Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 416–432 | Cite as

Impact of Surface Potential Vorticity Density Forcing over the Tibetan Plateau on the South China Extreme Precipitation in January 2008. Part ll: Numerical Simulation

  • Jiahui Yu
  • Yimin Liu
  • Tingting Ma
  • Guoxiong WuEmail author
Special Collection on the Third Tibetan Plateau Atmospheric Science Experiment (TIPEX-III)


The surface air convergence on the eastern flank of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) can increase the in situ surface potential vorticity density (PVD). Since the elevated TP intersects with the isentropic surfaces in the lower troposphere, the increased PVD on the eastern flank of TP thus forms a PVD forcing to the intersected isentropic surface in the boundary layer. The influence of surface PVD forcing over the TP on the extreme freezing rain/snow over South China in January 2008 is investigated by using numerical experiments based on the Finite-volume Atmospheric Model of the IAP/LASG (FAMIL). Compared with observations, the simulation results show that, by using a nudging method for assimilating observation data in the initial flow, this model can reasonably reproduce the distribution of precipitation, atmospheric circulation, and PVD propagation over and downstream of the TP during the extreme winter precipitation period. In order to investigate the impact of the increased surface PVD over the TP on the extreme precipitation in South China, a sensitivity experiment with surface PVD reduced over the TP region was performed. Compared with the control experiment, it is found that the precipitation in the TP downstream area, especially in Southeast China, is reduced. The rainband from Guangxi Region to Shandong Province has almost disappeared. In the lower troposphere, the increase of surface PVD over the TP region has generated an anomalous cyclonic circulation over southern China, which plays an important role in increasing southerly wind and the water vapor transport in this area; it also increases the northward negative absolute vorticity advection. In the upper troposphere, the surface PVD generated in eastern TP propagates on isentropic surface along westerly wind and results in positive absolute vorticity advection in the downstream areas. Consequently, due to the development of both ascending motion and water vapor transport in the downstream place of the TP, extremely heavy precipitation occurs over southern China. Thereby, a new mechanism concerning the influence of the increased surface PVD over the eastern TP slopes on the extreme weather event occurring over southern China is revealed.

Key words

extreme weather event Tibetan Plateau potential vorticity density (PVD) surface PVD forcing numerical simulation 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiahui Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yimin Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Tingting Ma
    • 1
  • Guoxiong Wu
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Meteorological Service CenterTianjinChina
  3. 3.College of Earth ScienceUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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