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Climatology of Tibetan Plateau Vortices in reanalysis data and a high-resolution global climate model

Curio, J., Schiemann, R., Hodges, K. and Turner, A. G. (2019) Climatology of Tibetan Plateau Vortices in reanalysis data and a high-resolution global climate model. Journal of Climate, 32 (6). pp. 1933-1950. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0021.1

Abstract/Summary

The Tibetan Plateau (TP) and surrounding high mountains constitute an important forcing of the atmospheric circulation due to their height and extent, and thereby impact weather and climate in downstream regions of East Asia. Mesoscale Tibetan Plateau Vortices (TPVs) are one of the major precipitation-producing systems on the TP. A fraction of TPVs moves off the TP to the east and can trigger extreme precipitation in parts of China, e.g. the Sichuan province and the Yangtze River valley, that can result in severe flooding. In this study, the climatology of TPV occurrence is examined in two reanalyses and, for the first time, in a high-resolution global climate model using an objective feature tracking algorithm. Most TPVs are generated in the north-western part of the TP; the centre of this main genesis region is small and stable throughout the year. The strength and position of the subtropical westerly jet is correlated to the distance TPVs can travel eastwards and therefore could have an effect on whether or not a TPV is moving-off the TP. TPV-associated precipitation can account for up to 40% of the total precipitation in parts of China in selected months, often due to individual TPVs. The results show that the global climate model is able to simulate TPVs at N512 (~25 km) horizontal resolution and in general agrees with the reanalyses. The fact that the global climate model can represent the TPV climatology opens a wide range of options for future model-based research on TPVs.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:80307
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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