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Quasi-Biweekly Oscillation over the South China Sea in Late Summer: Propagation Dynamics and Energetics

X U W ANG

Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Department for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

G UANGHUA C HEN

Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

(Manuscript received 21 July 2016, in final form 31 January 2017)

ABSTRACT

The propagation dynamics and energetics of the quasi-biweekly oscillation (QBWO) over the South China Sea (SCS) in late summer [August–September (AS)] are investigated in this study. The QBWO originates from east of the Philippines and has a northwestward propagation. After arriving to the east of the SCS, the QBWO shifts to a westward migration and dominates over the SCS. The analyses of the vorticity budget suggest that the meridional wind anomaly could control the spatial migration of the vorticity anomaly through the b-effect term and further influences the movement of the convection anomaly. It implies that the me- ridional wind is a crucial factor to drive the propagation of the QBWO. The energetics of the QBWO is investigated to understand the maintenance of the QBWO, which indicates that the convection anomaly could affect the circulation anomaly through the energy conversions to maintain the QBWO.

1. Introduction

The quasi-biweekly oscillation (QBWO), whose time scale falls between the synoptic and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO; Madden and Julian 1971, 1972), is one of the most important components of the tropical intra- seasonal oscillation (ISO). The QBWO signal was first found in the Indian summer monsoon (Keshavamurty 1971, 1972), which was characterized by the meridional wind with a 15–20-day period at the lower-tropospheric level. From then on, a great deal of research investigated the features, mechanisms, and influences of the QBWO over the Indian Ocean, East Asia (EA), the South China Sea (SCS), Indo-China, and the western North Pacific (WNP) (e.g., Murakami and Frydrych 1974; Krishnamurti and Bhalme 1976; Krishnamurti and Ardanuy 1980; Yasunari 1981; Chen and Chen 1993; Kiladis and Wheeler 1995; Chen et al. 2000; Chan et al. 2002). The study by Murakami (1976) is seminal to the QBWO exploration in the summer monsoon over India. It is found that the

Corresponding author e-mail: Dr. Guanghua Chen, cgh@mail. iap.ac.cn

oscillation on the time scale of 15 days is closely connected with the active/weak cycle of monsoon. During the active (weak) monsoon stage, it shows a distinct cyclonic (anti- cyclonic) circulation over the Bay of Bengal, which is accompanied by cold (warm) temperature anomalies in the lower troposphere and warm (cold) anomalies at the upper level, and increase (decrease) of the depth of the moist layer. This also implies that the active (weak) monsoon circulation over India is intimately associated with the enhanced (suppressed) convective activity over the Bay of Bengal. As reviewed by Wang et al. (2009), the QBWO over the SCS is more active than that in the In- dian summer monsoon region. Kikuchi and Wang (2009) also suggested that the QBWO is quite significant in bo- real summer over the SCS. Besides, it was documented that the QBWO can influence the onset/break of the South China Sea summer monsoon (e.g., Chen et al. 2000; Chan et al. 2002; Mao and Chan 2005). Some studies in- dicated that the QBWO is related to the rainfall in the Yangtze and Huai River basin of China in boreal summer (e.g., Yang et al. 2010; Liu et al. 2014). The QBWO can also impact the track of the tropical cyclone (e.g., Wu et al. 2011; Liang et al. 2011).

DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0533.1

2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy ( www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses ).

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In addition, the seasonal characteristics of the boreal summer QBWO, the intraseasonal features were also documented. Fukutomi and Yasunari (1999) investi- gated the QBWO (10–25 days) over the EA and the WNP in early summer (June–July). They found that the 10 25-day convective oscillation is associated with the large-scale circulation and the convection in the Asian–Pacific region. However, they only discussed qualitatively the interaction of the circulation and con- vection, but their study lacked quantitative analysis. Chen and Sui (2010) investigated the QBWO (10 20 days) over the WNP during July–October in summer. They found that the QBWO can be traced to westward- moving equatorial wave disturbances that reach 150 8 E and then propagate northwestward toward the south of Japan. It exhibits an alternating cyclonic and anticy- clonic wave train with a southeast–northwest orienta- tion and a wavelength of about 3500 km. According to the energetic analysis, they suggested that the waves are maintained through baroclinic conversion north of 25 8N and diabatic latent heating in the tropics. Based on the comparison of the zonal wavenumber, westward phase speed, and group velocity, they implied that the QBWO origin may be treated as an n 5 1 equatorial Rossby (ER) wave. Yang et al. (2014) found that the spatial distributions and propagating tracks of the QBWO (12–20 days) over the EA are quite different in early (10 June–20 July) and late (21 July–31 August) summers, and they discussed the effects of the eastward extension of the monsoon trough and the northward movements of the westerly jet and the South Asia high (SAH) on the behaviors of the QBWO from early to late summer. Wang et al. (2016) also found different characteristics of the QBWO over the SCS in early [May–June (MJ)] and late [August–September (AS)] summers. According to Wang et al. (2016) , the QBWO over the SCS exhibits a distinct local oscillation in MJ, but propagates from east of the Philippines in AS. The northwestward propagation in AS is similar to that in Chen and Sui (2010) . The propagation dynamics and the maintenance mechanism of the QBWO are not addressed well yet. Based on the study of Wang et al. (2016), we further explore the propagating dynamics and the maintenance of the QBWO in late summer using the vorticity and energy budget equations in this study. The paper is or- ganized as follows. Section 2 introduces the data and methodology used in this study. In section 3 , the prop- agation characteristics of the QBWO are described in detail, and the propagation dynamics of the QBWO are discussed via the vorticity budget. In section 4 , ener- getics of the QBWO is analyzed by the eddy available potential and kinetic energy budgets to investigate the

maintenance of the QBWO. Finally, the conclusions and discussion are given in section 6.

2. Data and methodology

The daily atmospheric variables are derived from the reanalysis data from the National Centers for Environ- mental Prediction–Department of Energy (NCEP–DOE) Reanalysis 2 (NCEP2) ( Kanamitsu et al. 2002 ). The dataset spans from August to September (AS) for 1990–2009, and has a horizontal resolution of 2.58 3 2.58 at 12 pressure levels (1000–100 hPa). Daily outgoing long- wave radiation (OLR) data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites (Liebmann and Smith 1996), with the same period and grid resolution as the NCEP2 variables, are used as a proxy of deep tropical convection in this study. Lanczos filtering (Duchon 1979) is applied to extract the quasi-biweekly (1020 day) signals from all variables. To purify the 1020-day signals, the 20-yr (1990–2009) liner trend and annual cycle are removed from the time series before filtering. The composite technique and di- agnostic analyses are used to investigate the 20-yr cli- matology, the propagation dynamics, and the energetics of the QBWO.

3. Propagation and its dynamics of the QBWO

a. Propagation of the QBWO

The evolution of the QBWO over the SCS in late summer is described in this section by compositing OLR and low-level circulation for the QBWO events to ex- hibit the propagation feature. There are 46 typical events selected according to the following two criteria:

1) in the region of 12.58–22.5 8 N, 110 8–120 8 E where the QBWO variance is most significant, the negative anomaly of standardized OLR (on day 0) in one QBWO event must be ,21 standard deviation; and similarly, 2) the subsequent positive anomaly of standardized OLR (on day 6) must be larger than one standard de- viation. In this study, the criterion in the OLR anomaly at day 26 was not imposed as in Wang et al. (2016). As a result, the exclusion of the criterion can increase the sample number for a significance test, but has little im- pact on the presentation of major QBWO characteris- tics. The same method as that in Wang et al. (2016) is conducted to test the statistical significance for the composite OLR and circulation fields. Figure 1 presents successive composite maps of the 10 20-day OLR and 850-hPa circulation anomalies from day 25 to day 6. On day 25 (Fig. 1a), a distinct anticy- clonic circulation anomaly (AC) couples with a strong

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F IG . 1. (a)–(l) Spatial distributions of the composite 1020-day OLR (colored) and 850-hPa wind (vector) anomalies from day 25 to day 16 in the late summer. The interval for the OLR anomaly is 4 W m 2 2 . Only statistically significant (.99%) OLR and wind anomalies are shown. The red dashed line [(17.58 N, 1008 E)–(17.58 N, 117.58 E)–(12.58 N, 1408 E)] plotted in (f) represents the migration path of the QBWO.

positive OLR anomaly over the SCS, exhibiting a sig- nificant suppression of the convection. Meanwhile, a weaker cyclonic circulation anomaly (CC) is located east of the Philippines, and a small negative OLR anomaly around 135 8 E appears east of the CC. In the subsequent days, both the AC and the positive OLR

anomaly over the SCS decay while propagating west- ward, and finally disappear in the continent of China, near 105 8E on day 23 ( Fig. 1c ). However, the CC to the east of the Philippines strengthens and migrates northwestward, and the weak negative OLR anomaly extends zonally. On day 23 ( Fig. 1c ), the enhanced CC

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and the expansive negative OLR anomaly are almost

and the expansive negative OLR anomaly are almost

coupled with each other around the south of Taiwan. Subsequently, the convective anomaly begins to in-

coupled with each other around the south of Taiwan. Subsequently, the convective anomaly begins to in-

tensify, and matches well the CC to the east of the SCS (17.58 N, 117.58E) on day 22 (Fig. 1d). Later, the CC with

tensify, and matches well the CC to the east of the SCS (17.5 8 N, 117.5

the convection anomaly centered develops and propa- gates westward. On day 0 (Fig. 1f), the anomalously strong cyclonic circulation and convection dominate

and propa- gates westward. On day 0 ( Fig. 1f ), the anomalously strong cyclonic circulation

over the SCS. Moreover, note that following the CC’s northwestward propagation, a new AC emerges gradu-

over the SCS. Moreover, note that following the CC’s northwestward propagation, a new AC emerges gradu-

ally to its southeast in the equatorial region. The fol- lowing evolution is quite similar to that from day 25 to

ally to its southeast in the equatorial region. The fol- lowing evolution is quite similar to

day 0 (Figs. 1a–f), but with an opposite sign (Figs. 1g–l). To sum up, the low-level circulation anomalies exhibit

a propagation that moves from east of the Philippines (around 158N, 1308 E) to east of the SCS (around 17.58N, 117.58 E), and then shifts to a westward propagation to the SCS. The convection (OLR) embedded in the center of anomalous circulation also displays a similar propagation characteristic. Hence, it indicates that the QBWO over the SCS originates from east of the Philippines, and has

a northwestward–westward propagation in late summer.

The propagation feature of QBWO over the SCS seems somewhat similar to that in the western portion of the WNP that has been investigated by Chen and Sui (2010). However, comparison with the QBWO over the WNP during July–October [Fig. 5 in Chen and Sui (2010)] in- dicates that the circulation anomalies in this study do not exhibit a distinct zonally elongated structural feature like their counterparts as displayed in Chen and Sui (2010), and moreover, the migration of the QBWO in the present study does not have a uniform northwestward direction, but shifts westward after reaching the south of Taiwan.

b. The vorticity dynamics of the QBWO

It is well known that, since the low-level positive (negative) vorticity, namely, the cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation, can enhance (suppress) the development of

the convection, it is interesting to examine the propa- gation and its dynamics of the vorticity oscillation. Figure 2 displays the evolution of the low-level vorticity anomaly along the cross section in alignment with the migration direction of the QBWO as shown in Fig. 1f. It

is evident that a positive vorticity anomaly appears east

of the Philippines on day 25 and then propagates northwestward with the increase in its magnitude. While reaching to the east of the SCS (17.5 8N, 117.58 E), the anomaly is shifted westward along 17.58N. On day 0, the anomaly reaches its peak over the SCS, and then decays as it moves westward gradually. However, a negative vorticity anomaly emerges east of the Philippines after day 0, and has a similar evolution as the positive vorticity anomaly. The propagation feature for the low-level

›z 0

t

The propagation feature for the low-level ›z 0 › t F IG . 2. The evolution

F IG . 2. The evolution of the composite 1000–850-hPa-averaged 1020-day vorticity anomaly (shaded) in the cross section with time. The interval for the vorticity anomaly is 1.0 3 10 2 6 s 2 1 . The statistically significant (.99%) vorticity anomalies are dotted in the plot.

vorticity anomaly shown in Fig. 2 is almost consistent with that of the convection (OLR) anomaly shown in Fig. 1, indicating that the spatial migration of the con- vection on the quasi-biweekly scale is closely related to the oscillation for the low-level vorticity. The propagation dynamics of the vorticity anomaly is further analyzed by using the perturbation vorticity budget to investigate what factors are responsible for the propagation of the low-level eddy vorticity. The per- turbation vorticity equation may be written as

5 (2 V h = h z ) 0 1 2v z 0 1 2y f

y

p

1 [ 2(z 1 f )D] 0 1 T 0 1 R 0 ,

0

(1)

where z 5 ( ›y / x ) 2 (u/ y) and D 5 ( u/ x ) 1 (›y / y) are the relative vorticity and divergence, respectively; V h 5 ui 1 y j is the horizontal wind; = h 5 i (/ x) 1 j (/ y) is the horizontal gradient operator; f is the Coriolis parameter; and other symbols follow conventional definitions. In addition, the prime denotes the 1020-day anomaly. The term ›z 0 / t represents the local tendency of the vorticity anomaly, (2V h = h z ) 0 denotes the anomaly of the horizontal advection, [ 2v( ›z / p )] 0 is the anomaly of vertical advection, and [ 2y ( f / y)] 0 is the anomaly due to the b effect. The terms of [2( z 1 f ) D] 0 and T 0 [i.e., expressed as [( ›v / y )(u/ p) 2 ( ›v/ x)( ›y / p)] 0 ] de- scribe the anomalies associated with the stretching and tilting effects, respectively. The last term R 0 is the re- sidual, which includes contributions from all processes not expressed explicitly in Eq. (1), including boundary

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F IG . 3. Contours are the evolutions of the composite 1000–850-hPa-averaged (a) ( 2V h = h z ) 0 , (b) [2(z 1 f )D] 0 , (c) [ 2y (f / y)] 0 , and (d) y 0 in the cross section with time. Intervals for (2V h = h z ) 0 , [ 2(z 1 f )D] 0 , [ 2y (f / y)] 0 , and y 0 are 2.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 , 2.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 , 1.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 , and 0.3 m s 2 1 , respectively. The vorticity anomaly in (a)–(d) is shaded as in Fig. 2.

friction, cumulus convection, and other subgrid-scale transports. The terms [2v (›z / p)] 0 and T 0 are negligible due to an order of magnitude smaller than other terms at the low level, and they just have relatively large magnitudes at the upper level (as shown in Figs. 4d,e ). The evolutions of terms (2V h = h z ) 0 , [2( z 1 f ) D] 0 , and [ 2y (f / y )] 0 along the cross section are shown in Figs. 3a–c. It is clearly shown that the evolution related to the anomaly of the horizontal advection (2V h = h z ) 0 is out of phase with that of the vorticity anomaly (Fig. 3a ), while that related to the anomaly associated with the stretching effect [2( z 1 f ) D] 0 is almost in phase with the vorticity anomaly (Fig. 3b). For a sinusoidal-like disturbance, a forcing that is in phase or out of phase with the fluctu- ation contributes to exponential growth or decrease, whereas a forcing that is in quadrature with them leads to phase propagation (Lau and Lau 1992 ). Thus, the

phase relationship of the leading terms and vorticity anomaly suggests that the anomalies of the vorticity ad- vection (2V h = h z ) 0 and the stretching [ 2(z 1 f )D] 0 just contribute to the local suppression and enhancement of the vorticity anomaly, respectively, instead of affecting the propagation of vorticity anomaly along the cross section. To further evaluate the contribution of (2V h = h z ) 0 , we separate this term to zonal [2u( ›z / x )] 0 and meridi- onal [2y ( ›z / y )] 0 components. Comparison between [ 2u(›z / x )] 0 and [ 2y ( ›z / y)] 0 ( Figs. 4a,b ) suggests that the effect of the local suppression on the low-level vorticity anomaly in ( 2V h = h z ) 0 is mainly attributed to the anomaly of the meridional vorticity transport [ 2y (›z / y)] 0 , which implies that the meridional compo- nent in the low-level circulation has a distinct influence on the vorticity in the quasi-biweekly scale in late summer. Regarding the contribution from the term [2(z 1 f ) D] 0 , it exhibits a low-level convergence (divergence) anomaly

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4108 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 F IG . 4. (a)–(c) As in Fig. 3
4108 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 F IG . 4. (a)–(c) As in Fig. 3
4108 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 F IG . 4. (a)–(c) As in Fig. 3

F IG . 4. (a)–(c) As in Fig. 3, but for (a) [2u (›z / x)] 0 , (b) [2y (f / y)] 0 , and (c) D 0 contoured. The vertical distributions of (d) [ 2v(›z /p )] 0 and (e) T 0 in the cross section on day 0. Intervals for [2u (›z / x)] 0 , [ 2y (›z / y)] 0 , and D 0 are (a) 2.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 , (b) 2.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 , and (c) 0.4 3 10 2 6 s 2 1 . Those for [ 2v(›z / p)] 0 and T 0 in (d) and (e) are 1.0 3 10 2 11 s 2 2 .

in conjunction with a positive (negative) vorticity, in- dicating that the divergence anomaly D 0 could affect the local vorticity anomaly t hrough modulation related to the term [2(z 1 f ) D] 0 . Similarly, ( 2V h = h z ) 0 and [ 2(z 1 f )D ] 0 can hardly act as a contributor to the spatial propagation of the low-level vorticity anomaly, but enhance or suppress the local oscillation. In con- trast, the term related to the b effect [ 2y (f / y)] 0 ( Fig. 3c ) leads the vorticity anomaly by approximately ;3–4 days (about a quarter of a QBWO cycle). Since

the subgrid-scale effects associated with the residual term R 0 theoretically influence the local eddy vorticity as (2V h = h z ) 0 and [2(z 1 f ) D] 0 , it implies that the term [2y (f / y )] 0 is the only decisive forcing in con- tributing to the westward propagation of vorticity anomaly along the cross section. Furthermore, the term [2 y ( f / y)] 0 is mainly decided by 2y 0 considering that the term f / y almost keeps constant. It can be found that the evolution of the meridional wind anomaly y 0 is quite similar to that of [ 2y ( f / y)] 0 ( Fig. 3d ), but with

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opposite signs. As a result, the meridional wind anomaly on the quasi-biweekly scale results into the spatial oscillation of the b -effect term [ 2y ( f / y)] 0 , and further induces the propagation of the vorticity anomaly in the low level as shown in Fig. 2 . Based on the analysis of the eddy vorticity budget, it can be found that the spatial migration of the low-level QBWO vorticity anomaly is hardly contributed to by the anomalies of the horizontal advection ( 2V h = h z ) 0 and the stretching [ 2(z 1 f )D ] 0 , and instead mainly depends on the phase of the b-effect term [2y ( f / y )] 0 , which is modulated by the oscillation of the meridional wind. Therefore, the meridional wind anomaly could be regarded as a crucial dynamic factor in the propa- gation of the convective anomaly that is closely asso- ciated with the low-level vor ticity oscillation on the quasi-biweekly scale.

4. Energy budget of the QBWO

In the previous section, we found that the meridional wind anomaly can affect the convection anomaly through the low-level vorticity anomaly to drive the propagation of QBWO. However, the role of the con- vection anomaly in maintaining the QBWO is not yet discussed in detail. To understand the maintenance, we analyzed the energy budget of the QBWO to shed light on the conversion between the eddy available potential energy (EAPE) and the eddy kinetic energy (EKE). Following Chen and Sui (2010), the budget equation of EAPE (defined by A 5 RT 02 /2 S p P) is written as

›A R 0 ’ 2 R h T 0 = h T 1 R T
›A
R
0
’ 2 R
h T 0 = h T 1 R T 0 v 0 1
1 T 0 ,
(2)
›t
S
P V
P
C
S p P Q 0
p
p

where S p 5 (R T / C p P ) 2 (T / p) is the static stability, R is the gas constant, C p is the specific heat at constant pressure, Q 1 is the apparent heat source, and T and P are the air temperature and pressure, respectively. Other symbols are expressed as those in Eq. (1) . The variables in Eq. (2) with the overbar denote those av- eraged over a QBWO cycle. The rate of EAPE change over a cycle period has a much smaller magnitude in contrast to the other terms and can be negligible. This indicates that the three terms on the right-hand side in Eq. (2) approximately balance one another. The term

0

2(R / S p P )V h T 0 = h T (PI) represents the rate of the baroclinic conversion from mean available potential en-

ergy (MAPE) to EAPE. The term R T 0 v 0 / P (2KP) is the rate of the destruction of EAPE through conversion to

EKE. The last term R/( C p S p P) Q 1 0 T 0 (PQ) describes the generation of EAPE by diabatic effects. The PQ term primarily originates from the release of latent heat due to

primarily originates from the release of latent heat due to F IG . 5. Spatial distributions

FIG . 5. Spatial distributions of the vertically integral (a) PI, (b) 2KP, and (c) PQ from 1000 to 100 hPa. Intervals for them are 0.001 m 2 s 2 3 . The domain inside the dashed line box is the SCS (12.58–22.58 N, 110 8–1208 E).

condensation, which is closely associated with the con- vection anomaly.

Vertically integral distributions of the PI, 2KP, and PQ terms from 1000 to 100 hPa are shown in Fig. 5, which are expressed as hh PIii , hh2KP ii , and hh PQ ii, respectively. It can be found that the hh PI ii has less contribution in the SCS ( Fig. 5a ), indicating less con- version from MAPE to EAPE in the SCS. However, the conversion of EAPE to EKE through the rising (sink- ing) motion of warm (cold) air expressed by the hh2KP ii exhibits a significant negative value in the SCS, ac- counting for a major loss of EAPE over the SCS ( Fig. 5b ). Inversely, the diabatic process hh PQ ii shows an obviously positive value in the SCS, playing an im- portant role in the generation of EAPE to supply the loss of EAPE owing to the conversion from EAPE to EKE ( Fig. 5c). According to the vertical distributions of the 2KP and PQ terms in the cross section (Fig. 6), it suggests that both the generation and conversion of EAPE are mainly located in the upper level of the SCS. We further explore the conversion of EKE using the EKE balance equation, which is written as

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4110 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 FIG . 6. Vertical structures of the (a) 2KP
4110 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 FIG . 6. Vertical structures of the (a) 2KP
4110 JOURNAL OF CLIMATE V OLUME 30 FIG . 6. Vertical structures of the (a) 2KP
FIG . 6. Vertical structures of the (a) 2KP and (b) PQ in the cross
FIG . 6. Vertical structures of the (a) 2KP and (b) PQ in the cross
section. Intervals for them are 1.0 3 10 2 3 m 2 s 2 3 .
›K
0
5 2V h (V 0 =) V h 2 R P v 0 T 0 2 = (V 0 F 0 )
›t

2 V =K 2 V 0 =K 1 KR ,

(3)

where K 5 (u 0 2 1 y 0 2 )/2 is the horizontal EKE, F is the geopotential, and V 5 u i 1 y j 1 v k and = 5 i (/ x ) 1 j (/ y ) 1 k(/ p) are the three-dimensional wind and gradient operator, respectively. Other symbols in Eq. (3) are identical to those in Eq. (2). The rate of change for

EKE is also nearly zero (K / t 0) to the other terms, and the all terms on the right-hand side in Eq. (3) can be

cancelled out by one another. The term 2V 0 =K , which represents the advection of EKE by the perturbation flow, is almost negligible compared with the other terms. The first two terms, 2V h (V 0 =)V h (KI) and

0

2( R / P)v 0 T 0 (KP), on the right-hand side stand for the rate of conversions from the time-mean kinetic en- ergy (MKE) and EAPE to EKE, acting as sources of

EKE. The third and fourth terms, 2= ( V 0 F 0 ) (KZ) and

2V =K (KA m ), denote the spatial redistribution of EKE by the local convergence of eddy geopotential flux and the advection of EKE, respectively. The last term (KR) de- scribes the net dissipation rate of EKE by frictional and other subgrid-scale effects. As shown in Figs. 7a,b, both the hhKIii and hh KPii are positive in the SCS. It can be seen that the term hh KPii is the major contributor to the EKE generation, providing

more energy conversion than the barotropic conversion hhKIii . It indicates that the EKE in the QBWO is mainly supplied by the conversion of EAPE, which is quite similar to the result in Chen and Sui (2010). As for the hh KZii term, it displays a distinct destruction of EKE through the EKE spatial redistribution (Fig. 7c). According to Chen

and Sui (2010), the term 2= (V 0 F 0 ) (KZ) can be sepa-

rated into the terms 2V h = h F 0 and (R / P) v 0 T 0 (2KP),

0

and moreover the term (R / P)v 0 T 0 (2KP) is dominant in

2= (V 0 F 0 ) (KZ), which suggests that the term KP is al- most offset by the term KZ over the SCS. In contrast, the term hhKA m ii seems to have no effect over the SCS ( Fig. 7d ). It implies that all redistributions are nearly accomplished by the geopotential flux instead of the advection of EKE by the mean flow. The last term hhKR ii exhibits a dissipation of the EKE with negative values in the SCS ( Fig. 7e ). In vertical, it can be found that the generation of EKE from the conversion of EAPE occurs at the upper level of the SCS ( Fig. 8a ), and the EKE is redistributed from the upper level to the low level in the SCS through the effect of KZ

( Fig. 8b ). The KR dissipates the redistributed EKE in the low level of the SCS ( Fig. 8c ). In summary, the EAPE is generated from the diabatic heating anomaly that is attributed to the release of condensational heating. The generated EAPE is mostly

converted to EKE through the (R / P )v 0 T 0 term at the

upper level over the SCS. Subsequently, the 2= ( V 0 F 0 ) term redistributes EKE converted from EAPE from the upper level to the low level over the SCS, and the KR term finally dissipates the redistributed EKE in the low level. Because the circulation anomaly is closely related to the EKE, it implies that the convection anomaly is responsible for the maintenance of the QBWO circula-

tion through the conversion of the eddy energy.

5. Conclusions and discussion

In this study, the migration feature of the QBWO over the SCS in late summer is examined, and the propagation

dynamics and energetics of the QBWO are diagnosed. The QBWO exhibits a distinct spatial propagation in convection and low-level circulation, which originate from east of the Philippines, move northwestward to east of the SCS, and then turn westward. In the QBWO, the low- level circulation anomaly is dominated by the rotational component. Through analyses of the individual terms in the perturbation vorticity budget, it is found that only the term associated with the b effect [ 2y (f / y)] 0 can affect the propagation of the vorticity anomaly, while other terms are responsible for the enhancement or suppression of a preexisting local disturbance. Considering that the term f / y almost keeps a constant positive value, the

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FIG . 7. As in Fig. 5 , but for (a) KI, (b) KP, (c) KZ, (d) KA m , and (e) KR.

meridional wind anomaly, which it affects, plays an es- sential role in controlling the spatial propagation of QBWO circulation and convection over the SCS in late summer. Moreover, it is found that the large fraction of eddy available potential energy generated by the latent heat release due to condensation at the upper level over the SCS can be converted to eddy kinetic energy, and then be redistributed toward the low level through the local

FIG . 8. As in Fig. 6, but for (a) KP, (b) KZ, and (c) KR.

convergence of eddy geopotential flux 2= (V 0 F 0 ). Since the eddy kinetic energy is a measure of the strength of the circulation anomal y, the convection anomaly could affect the low-level circulation anomaly through the energy conversion in such a way as to maintain the QBWO. As reviewed in Wang et al. (2009), the northward propagation from the equatorial western Pacific to the SCS is a common and essential feature for the QBWO. The off-equatorial westward-propagating mode of the QBWO is perceived as a moist equatorial Rossby wave modified by the basic state (Wang and Xu 1997; Chatterjee and Goswami 2004) or a mixed Rossby–gravity wave (Goswami and Mathew 1994; Mao and Chan 2005). In this study, it is pointed out that the meridional wind anomaly is a crucial factor in the propagation of the QBWO over the SCS in late summer. However, the origin of the meridional wind anomaly and its possible linkage with

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tropical waves is still unclear, and thus needs further studies for elucidation.

Acknowledgments. This study is supported financially by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant 2014CB953902) and the National Natural Sci- ence Foundation of China (Grant 41475074).

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