Characteristics of Summertime Circulation Patterns for Southern Taiwan's Monsoon Rainfall from July to September

  • Author(s): Ken-Chung Ko and Yi-Shuan Tzeng
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2012.10.23.01(A)
  • Keywords: Summer monsoon, Atmospheric circulation, Tropical cyclone

This study documents the circulation features associated with summer monsoon rainfall over southern Taiwan from July through September over the period 1974 - 2001. Four types of monsoon systems, Monsoon I, I-TC, II and II-TC, are identified based on the daily rainfall data of 4 observational stations over southern Taiwan and the daily wind direction data of Lanyu. The total rainfall amount of Monsoon I and I-TC is much greater than that for Monsoon II and II-TC because the former two have more moisture. Monsoon I is characterized by a strong southwesterly flow over southern Taiwan due to the tightening of the pressure gradient between the monsoon trough and subtropical high over the western North Pacific. The Monsoon I-TC pattern exhibits a deep monsoon trough along with an anomalous cyclone near the East China Sea; this pattern drives a large volume of moisture that causes heavy rainfall over southern Taiwan. The circulation patterns of Monsoon I and I-TC resemble the flow pattern during the Mei-Yu or "Plum Rain" season from May through mid-July. The Monsoon II pattern reveals a trough south of Taiwan and accompanied by a strong ridge north to it. The convection is located near the southern flank of the monsoon trough. The circulation pattern of Monsoon II-TC yields a deep trough south of the westward protruding subtropical ridge. Additionally, the Monsoon II-TC is less significant because of the wide variety of the TC locations. The Monsoon II and II-TC patterns are similar to the Pacific-Japan (PJ) pattern that can affect weather in the East Asian summer monsoon area.

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