Diurnal circulations and their multi-scale interaction leading to rainfall over the South China Sea upstream of the Philippines during intraseasonal monsoon westerly wind bursts
Elsberry, Russell L.
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The morning diurnal precipitation maximum over the coastal sea upstream of the Philippines during intraseasonal westerly wind bursts is examined from observations and numerical model simulations. A welldefined case of precipitation and large-scale circulation over the coastal sea west of the Philippines during 17–27 June 2004 is selected as a representative case. The hypothesis is that the mesoscale diurnal circulation over the Philippines and a large-scale diurnal circulation that is induced by large-scale differential heating over Asian continent and the surrounding ocean interact to produce the offshore precipitation maximum during the morning. Three-hourly combined satellite microwave and infrared rainfall retrievals define the morning rainfall peak during this period, and then later the stratiform rain area extends toward the open sea. A control numerical simulation in which a grid-nudging four-dimensional data assimilation (FDDA) is applied to force the large-scale diurnal circulation represents reasonably well the morning rainfall maximum. An enhanced low-level convergence similar to observations is simulated due to the interaction of the localand large-scale diurnal circulations. The essential role of the local-scale diurnal circulation is illustrated in a sensitivity test in which the solar zenith angle is fixed at 7 am to suppress this diurnal circulation. The implication for climate diagnosis or modeling of such upstream coastal sea precipitation maxima is that the diurnal variations of both the local- and the large-scale circulations must be taken into consideration.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/1007/s00382-010-0922-z
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