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Subseasonal Variation in ENSO-Related East Asian Rainfall Anomalies during Summer and Its Role in Weakening the Relationship between the ENSO and Summer Rainfall in Eastern China since the Late 1970s

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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, and Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

The findings of the study reported in this paper show that, during ENSO decaying summers, rainfall and circulation anomalies exhibit clear subseasonal variation. Corresponding to a positive (negative) December–February (DJF) Niño-3.4 index, a positive (negative) subtropical rainfall anomaly, with a southwest–northeast tilt, appears in South China and the western North Pacific (WNP) in the subsequent early summer (from June to middle July) but advances northward into the Huai River Basin in China as well as Korea and central Japan in late summer (from late July to August). Concurrently, a lower-tropospheric anticyclonic anomaly over the WNP extends northward from early to late summer. The seasonal change in the basic flows, characterized by the northward shift of the upper-tropospheric westerly jet and the WNP subtropical high, is suggested to be responsible for the differences in the above rainfall and circulation anomalies between early and late summer by inducing distinct extratropical responses even under the almost identical tropical forcing of a precipitation anomaly in the Philippine Sea.

A particular focus of the study is to investigate, using station rainfall data, the subseasonal variations in ENSO-related rainfall anomalies in eastern China since the 1950s, to attempt to examine their role in weakening the relationship between the ENSO and summer mean rainfall in eastern China since the late 1970s. It is found that the ENSO-related rainfall anomalies tend to be similar between early and late summer before the late 1970s, that is, the period characterized by a stronger ENSO–summer mean rainfall relationship. After the late 1970s, however, the anomalous rainfall pattern in eastern China is almost reversed between early and late summer, resulting accordingly in a weakened relationship between the ENSO and total summer rainfall in eastern China.

Corresponding author address: Riyu Lu, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: lr@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The findings of the study reported in this paper show that, during ENSO decaying summers, rainfall and circulation anomalies exhibit clear subseasonal variation. Corresponding to a positive (negative) December–February (DJF) Niño-3.4 index, a positive (negative) subtropical rainfall anomaly, with a southwest–northeast tilt, appears in South China and the western North Pacific (WNP) in the subsequent early summer (from June to middle July) but advances northward into the Huai River Basin in China as well as Korea and central Japan in late summer (from late July to August). Concurrently, a lower-tropospheric anticyclonic anomaly over the WNP extends northward from early to late summer. The seasonal change in the basic flows, characterized by the northward shift of the upper-tropospheric westerly jet and the WNP subtropical high, is suggested to be responsible for the differences in the above rainfall and circulation anomalies between early and late summer by inducing distinct extratropical responses even under the almost identical tropical forcing of a precipitation anomaly in the Philippine Sea.

A particular focus of the study is to investigate, using station rainfall data, the subseasonal variations in ENSO-related rainfall anomalies in eastern China since the 1950s, to attempt to examine their role in weakening the relationship between the ENSO and summer mean rainfall in eastern China since the late 1970s. It is found that the ENSO-related rainfall anomalies tend to be similar between early and late summer before the late 1970s, that is, the period characterized by a stronger ENSO–summer mean rainfall relationship. After the late 1970s, however, the anomalous rainfall pattern in eastern China is almost reversed between early and late summer, resulting accordingly in a weakened relationship between the ENSO and total summer rainfall in eastern China.

Corresponding author address: Riyu Lu, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: lr@mail.iap.ac.cn
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