Moisture Sources of Torrential Rainfall Events in the Sichuan Basin of China during Summers of 2009–13

Yongjie Huang Key Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Xiaopeng Cui Key Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Abstract

Water vapor sources and transport paths associated with torrential rains are very important to research and forecasts. This study investigates the main moisture sources and transport paths related to torrential rainfall events in the Sichuan basin of China, which is located east of the Tibetan Plateau, using a Lagrangian flexible particle dispersion model (FLEXPART). Based on the analysis of the torrential rainfall distribution during 2009–13, four study areas are selected in the basin. Particles that have a great contribution to the torrential rainfall events within the four study areas are traced back for 10 days, and a quantitative analysis of the contributions from various moisture sources to the torrential rainfall events is also conducted. The results indicate that a large number of target particles start at the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, land on the Indo-China Peninsula, and finally reach the study areas. This is an important moisture transport path for the torrential rainfall events within the four study areas. Another important path is from the neighborhood of the Sichuan basin. The total moisture supplies from all examined moisture sources within the whole atmospheric layer account for more than 90% of precipitation within the study areas. There are two major moisture sources, the Sichuan basin and the Bay of Bengal, and the South China Sea could be another important moisture source region for the torrential rains in the northeastern Sichuan basin.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xiaopeng Cui, Key Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 40, Huayanli, Deshengmenwai, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: xpcui@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Water vapor sources and transport paths associated with torrential rains are very important to research and forecasts. This study investigates the main moisture sources and transport paths related to torrential rainfall events in the Sichuan basin of China, which is located east of the Tibetan Plateau, using a Lagrangian flexible particle dispersion model (FLEXPART). Based on the analysis of the torrential rainfall distribution during 2009–13, four study areas are selected in the basin. Particles that have a great contribution to the torrential rainfall events within the four study areas are traced back for 10 days, and a quantitative analysis of the contributions from various moisture sources to the torrential rainfall events is also conducted. The results indicate that a large number of target particles start at the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, land on the Indo-China Peninsula, and finally reach the study areas. This is an important moisture transport path for the torrential rainfall events within the four study areas. Another important path is from the neighborhood of the Sichuan basin. The total moisture supplies from all examined moisture sources within the whole atmospheric layer account for more than 90% of precipitation within the study areas. There are two major moisture sources, the Sichuan basin and the Bay of Bengal, and the South China Sea could be another important moisture source region for the torrential rains in the northeastern Sichuan basin.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xiaopeng Cui, Key Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms (LACS), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 40, Huayanli, Deshengmenwai, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: xpcui@mail.iap.ac.cn
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