Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang
Utah State University | USU · Department of Plants, Soils and Climate

PhD

About

106
Publications
29,949
Reads
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2,462
Citations
Introduction
We strive to understand and predict hydrometeorology and hydroclimatology using observations, theories and numerical models.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - present
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2016 - December 2020
University of Iowa
Position
  • Researcher
July 2014 - July 2016
Princeton University and NOAA/GFDL
Position
  • Associate Research Scholar

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
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Increased occurrence of heatwaves across different parts of the world is one of the characteristic signatures of anthropogenic warming. With a 1.3 billion population, India is one of the hot spots that experience deadly heatwaves during May-June – yet the large-scale physical mechanism and teleconnection patterns driving such events remain poorly u...
Article
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Landfalling tropical cyclones (LTCs) are the most devastating disaster to affect the U.S., while the demonstration of skillful subseasonal (between 10 days and one season) prediction of LTCs is less promising. Understanding the mechanisms governing the subseasonal variation of TC activity is fundamental to improving its forecast, which is of critic...
Preprint
Floods claim a high toll in fatalities and economic impacts. Despite their societal relevance, there is much more to learn about the projected changes in discharge and flooding. Here we force an operational hydrologic model over the state of Iowa with high-resolution convection-permitting climate-model precipitation to evaluate the response of 140...
Article
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Our study focuses on the hydrologic implications of resolving and modeling atmospheric processes at different spatial scales. Here we use heavy precipitation events from an atmospheric model that was run at different horizontal grid spacings (i.e., 250 m, 500 m, 1 km, 2 km 4 km, and 12 km) and able to resolve different processes. Within an idealize...
Article
While the changes of extreme weather and climate events have been well investigated, the change of compound events (i.e., combinations of multiple weather/climate extremes and/or hazards), which severely affect the biophysical and human systems, remains poorly understood. Here, we examine the decadal trends of subsequentially (or “preconditioned”)...
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High-amplitude ridges can enforce heat-trapping systems that persist through an entire season, contributing to drought events. However, the impact of day-to-day weather system changes at the meso- and synoptic-scale are also important, albeit less well studied. We identify five weather types (WTs) from 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies. These c...
Article
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Compound extremes pose immense challenges and hazards to communities, and this is particularly true for compound hydrometeorological extremes associated with deadly floods, surges, droughts, heat waves. To mitigate and better adapt to compound hydrometeorological extremes, we need to better understand the state of knowledge of such extremes. Here w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our study focuses on the hydrologic implications of resolving and modeling atmospheric processes at different spatial scales. Here we use heavy precipitation events from an atmospheric model that was run at different horizontal grid spacings (i.e., 250 m, 500 m, 1 km, 2 km 4 km, and 12 km) and able to resolve different processes. Within an idealize...
Article
This study focuses on the development of a probabilistic rainfall generator for tropical cyclones (TCs) affecting Louisiana. We consider 12 storms making landfall along the Louisiana coast during 2002–2017 and generate ensembles of high‐resolution (~5 km and 20‐minute) TC‐rainfall fields for each storm. We develop a data‐driven multiplicative model...
Article
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Changes in the translational speed of tropical cyclones (e.g., sluggish tropical cyclones) are associated with extreme precipitation and flash flooding. However, it is still unclear regarding the spatial and temporal variability of extreme tropical cyclone translation events in the North Atlantic and underlying large-scale drivers. This work finds...
Article
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Atlantic hurricanes are a major hazard to life and property, and a topic of intense scientific interest. Historical changes in observing practices limit the utility of century-scale records of Atlantic major hurricane frequency. To evaluate past changes in frequency, we have here developed a homogenization method for Atlantic hurricane and major hu...
Article
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This study examines the climatology and structure of rainfall associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) based on the atmosphere-only Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) HighResMIP runs of the PRocess-based climate sIMulation: AdVances in high resolution modelling and European climate Risk Assessment (PRIMAVERA) Project during 1979–2...
Article
This study examines the association between the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) and summer precipitation extremes over China using observational and reanalysis datasets. Results suggest that positive PMM phases are accompanied by suppressed extreme precipitation over the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin (MLYRB) and strengthened rainfall e...
Article
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Compared with individual events, compound weather and climate extremes may impose more serious influences on natural systems and human society, especially in populated areas. In this study, we examine the changes in the compound precipitation events that follow extremely hot weather within several days during 1961-2017 in South China by taking the...
Article
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The compound heat wave and extreme precipitation events are responsible for severe damages to the environment and human societies. Although major advances have been made in understanding the compound extremes (e.g., drought and heat wave), little is known about two types of extremes synchronized/connected in different regions in China. Here we iden...
Article
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Although slower translation speed can induce a larger amount of local rainfall for an individual tropical cyclone (TC), whether change in total TC precipitation (TCP) affecting China is related to TC translation speed in the satellite era remains unclear. Based on multiple TC best-track datasets and a reanalysis dataset, we find a significant incre...
Article
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The central USA experienced major flooding during spring 2019, with both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers at major flood stage at several locations, causing levees to breach and widespread flooding. Here, we examine the total precipitation responsible for the spring 2019 flooding across the central USA from the perspective of weather types. We f...
Article
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This study identifies a significant positive association between tropical North Atlantic (TNA) sea surface temperature (SST) during preceding spring and the frequency of intense tropical cyclones (TCs) making landfall over mainland China during autumn on interannual time scales. Observational analyses show that a warm SST anomaly in TNA during spri...
Article
This study examines the potential improvement in seasonal predictability of monthly precipitation and temperature using a novel machine learning approach, the convolutional Gaussian process (CGP). This approach allows us to take into account multiple quantities and their interdependencies simultaneously. We use one global climate model (FLORb01) pa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Atlantic hurricanes are a major hazard to life and property 1,2,3 , and a topic of intense scientific interest 4,5,6 . Historical changes in observing practices limit the utility of century-scale records of Atlantic major hurricane frequency ⁷⁻¹³ . To evaluate past changes in frequency, we have here developed a homogenization method for Atlantic hu...
Article
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The City of Cedar Rapids was significantly affected by the June 2008 flood. However, little is known about the role anthropogenic warming during this event, not only in terms of hydrologic response but also of impacts. Here we use a continuous distributed hydrologic model forced with precipitation with and without external forcing and show that the...
Article
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Floods represent a major natural hazard in Africa, causing over 27000 fatalities during the period 1950-2019. Despite its relevance, little is known about changes in flood hazard across this continent due to the lack of long-term high-quality streamflow records. Here we use a newly assembled discharge dataset of African rivers, and provide a long-t...
Article
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Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) can cause significant societal and economic impacts, as 2019's Dorian serves to remind us of these storms' destructiveness. Decades of effort to understand and predict Atlantic TC activity have improved seasonal forecast skill, but large uncertainties still remain, in part due to an incomplete understanding of the d...
Article
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While major advances have been made toward understanding flooding across the central United States, little is known about the linkage between heat stress, characterized by high temperature and humidity, and flooding during the summer in this area. Here, we focus on a compound event that relates these two hazards; we find that a high percentage of f...
Article
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There are two key modes of the South Asia high (SAH) during the boreal summer: the Iranian Plateau (IP) and Tibetan Plateau (TP) modes. The anomalies of chemical constituents in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) region within the SAH area largely depend on this bimodality. To better understand the underlying mechanisms of this dep...
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Extreme weather and climate events, including hurricanes [...]
Article
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Our study focuses on the projected changes in annual and seasonal maximum daily runoff (used as a proxy for flooding) across the continental United States based on outputs from eight global climate models (GCMs) from the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Analyses performed at the regional scale indicate that the GCMs are generall...
Article
Medicanes, hurricane‐like cyclonic systems in the Mediterranean Sea, are becoming an increasingly severe problem for many Mediterranean countries because climate projections suggest a higher risk under anthropogenic forcing even under an intermediate scenario. Due to the small size of these weather systems, high‐resolution data are required to bett...
Article
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This study identifies a significant positive correlation between the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) index and frequency of tropical cyclones (TCs) landfalling in China during peak TC season (June–November) of the period 1977–2018. This interannual association is independent of two types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Large-scale circulation over t...
Article
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This study investigates the association between summer high temperature extremes (HTEs) over China and the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) that is characterized by anomalous north-south sea surface temperature gradient and anomalous surface circulation over the northeastern subtropical Pacific. It is found that the HTE activities over most parts of s...
Article
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The 2018 tropical cyclone (TC) season over the western North Pacific (WNP) underwent two extreme situations: 18 TCs observed during June–August (JJA) and ranked the second most active summer in the satellite era; only 5 TCs that occurred during September–October (SO), making it the most inactive period since the late 1970s. Here we attribute the tw...
Article
The horizontal water vapor transport (IVT) is one of the key variables connected to precipitation extremes and floods, especially in the mid‐latitudinal countries, and represents a key link between water sources and sink regions. Because of its significant impacts, great efforts have been made to examine IVT and its projected changes in response to...
Article
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Summer heat waves over India have been increasing in frequency and severity during recent decades, and are responsible for thousands of deaths among those segments of the Indian population who lack basic adaptation resources. Despite its importance, our understanding of the causes of these heat waves is still limited and largely based on basic stat...
Article
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Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) provides 80% of India’s total annual precipitation and thus has a tremendous impact on water resource management, agricultural yield and,consequently, India’s gross domestic product. Because of its importance, different studies have examined climatic controls on ISMR. Here we found a link between the spring (Ma...
Article
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Fully coupled global climate models (GCMs) generate a vast amount of high-dimensional forecast data of the global climate; therefore, interpreting and understanding the predictive performance is a critical issue in applying GCM forecasts. Spatial plotting is a powerful tool to identify where forecasts perform well and where forecasts are not satisf...
Article
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This study assesses whether, the extent to which and why the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) modulates rainfall in Australia and the Maritime Continent. We find a statistically significant time-lagged association between March-to-May (MAM) PMM and September-to-November (SON) rainfall in the Maritime Continent and Australia. The association is largely...
Article
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A Lagrangian approach is utilized to identify and compare the sources of water vapor transported to the four subregions of Tibetan Plateau (TP) during the wet season (May–August) of 1980–2016. We focus on the time scale and subseasonal variability of water vapor transport and the relationship between moisture supply and precipitation at the interan...
Article
Using Lagrangian moisture tracking methodology for 37-year reanalysis data, this study presents a quantitative climatology of remote moisture sources for 6-hourly summer precipitation over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau (SETP) during the boreal summer for the 1980–2016 period. The connections between moisture sources and regional-scale precipitat...
Article
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Fourteen tropical depressions formed in the North Indian Ocean during 2018-the most active season since 1986 and the second most active season since 1980. Among the 14 tropical depressions during 2018, seven developed into cyclonic storms, with five intensifying into severe cyclonic storms-three of which became very severe cyclonic storms. The sea...
Article
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Precipitation over the mid‐lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin (YRB), which is a typical East Asian monsoon region in China, is strongly impacted by oceanic moisture exports (OME) and features variability at multiple spatial‐temporal scales, resulting in frequent floods and droughts. We focus on two key issues of OME and its relevance to the s...
Article
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Responses of tropical cyclones (TCs) to CO2 doubling are explored using coupled global climate models (GCMs) with increasingly refined atmospheric/land horizontal grids (~200 km, ~ 50 km and ~25 km). The three models exhibit similar changes in background climate fields thought to regulate TC activity, such as relative sea surface temperature (SST),...
Article
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The U.S. Midwest is an area that has been plagued by heavy and persistent precipitation leading to frequent flood events. The improved understanding of the types of weather conditions and settings associated with heavy precipitation can provide basic information to improve our preparation for and response to these events. Here we identify five weat...
Article
Full-text available
Fully-coupled global climate models (GCMs) generate a vast amount of high-dimensional forecast data of the global climate; therefore, interpreting and understanding the predictive performance is a critical issue in applying GCM forecasts. Spatial plotting is a powerful tool to identify where forecasts perform well and where forecasts are not satisf...
Article
Significant progress has been made in relation to extreme precipitation and climate change. Overall, the tendency for dry areas to get drier and wet areas to get wetter has been identified. However, much of the work has focused on the daily time scale, and much less is known about sub-daily precipitation, despite indications that climate change cou...
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Abrupt swings in temperature can exert negative impacts, ranging from human health to agricultural production. Here we focus on a global assessment of the extremes in the temperature swings at sub‐daily scales using Modern‐Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA‐2) data. Overall, the regions with extremely large s...
Article
High sea levels can be conducive to coastal flooding, coastal erosion and inland salt-water intrusion, and thus pose a significant threat to coastal communities, ecosystems and coastal assets. Increases in high water levels have been attributed largely to rising mean sea levels associated with intra-seasonal to interannual climate modes of variabil...
Article
This study examines the impacts of tropical South Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies on the frequency of the Arabian Sea tropical cyclones (TCs) during the pre-monsoon season (May–June) using observations and climate model experiments. There is a statistically significant association between the Atlantic SST anomalies and the frequenc...
Article
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This study examines the performance of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution version of CM2.5 (FLOR; ~ 50-km mesh) and high-resolution FLOR (HiFLOR; ~ 25-km mesh) in reproducing the climatology and interannual variability in rainfall associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) in both sea surface temperature (...
Article
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This study focuses on the seasonal forecasting of the June–November frequency of the western North Pacific tropical cyclones (WNP TCF) by combining observations and the North-American multi-model ensemble (NMME) forecasts. We model the interannual variability in WNP TCF using Poisson regression with two sea surface temperature (SST)-based predictor...
Article
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The Clausius–Clapeyron (C–C) relationship is a thermodynamic relationship between saturation vapor pressure and temperature. Based on the C–C relationship, the scaling of extreme precipitation with respect to surface air temperature (i.e., extreme precipitation scaling) has been widely believed to quantify the sensitivity of these extremes to globa...
Article
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Category 4 landfalling hurricane Harvey poured more than a metre of rainfall across the heavily populated Houston area, leading to unprecedented flooding and damage. Although studies have focused on the contribution of anthropogenic climate change to this extreme rainfall event1–3, limited attention has been paid to the potential effects of urbaniz...
Article
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This study finds a significant positive correlation between the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) index and the frequency of intense tropical cyclones (TCs) over the western North Pacific (WNP) during the peak TC season (June–November). The PMM influences the occurrence of intense TCs mainly by modulating large-scale dynamical conditions over the main...
Article
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This study examines the impacts of the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) on North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) making landfall along the coastal US, Caribbean Islands and Mexico, and provides insights on the underlying physical mechanisms using observations and model simulations. There is a statistically significant time-lagged association between...
Article
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Atmospheric rivers (ARs) exert major socioeconomic repercussions along the US West Coast by inducing heavy rainfall, flooding, strong winds, and storm surge. Despite the significant societal and economic repercussions of these storms, our understanding of the physical drivers responsible for their interannual variability is limited, with different...
Article
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This study examines the impacts of tropical North Atlantic (TNA) sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly (SSTA) on western North Pacific (WNP) landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs). We find that TNA SSTA has significant negative correlations with the frequency of TCs making landfall in China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, and the entire East Asia. TNA SSTA...