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Large-Scale Atmospheric and Oceanic Conditions for Extensive and Persistent Icing Events in China

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  • 1 Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • | 2 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • | 3 Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • | 4 Institute of Plateau Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Chengdu, China
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Abstract

Based on the observational datasets of rime and glaze from 743 stations in China and the atmospheric circulation data from the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis during 1954–2009, large-scale atmospheric and oceanic conditions for extensive and persistent rime and glaze events were examined with a composite analysis. Results show that rime events mostly occur in northern China while glaze events are mainly observed in southern China. The icing events are accompanied by low temperature and high humidity but not necessarily by above-normal precipitation. The Asian low, blocking highs, strong moisture transport, and an inversion layer related to major abnormal circulation systems contribute to the occurrence and persistence of icing events in China. The Ural blocking high plays a major role in the glaze events, and the Okhotsk blocking high is closely related to the rime events. For glaze events, extratropical circulation anomalies and the southward outbreak of cold air play a dominant role. In contrast, the strong northward transport of warm and moist airflows plays a leading role and the blocking high and the southward outbreak of extratropical cold air take a supporting role for rime events. There is nearly an equal chance for occurrences of rime events under La Niña and El Niño backgrounds. However, glaze events more likely occur under the background of La Niña. Additionally, the sea surface temperatures from the tropical Indian Ocean to the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean also contribute to the occurrence and maintenance of icing events in China.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Song Yang, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, 135 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China. E-mail: yangsong3@mail.sysu.edu.cn; yang0209@yahoo.com

Abstract

Based on the observational datasets of rime and glaze from 743 stations in China and the atmospheric circulation data from the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis during 1954–2009, large-scale atmospheric and oceanic conditions for extensive and persistent rime and glaze events were examined with a composite analysis. Results show that rime events mostly occur in northern China while glaze events are mainly observed in southern China. The icing events are accompanied by low temperature and high humidity but not necessarily by above-normal precipitation. The Asian low, blocking highs, strong moisture transport, and an inversion layer related to major abnormal circulation systems contribute to the occurrence and persistence of icing events in China. The Ural blocking high plays a major role in the glaze events, and the Okhotsk blocking high is closely related to the rime events. For glaze events, extratropical circulation anomalies and the southward outbreak of cold air play a dominant role. In contrast, the strong northward transport of warm and moist airflows plays a leading role and the blocking high and the southward outbreak of extratropical cold air take a supporting role for rime events. There is nearly an equal chance for occurrences of rime events under La Niña and El Niño backgrounds. However, glaze events more likely occur under the background of La Niña. Additionally, the sea surface temperatures from the tropical Indian Ocean to the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean also contribute to the occurrence and maintenance of icing events in China.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Song Yang, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, 135 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China. E-mail: yangsong3@mail.sysu.edu.cn; yang0209@yahoo.com
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