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A Bias-Corrected Precipitation Climatology for China

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  • 1 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
  • | 2 Water and Environment Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
  • | 3 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
  • | 4 Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
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Abstract

This paper presents the results of bias corrections of Chinese standard precipitation gauge (CSPG) measurements for wind-induced undercatch, a trace amount of precipitation, and wetting loss. Long-term daily data of precipitation, temperature, and wind speed during 1951–98 at 710 meteorological stations in China were used for this analysis. It is found that wind-induced gauge undercatch is the greatest error in most regions, and wetting loss and a trace amount of precipitation are important in the low-precipitation regions in northwest China. Monthly correction factors ratio of corrected amount to measured amount of precipitation differ by location and by type of precipitation. Considerable interannual variation of the corrections exists in China due to the fluctuations of wind speed and frequency of precipitation. More importantly, annual precipitation has been increased by 8 to 740 mm with an overall mean of 130 mm at the 710 stations over China because of the bias corrections for the study period. This corresponds to 6%–62% increases (overall mean of 19% at the 710 stations over China) in gauge-measured yearly total precipitation over China. This important finding clearly suggests that annual precipitation in China is much higher than previously reported. The results of this study will be useful to hydrological and climatic studies in China.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Baisheng Ye, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 260 Donggang West Road, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China. Email: yebs@ns.lzb.ac.cn

Abstract

This paper presents the results of bias corrections of Chinese standard precipitation gauge (CSPG) measurements for wind-induced undercatch, a trace amount of precipitation, and wetting loss. Long-term daily data of precipitation, temperature, and wind speed during 1951–98 at 710 meteorological stations in China were used for this analysis. It is found that wind-induced gauge undercatch is the greatest error in most regions, and wetting loss and a trace amount of precipitation are important in the low-precipitation regions in northwest China. Monthly correction factors ratio of corrected amount to measured amount of precipitation differ by location and by type of precipitation. Considerable interannual variation of the corrections exists in China due to the fluctuations of wind speed and frequency of precipitation. More importantly, annual precipitation has been increased by 8 to 740 mm with an overall mean of 130 mm at the 710 stations over China because of the bias corrections for the study period. This corresponds to 6%–62% increases (overall mean of 19% at the 710 stations over China) in gauge-measured yearly total precipitation over China. This important finding clearly suggests that annual precipitation in China is much higher than previously reported. The results of this study will be useful to hydrological and climatic studies in China.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Baisheng Ye, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 260 Donggang West Road, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China. Email: yebs@ns.lzb.ac.cn

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