Using the daily maximum and minimum temperature dataset from 128 stations from 1960 to 2004 in Northwest China, daily extreme high temperature (EHT) and extreme low temperature (ELT) thresholds were determined by centesimal method for different stations at first, then yearly EHT and ELT events were counted up in different stations, and the characteristics of their spatio-temporal distribution were diagnosed at last. The study drew following conclusions: 1) The consistent anomaly distribution characteristic was the most important mode of the EHT and ELT events in Northwest China. 2) The spatial distribution of the EHT and ELT events can be divided into five sub-regions, namely, the north of Qinghai and west of Gansu, the north of Xinjiang, the south of Xinjiang, the east of Northwest China and the south of Qinghai. 3) The EHT events showed remarkable increasing trend in all of five sub-regions, but only in the north of Qinghai and west of Gansu area, sudden change phenomenon occurred; the ELT events showed decreasing trend in all of five sub-regions, and sudden change phenomenon occurred in Northwest China except for south of Qinghai. 4) In all of five sub-regions the EHT events showed remarkable 12–14yr period oscillation, and the ELT event showed significant 13–15yr and 7–8yr period oscillation. 5) The EHT and ELT events displayed remarkable positive and negative responses to regional warming of Northwest China respectively.
extreme temperature response to warming Northwest China