Prediction of Meiyu rainfall in Taiwan by multi-lead physical–empirical models
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Taiwan is located at the dividing point of the tropical and subtropical monsoons over East Asia. Taiwan has double rainy seasons, the Meiyu in May–June and the Typhoon rains in August–September. To predict the amount of Meiyu rainfall is of profound importance to disaster preparedness and water resource management. The seasonal forecast of May–June Meiyu rainfall has been a challenge to current dynamical models and the factors controlling Taiwan Meiyu variability has eluded climate scientists for decades. Here we investigate the physical processes that are possibly important for leading to significant fluctuation of the Taiwan Meiyu rainfall. Based on this understanding, we develop a physical–empirical model to predict Taiwan Meiyu rainfall at a lead time of 0- (end of April), 1-, and 2-month, respectively. Three physically consequential and complementary predictors are used: (1) a contrasting sea surface temperature (SST) tendency in the Indo-Pacific warm pool, (2) the tripolar SST tendency in North Atlantic that is associated with North Atlantic Oscillation, and (3) a surface warming tendency in northeast Asia. These precursors foreshadow an enhanced Philippine Sea anticyclonic anomalies and the anomalous cyclone near the southeastern China in the ensuing summer, which together favor increasing Taiwan Meiyu rainfall. Note that the identified precursors at various lead-times represent essentially the same physical processes, suggesting the robustness of the predictors. The physical empirical model made by these predictors is capable of capturing the Taiwan rainfall variability with a significant cross-validated temporal correlation coefficient skill of 0.75, 0.64, and 0.61 for 1979–2012 at the 0-, 1-, and 2-month lead time, respectively. The physical–empirical model concept used here can be extended to summer monsoon rainfall prediction over the Southeast Asia and other regions.
KeywordsPhysical–empirical model Seasonal forecast Meiyu rainfall East Asian summer monsoon Philippine Sea anticyclone North Atlantic Oscillation
This work was jointly supported by APEC climate center (APCC), the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea through a Global Research Laboratory (GRL) grant of the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST, #2011-0021927), and the Central Weather Bureau under the Hazardous Weather Monitoring and Forecasting Systems Enhancement Project. We also acknowledge support from the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC). This is publication No. 9200 of the SOEST, publication No. 1078 of IPRC and publication No. 13 of Earth System Modeling Center (ESMC).
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