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Subseasonal Variability of Precipitation in China during Boreal Winter

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  • 1 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • | 2 Recherche en Prévision Numérique Atmosphérique, Environment Canada, Dorval, Quebec, Canada
  • | 3 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
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Abstract

Using pentad data of the Northern Hemisphere extended winter (November–March) from 1979 to 2012 derived from the daily rainfall of the National Meteorological Information Center of China, subseasonal variability of precipitation in China is analyzed. The two dominant modes of subseasonal variability are identified with an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. The first EOF mode (EOF1) is characterized by a monopole in South China, whereas the second EOF mode (EOF2) has a meridional dipole structure with opposite precipitation anomalies over the Yangtze River basin and the coastal area of South China. These two modes tend to have a phase shift to each other in both space and time, indicating that part of their variability represents a southward-propagating pattern.

The subseasonal variability is decomposed into two components: one related to the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and the other independent of MJO. It is found that the MJO contributes to about 10% of the precipitation variability in South China. EOF1 is associated with MJO phase 3, corresponding to enhanced equatorial convection in the Indian Ocean and depressed convection in the western Pacific, while EOF2 is related to MJO phase 5 when the enhanced tropical convection moves to the Maritime Continent region. Subseasonal precipitation variability in China that is independent of the MJO is especially affected by processes including tropical convection variability and the “cold surge” phenomenon or the development of a Siberian high and cold-air outbreak in East Asia associated with a wave train from the North Atlantic.

Corresponding author address: Hai Lin, Recherche en Prévision Numérique Atmosphérique, Environment Canada, 2121 Trans-Canada, Dorval QC H9B 1J3, Canada. E-mail: hai.lin@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

Using pentad data of the Northern Hemisphere extended winter (November–March) from 1979 to 2012 derived from the daily rainfall of the National Meteorological Information Center of China, subseasonal variability of precipitation in China is analyzed. The two dominant modes of subseasonal variability are identified with an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. The first EOF mode (EOF1) is characterized by a monopole in South China, whereas the second EOF mode (EOF2) has a meridional dipole structure with opposite precipitation anomalies over the Yangtze River basin and the coastal area of South China. These two modes tend to have a phase shift to each other in both space and time, indicating that part of their variability represents a southward-propagating pattern.

The subseasonal variability is decomposed into two components: one related to the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and the other independent of MJO. It is found that the MJO contributes to about 10% of the precipitation variability in South China. EOF1 is associated with MJO phase 3, corresponding to enhanced equatorial convection in the Indian Ocean and depressed convection in the western Pacific, while EOF2 is related to MJO phase 5 when the enhanced tropical convection moves to the Maritime Continent region. Subseasonal precipitation variability in China that is independent of the MJO is especially affected by processes including tropical convection variability and the “cold surge” phenomenon or the development of a Siberian high and cold-air outbreak in East Asia associated with a wave train from the North Atlantic.

Corresponding author address: Hai Lin, Recherche en Prévision Numérique Atmosphérique, Environment Canada, 2121 Trans-Canada, Dorval QC H9B 1J3, Canada. E-mail: hai.lin@ec.gc.ca
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