The Kuroshio Current has its origin in the northwestern Pacific, flowing northward to the east of Taiwan and the northern part of Luzon Island. As the Kuroshio Current flows northward, it quasi-periodically intrudes (hereafter referred to as Kuroshio intrusion (KI)) into the northern South China Sea (SCS) basin through the Luzon Strait. Despite the complex generation mechanisms of KI, the purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of the effects of KI through the Luzon Strait on the regional atmospheric and weather variations. Long-term multiple satellite observations, including absolute dynamic topography, absolute geostrophic currents, sea surface winds by ASCAT, multi-scale ultra-high resolution sea surface temperature (MURSST) level-four analysis, and research-quality three-hourly TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA), was used to systematically examine the aforementioned scientific problem. Analysis indicates that the KI is interlinked with the consequential anomalous precipitation off southwestern Taiwan. This anomalous precipitation would lead to ~560 million tons of freshwater influx during each KI event. Subsequently, independent moisture budget analysis suggests that moisture, mainly from vertical advection, is the possible source of the precipitation anomaly. Additionally, a bulk formula analysis was applied to understand how KI can trigger the precipitation anomaly through vertical advection of moisture without causing an evident change in the low-level flows. These new research findings might reconcile the divisiveness on why winds are not showing a synchronous response during the KI and consequential anomalous precipitation events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas