On 20 October 2010, a heavy rainfall event occurred on Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, that brought a 622 mm of rainfall in one day. To clarify the factors underlying this event, the supply mechanism and formation process of low-level humid air and the maintenance mechanisms of the precipitation systems causing the heavy rainfall were examined using observation data, objective analysis data, and numerical simulation results (Tsuguti and Kato 2014).
These investigations showed that low-level humid air, carried to Amami-Oshima Island during the rainfall event by strong east-northeasterly winds, originated more than 500 km to the east-northeast as low-level dry air on the northern side of a stationary front. This dry air was transformed into humid air on the way to the island by receiving large latent heat flux from the sea surface (air-parcel transformation). Warm sea surface temperature around Amami-Oshima Island, about 2 ∞C higher than the annual mean, contributed to this air-parcel transformation.
At Amami-Oshima Island, the collision of the humid flows with a cold pool formed under earlier precipitation systems contributed significantly to the formation and maintenance of the precipitation systems, supplemented by topographic effects of the island.