Numerical Simulation of Air Mass Modification Over the East China Sea during the Winter Season
Air mass modification over the East China Sea during cold air outbreaks in the winter season was simulated by utilizing a high-resolution numerical model. The model includes most of the major physical processes, such as, surface exchange of heat and moisture between water and air; condensation and evaporation; and vertical turbulent transfer of heat, moisture, and momentum. The simulated convective boundary layer (CBL) consists of a surface layer, a subcloud layer, and a cloud layer. It is capped by an inversion with strong temperature and moisture gradients. Mesoscale cellular convection (MCC) embedded within the convective layer moves along with the mean wind. The average aspect ratio of the cells is 17.5, which agrees with observed aspect ratios for convective cells over the East China Sea. The upward convective motion correlates very well with the appearance of clouds, higher temperature, and higher moisture content in the CBL. The effects of diabatic heating were found to be very important in driving the thermal convection. Without the release of latent heat, the convective layer would be very shallow, and the convective motion would be greatly suppressed. Even though the formulation and dissipation of a cloud is associated with the movement of the resolvable scale MCC, the vertical transport of heat and moisture is achieved mainly by the unresolvable turbulent eddies. The distribution of specific humidity during the passage of the surface front reveals the moisture being pushed upward along the frontal surface as observed. The cold and dry air behind the cold front is quickly modified by strong convection over the warm water surface, especially over the Kuroshio Current. A cloud-free region exists near the coast where the CBL is too shallow for clouds to develop. A layer of stratocumulus forms downstream from the cloud-free region. The depth of the CBL increases toward the Kuroshio Current due to strong heat and moisture fluxes from the water surface. The CBL reached an almost quasi-steady state about 36 hours after the surface front passed through Naha in the simulation.
- Pub Date:
- AIR-SEA INTERACTION;
- Physics: Atmospheric Science