Analysis of the latest satellite rainfall and reanalysis datasets from 1998 to 2012 demonstrates that eastwardpropagating rainfall episodes, which typically occur in late night and morning, are determinant factors for the rainfall diurnal cycle and climate anomalies over eastern China. The episode growth and propagation are facilitated by an elevated layer of conditionally unstable air in a mesoscale zone at their eastern leading edge. The convective available potential energy (CAPE), despite convection consumption and nocturnal cooling, decreases only from a high value to a moderate one during episode duration. An estimate of the CAPE generation budget suggests that low-level horizontal advection and vertical lifting of the warm moist air can produce sufficient CAPE to balance other stabilization effects, sustaining the mesoscale maximum of convective instability ahead of rainfall episodes. These instability geneses are pronounced at the convection growth stage and linked closely to a mesoscale nocturnal low-level jet. Thus, a proper representation of them in forecast models is essential for improved prediction of the warm-season rainfall.
- Diurnal effects
- Mesoscale systems