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Keywords:

  • diurnal wind variation;
  • diurnal rainfall variation;
  • pressure tidal wave

Abstract

The diurnal wind variation over the East Asian continent is commonly considered to be a combination of a land-sea breeze near the coast and a mountain–valley breeze along the slopes of the Tibetan Plateau. The local land–sea breeze along the coastline typically spans < 100 km into the ocean. However, a detailed examination of the global reanalysis data suggests that this local land–sea breeze circulation apparently couples with the global-scale diurnal atmospheric pressure tide to produce a planetary-scale land–sea breeze with a spatial scale of ∼1000 km over the western North Pacific. Computations of the momentum budget and equivalent potential temperatures indicate that the atmospheric diurnal tidal wave contributes the most to this circulation feature. A diagnosis of the water vapour budget further suggests that the convergence of water vapour flux, which is related to the convergence of low-level wind induced by the seasonal change of diurnal tidal wave, leads to different times of occurrence of maximum diurnal rainfall over East Asia between summer and winter. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society