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Maocang Tang and Elmar R. Reiter


Detailed analyses are presented of the temperature and pressure fields of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and their seasonal variability over the western United States and over the Plateau of Tibet (Qinghai-Xizang Plateau). Over the United States these analyses rely on 850 mb data, augmented by surface data. Over Tibet the 600 mb surface adequately describes the PBL.

The effects of a “plateau monsoon” appear prominently during winter and summer over both plateaus. Together with continental monsoon effects they help to shape prominent circulation features, such as the low-level jet stream (LLJ) over Texas and Oklahoma. The complex, seasonal characteristics of precipitation regimes over the North American continent can be explained, to a large extent, by considering these monsoonal changes in the PBL, especially over the mountains.

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Elmar R. Reiter and Maocang Tang


The diurnal variation of 850 mb heights, the detailed distribution of which could be assessed by the inclusion of surface data, and of resultant winds over, and in the vicinity of, the Great Basin reveals clearly a plateau-wind circulation during summer. This circulation reverses between day and night and appears to include the low-level jet stream over Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the time of occurrence of thunderstorms. This plateau circulation system interacts with local mountain-valley breeze systems. The thickness of the daytime inflow and nighttime outflow layer over the plateau is approximately 2 km.

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You-xi Gao, Mao-cang Tang, Si-wei Luo, Zhi-bao Shen, and Ci Li

The Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau has a profound influence on atmospheric circulation patterns on all time and space scales. This report constitutes a short summary of work being performed at the Lanzhou Institute of Plateau Atmospheric Physics of the Academia Sinica. A short discussion of the climatic characteristics of the plateau is followed by a description of the main features of annual and diurnal cycles in pressure and circulation patterns.

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