Mei-yu front

From Glossary of Meteorology
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mei-yu front

(Also called baiu front). A quasi-persistent, nearly stationary, east–west-oriented weak baroclinic zone in the lower troposphere that typically stretches from the east China coast, across Taiwan, and eastward into the Pacific, south of Japan. The term "mei-yu" is the Chinese expression for "plum rains."

The mei-yu front generally occurs from mid- to late spring through early to midsummer. This low-level baroclinic zone typically lies beneath a confluent jet entrance region aloft situated downstream of the Tibetan Plateau. The mei-yu/baiu front is very significant in the weather and climate of southeast Asia as it serves as the focus for persistent heavy convective rainfall associated with mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) or mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) that propagate eastward along the baroclinic zone. The moisture source is typically the South China Sea and sometimes the Bay of Bengal. The usual lifting mechanism is low-level warm-air advection in association with a low-level jet on the equatorward flank of the baroclinic zone. Deep ascent and resulting organized MCCs/MCSs are especially favored when the low-level warm-air advection is situated beneath the favorable equatorward jet entrance region aloft.