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Richard C. Y. Li, Wen Zhou, and Tsz Cheung Lee

Abstract

This study examines the climatological features of tropical cyclone (TC) rainfall in Hong Kong in association with different TC-related parameters, and investigates the changes in TC rainfall, non-TC rainfall, and total rainfall during the past few decades in Hong Kong. On average, rainfall induced by TCs can account for about 25% of the total precipitation during summer and fall, and the contribution can be even greater in extreme cases. Composite analysis suggests that extreme TC rainfall is often related to TCs in closer proximity to Hong Kong, with higher intensity, and is associated with stronger convection and moisture convergence in the vicinity of Hong Kong.

Evaluations of the observed trends of different rainfall indices suggest that the rainfall variability in Hong Kong is considerably affected by the TC rainfall, which has a decreasing trend in frequency and intensity in recent decades. Taking out the TC rainfall from the total rainfall reveals that there is an increasing trend in daily rainfall frequency and intensity for non-TC rainfall in Hong Kong. Moreover, time-dependent generalized extreme value analysis of non-TC rainfall also reveals an increase in the return values of the maximum daily rainfall in Hong Kong. Results of this study suggest that, in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of the long-term rainfall variations in Hong Kong, the contributions of TC rainfall should definitely be taken into account in the analysis.

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Wen Zhou, Johnny C. L. Chan, Wen Chen, Jian Ling, Joaquim G. Pinto, and Yaping Shao

Abstract

In January 2008, central and southern China experienced persistent low temperatures, freezing rain, and snow. The large-scale conditions associated with the occurrence and development of these snowstorms are examined in order to identify the key synoptic controls leading to this event. Three main factors are identified: 1) the persistent blocking high over Siberia, which remained quasi-stationary around 65°E for 3 weeks, led to advection of dry and cold Siberian air down to central and southern China; 2) a strong persistent southwesterly flow associated with the western Pacific subtropical high led to enhanced moisture advection from the Bay of Bengal into central and southern China; and 3) the deep inversion layer in the lower troposphere associated with the extended snow cover over most of central and southern China. The combination of these three factors is likely responsible for the unusual severity of the event, and hence a long return period.

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Hoffman H. N. Cheung, Wen Zhou, Sai-ming Lee, and Hang-wai Tong

Abstract

During the past decade (2004/05–2013/14), the number of cold days in Hong Kong (N CD), as a proxy of the temperature of southern China, appeared to have increased from the historical minimum, in contrast to a remarkable decline in the entire postwar period. This is related to the recent apparent changes in the large-scale circulation upstream and downstream of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) region: the increase in Ural blocking (UB) that enhances cold advection from the polar region and reinforces the Siberian high and the decrease in a western Pacific (WP)-like index that corresponds to increasing meridional gradient of geopotential height over the EAWM region. Overall, UB and WP account for 26.4% of the interannual (≤8 yr) variance and 83.7% of the decadal (>8 yr) variance of N CD for the period 1948/49–2013/14, indicating that further study could lead to improvement in the prediction of N CD.

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