concentration in the central and northwestern YRD increased by 6-18 μg m-3, which is less than 15% of the average PM2.5 concentration during the severely polluted period in this area. The vertical profile showed that the PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations increased below 950 hPa, with a maximum increase of 7 and 8 μg m-3, respectively. Concentrations reduced between 950 and 800 hPa, however, with a maximum reduction of 3.5 and 4.5 μg m-3, respectively. Generally, the aerosol radiative effect aggravated the level of pollution, but the effect was limited, and this haze event was mainly caused by the stagnant meteorological conditions. The interaction between the boundary layer and the aerosol radiative effect may have been less important than the large-scale static weather conditions for the formation of this haze episode.
Numerical Simulations of an Advection Fog Event over Shanghai Pudong International Airport with the WRF Model
Caiyan LIN, Zhongfeng ZHANG, Zhaoxia PU, Fengyun WANG
2017, 31(5): 874-889 [Abstract]( 39 ) HTML PDF (9400 KB)  ( 53 Supplemental Material
Abstract:A series of numerical simulations is conducted to understand the formation, evolution, and dissipation of an advection fog event over Shanghai Pudong International Airport (ZSPD) with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Using the current operational settings at the Meteorological Center of East China Air Traffic Management Bureau, the WRF model successfully predicts the fog event at ZSPD. Additional numerical experiments are performed to examine the physical processes associated with the fog event. The results indicate that prediction of this particular fog event is sensitive to microphysical schemes for the time of fog dissipation but not for the time of fog onset. The simulated timing of the arrival and dissipation of the fog, as well as the cloud distribution, is substantially sensitive to the planetary boundary layer and radiation (both longwave and shortwave) processes. Moreover, varying forecast lead times also produces different simulation results for the fog event regarding its onset and duration, suggesting a trade-off between more accurate initial conditions and a proper forecast lead time that allows model physi-cal processes to spin up adequately during the fog simulation. The overall outcomes from this study imply that the complexity of physical processes and their interactions within the WRF model during fog evolution and dissipation is a key area of future research.
Structural Characteristics of Atmospheric Temperature and Humidity inside Clouds of Convective and Stratiform Precipitation in the Rainy Season over East Asia
Rui WANG, Yunfei FU
2017, 31(5): 890-905 [Abstract]( 87 ) HTML PDF (9109 KB)  ( 106 Supplemental Material
Abstract:In this study, a merged dataset constructed from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation radar rain products and Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive data is used to investigate the thermal structural characteristics of convective and stratiform precipitation in the rainy season (May-August) of 1998-2012 over East Asia. The results show that the storm tops for convective precipitation are higher than those for stratiform precipitation, because of the more unstable atmospheric motions for convective precipitation. Moreover, the storm tops are higher at 1200 UTC than at 0000 UTC over land regions for both convective and stratiform precipitation, and vice versa for ocean region. Additionally, temperature anomaly patterns inside convective and stratiform precipitating clouds show a negative anomaly of about 0-2 K, which results in cooling effects in the lower troposphere. This cooling is more obvious at 1200 UTC for stratiform precipitation. The positive anomaly that appears in the middle troposphere is more than 2 K, with the strongest warming at 300 hPa. Relative humidity anomaly patterns show a positive anomaly in the middle troposphere (700-500 hPa) prior to the occurrence of the two types of precipitation, and the increase in moisture is evident for stratiform precipitation.
Long-Term Trend in Potential Vorticity Intrusion Events over the Pacific Ocean: Role of Global Mean Temperature Rise
Debashis NATH, Wen CHEN, Xiaoqing LAN
2017, 31(5): 906-915 [Abstract]( 42 ) HTML PDF (4917 KB)  ( 56
Abstract:In this study, we examine a long-term increasing trend in subtropical potential vorticity (PV) intrusion events over the Pacific Ocean in relation to the global mean temperature rise, based on multiple reanalysis datasets. The frequency of the PV intrusions is closely related to the upper-tropospheric equatorial westerly duct and the subtropical jet (STJ). An overall strengthening of the westerly duct and weakening of the STJ are found to be driven by the warming-induced strengthening of Walker circulation and regional changes in Hadley circulation on multi-decadal timescale, leading to an increase in the PV intrusion frequency over the tropics. The results are robust in all datasets. The multi-decadal strengthening in the Pacific Walker circulation is consistent with the global mean temperature rise. In this way, the PV intrusions are correlated with the warming related global mean temperuate rise. When the interannual variability of ENSO is removed from the intrusion time series, the long-term trend in PV intrusions due to external forcing associated with anthropogenic warming (global mean temperature rise) becomes clearer. The link between the global mean temperature rise and intrusion frequency is further verified by performing a correlation analysis between the two. The significant (> 95%) correlation coefficient is 0.85, 0.94, 0.84, 0.83, and 0.84 for ERA-40, ERA-Interim, NCEP-NCAR, JRA-55, and JRA-25, respectively. This unequivocally indicates that the global mean temperature rise can explain around 69%-88% of the variance related to the long-term increase in PV intrusion frequency over the Pacific Ocean.
Improving CLM4.5 Simulations of Land-Atmosphere Exchange during Freeze-Thaw Processes on the Tibetan Plateau
Siqiong LUO, Xuewei FANG, Shihua LYU, Yu ZHANG, Boli CHEN
2017, 31(5): 916-930 [Abstract]( 60 ) HTML PDF (3856 KB)  ( 139
Abstract:Soil is heterogeneous and has different thermal and hydraulic properties, causing varied behavior in heat and moisture transport. Therefore, soil has an important effect on land-atmosphere interactions. In this study, an improved soil parameterization scheme that considers gravel and organic matter in the soil was introduced into CLM4.5 (Community Land Model). By using data from the Zoige and Madoi sites on the Tibetan Plateau, the ability of the model to simultaneously simulate the duration of freeze-thaw periods, soil temperature, soil moisture, and surface energy during freeze-thaw processes, was validated. The results indicated that:(1) the new parameterization performed better in simulating the duration of the frozen, thawing, unfrozen, and freezing periods; (2) with the new scheme, the soil thermal conductivity values were decreased; (3) the new parameterization improved soil temperature simulation and effectively decreased cold biases; (4) the new parameterization scheme effectively decreased the dry biases of soil liquid water content during the freezing, completely frozen, and thawing periods, but increased the wet biases during the completely thawed period; and (5) the net radiation, latent heat flux, and soil surface heat flux of the Zoige and Madoi sites were much improved by the new organic matter and thermal conductivity parameterization.
A Nowcasting Technique Based on Application of the Particle Filter Blending Algorithm
Yuanzhao CHEN, Hongping LAN, Xunlai CHEN, Wenhai ZHANG
2017, 31(5): 931-945 [Abstract]( 77 ) HTML PDF (8994 KB)  ( 272
Abstract:To improve the accuracy of nowcasting, a new extrapolation technique called particle filter blending was configured in this study and applied to experimental nowcasting. Radar echo extrapolation was performed by using the radar mosaic at an altitude of 2.5 km obtained from the radar images of 12 S-band radars in Guangdong Province, China. The first bilateral filter was applied in the quality control of the radar data; an optical flow method based on the Lucas-Kanade algorithm and the Harris corner detection algorithm were used to track radar echoes and retrieve the echo motion vectors; then, the motion vectors were blended with the particle filter blending algorithm to estimate the optimal motion vector of the true echo motions; finally, semi-Lagrangian extrapolation was used for radar echo extrapolation based on the obtained motion vector field. A comparative study of the extrapolated forecasts of four precipitation events in 2016 in Guangdong was conducted. The results indicate that the particle filter blending algorithm could realistically reproduce the spatial pattern, echo intensity, and echo location at 30-and 60-min forecast lead times. The forecasts agreed well with observations, and the results were of operational significance. Quantitative evaluation of the forecasts indicates that the particle filter blending algorithm performed better than the cross-correlation method and the optical flow method. Therefore, the particle filter blending method is proved to be superior to the traditional forecasting methods and it can be used to enhance the ability of nowcasting in operational weather forecasts.
Impact of Initial Storm Intensity and Size on the Simulation of Tropical Cyclone Track and Western Pacific Subtropical High Extent
Yuxing WANG, Yuan SUN, Qianfeng LIAO, Zhong ZHONG, Yijia HU, Kefeng LIU
2017, 31(5): 946-954 [Abstract]( 46 ) HTML PDF (5424 KB)  ( 92 Supplemental Material
Abstract:Typhoon Megi, the 13th typhoon of the 2010 typhoon season, was selected for case study by utilizing the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Twelve sensitivity experiments with various initial tropical cyclone (TC) intensities and sizes were conducted to investigate their impacts on the simulation of typhoon track. Interaction between TC and the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) was also analyzed to explore the mechanism for the impact on TC track of the initial TC intensity and size. Numerical results indicate that the simulated TC size and TC track are sensitive to initial TC intensity and size. Stronger initial TC intensity and larger initial TC size often lead to larger simulated TC size and make TC turn northward earlier. Further analysis suggests that, with the increase of initial TC intensity and size, more air mass enters into the TC region, which subsequently reduces the extent of WPSH. As a result, the steering flow changes significantly and eventually causes the TC to turn northward earlier. The present study confirms that the initial TC intensity and size have certain influences on the TC track simulation, which demonstrates the importance of accurate initial condition for successful simulation of the TC intensity and TC track. Moreover, it also deepens our understanding of the interaction between TC and WPSH, provides helpful clues for the TC track change study, and discusses the future directions for improvement of TC track forecast.
A Convection-Allowing Ensemble Forecast Based on the Breeding Growth Mode and Associated Optimization of Precipitation Forecast
Xiang LI, Hongrang HE, Chaohui CHEN, Ziqing MIAO, Shigang BAI
2017, 31(5): 955-964 [Abstract]( 47 ) HTML PDF (4943 KB)  ( 74 Supplemental Material
Abstract:A convection-allowing ensemble forecast experiment on a squall line was conducted based on the breeding growth mode (BGM). Meanwhile, the probability matched mean (PMM) and neighborhood ensemble probability (NEP) methods were used to optimize the associated precipitation forecast. The ensemble forecast predicted the precipitation tendency accurately, which was closer to the observation than in the control forecast. For heavy rainfall, the precipitation center produced by the ensemble forecast was also better. The Fractions Skill Score (FSS) results indicated that the ensemble mean was skillful in light rainfall, while the PMM produced better probability distribution of precipitation for heavy rainfall. Preliminary results demonstrated that convection-allowing ensemble forecast could improve precipitation forecast skill through providing valuable probability forecasts. It is necessary to employ new methods, such as the PMM and NEP, to generate precipitation probability forecasts. Nonetheless, the lack of spread and the overprediction of precipitation by the ensemble members are still problems that need to be solved.
Retrieval of Eddy Thermal Conductivity in the Weakly Nonlinear Prandtl Model for Katabatic Flows
Bing YAN, Sixun HUANG, Jing FENG
2017, 31(5): 965-975 [Abstract]( 64 ) HTML PDF (1694 KB)  ( 68 Supplemental Material
Abstract:Because the nonlinearity of actual physical processes can be expressed more precisely by the introduction of a nonlinear term, the weakly nonlinear Prandtl model is one of the most effective ways to describe the pure katabatic flow (no background flow). Features of the weak nonlinearity are reflected by two factors:the small parameter ε and the gradually varying eddy thermal conductivity. This paper first shows how to apply the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) method for the approximate solution of the weakly nonlinear Prandtl model, and then describes the retrieval of gradually varying eddy thermal conductivity from observed wind speed and perturbed potential temperature. Gradually varying eddy thermal conductivity is generally derived from an empirical parameterization scheme. We utilize wind speed and potential temperature measurements, along with the variational assimilation technique, to derive this parameter. The objective function is constructed by the square of the differences between the observation and model value. The new method is validated by numerical experiments with simulated measurements, revealing that the order of the root mean squre error is 10-2 and thus confirming the method's robustness. In addition, this me-thod is capable of anti-interference, as it effectively reduces the influence of observation error.
Semi-Idealized Modeling of Lightning Initiation Related to Vertical Air Motion and Cloud Microphysics
Fei WANG, Yijun ZHANG, Dong ZHENG, Liangtao XU, Wenjuan ZHANG, Qing MENG
2017, 31(5): 976-986 [Abstract]( 38 ) HTML PDF (2359 KB)  ( 95 Supplemental Material
Abstract:A three-dimensional charge-discharge numerical model is used, in a semi-idealized mode, to simulate a thunderstorm cell. Characteristics of the graupel microphysics and vertical air motion associated with the lightning initiation are revealed, which could be useful in retrieving charge strength during lightning when no charge-discharge model is available. The results show that the vertical air motion at the lightning initiation sites (Wini) has a cubic polynomial correlation with the maximum updraft of the storm cell (Wcell-max), with the adjusted regression coefficient R2 of approximately 0.97. Meanwhile, the graupel mixing ratio at the lightning initiation sites (qg-ini) has a linear correlation with the maximum graupel mixing ratio of the storm cell (qg-cell-max) and the initiation height (zini), with the coefficients being 0.86 and 0.85, respectively. These linear correlations are more significant during the middle and late stages of lightning activity. A zero-charge zone, namely, the area with very low net charge density between the main positive and negative charge layers, appears above the area of qg-cell-max and below the upper edge of the graupel region, and is found to be an important area for lightning initiation. Inside the zero-charge zone, large electric intensity forms, and the ratio of qice (ice crystal mixing ratio) to qg (graupel mixing ratio) illustrates an exponential relationship to qg-ini. These relationships provide valuable clues to more accurately locating the high-risk area of lightning initiation in thunderstorms when only dual-polarization radar data or outputs from numerical models without charging/discharging schemes are available. The results can also help understand the environmental conditions at lightning initiation sites.
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