Abstract

In winter 2018/19, southeastern coastal China experienced extreme warm temperatures that were due to a weak East Asian winter monsoon. On the basis of observations from 10 meteorological stations and reanalysis data, the large-scale circulation patterns associated with this extreme warm winter and the possible driving mechanism of its related sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies are investigated in this study. During this winter, many places in this region reached their highest winter mean temperature record and had more extreme warm days and fewer extreme cold days relative to climatology. According to the circulation patterns during winter 2018/19, several large-scale circulation conditions associated mainly with the weak East Asian winter monsoon are identified: the eastward shift of the Siberian high and a shallower East Asian trough, which is related to the low blocking frequency over the Aleutian region, are both unfavorable for cold-air intrusion southward. Meanwhile, strong low-level southerly wind anomalies over southeastern China are related mainly to the 2018/19 El Niño event. Furthermore, the possible role of SST anomalies over the North Atlantic and tropical western Pacific Oceans is examined by using an atmospheric general circulation model, suggesting that both the “tripole pattern” of North Atlantic SST and tropical western Pacific SST anomalies in winter 2018/19 played a role in influencing the East Asian trough. The combined effect of all of these factors seems to be responsible for this extreme warm winter over southeastern coastal China.

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