Projected changes in the characteristics of the East Asian summer monsoonal front and their impacts on the regional precipitation

Yana Li, Ngar Cheung Lau, Chi Yung Tam, Ho Nam Cheung, Yi Deng, Henian Zhang

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7 Scopus citations


Summer monsoonal rainfall over East Asia is dominated by precipitation associated with the East Asian summer monsoonal front (EASMF). A Community Atmospheric Model (CAM5.1) with a high horizontal resolution of 50 km is employed in this study to investigate the interannual variability as well as projected future trends in the EASMF under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario. Seasonal march of the EASMF is reproduced reasonably well in the model’s present-day simulation despite a northward shift of the simulated front from its observed position. Based upon a suite of objectively-defined daily indices of the EASMF, we show that the EASMF in the late twenty-first century will be more intense and displaced eastward and southward from its present-day mean location. Moreover, EASMF events will exhibit a wider meridional expansion and a longer duration. Monsoonal precipitation over East Asia is particularly sensitive to the meridional displacements of EASMF. In conjunction with the projected southward shift of EASMF, an enhanced rain band is seen to extend northeastward from southern China to the northwestern Pacific south of Japan. This precipitation feature is associated with strengthened and southward-shifted westerly jet streams at 250 and 700 hPa, which are respectively linked to tropical warming in the upper troposphere and warming over the South China Sea in the lower troposphere during the twenty-first century. Within the latitudinal “gap” south of the upper-level jet and north of the lower-level jet, the local vorticity tendencies are maintained by upper-level divergence and lower-level convergence, thus accompanied by enhanced upward motion and precipitation. The site at which this “jet stream-precipitation” relationship prevails is notably modulated by long-term trends in the temperature and circulation patterns associated with climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4013-4026
Number of pages14
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Climate change
  • East Asian summer monsoonal front
  • Interannual variability
  • Precipitation
  • Westerly jet streams


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