Local atmospheric response to the Kuroshio large meander path in summer and its remote influence on the climate of Japan

Shusaku Sugimoto, Bo Qiu, Niklas Schneider

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The Kanto district in Japan, including Tokyo, has 40 million inhabitants and its summer climate is characterized by high temperature and humidity. The Kuroshio that flows off the southern coast of the Kanto district has taken a large meander (LM) path since the summer of 2017 for the first time since the 2004-05 event. Recently developed satellite observations detected marked coastal warming off the Kanto-Tokai district during the LM path period. By conducting regional atmospheric model experiments, it is found that summertime coastal warming increases water vapor in the low-level atmosphere through enhanced evaporation from the ocean and influences near-surface winds via the vertical mixing effect over the warming area. These two changes induce an increase in water vapor in Kanto district, leading to an increase in downward longwave radiation at the surface and then surface warming through a local greenhouse effect. As a result, summer in Kanto district becomes increasingly hot and humid in LM years, with double the number of discomfort days compared with non-LM years. Our simulations and supplementary observational studies reveal the significant impacts of the LM-induced coastal warming on the summertime climate in Japan, which can exceed previously identified atmospheric teleconnections and climate patterns. Our results could improve weather and seasonal climate forecasts in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3571-3589
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 1


  • Atmosphere-ocean interaction
  • Boundary currents
  • Climate variability
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • Numerical analysis/modeling
  • Summer/warm season

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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