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Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 972–983 | Cite as

Anomalous Atmospheric Circulation, Heat Sources and Moisture Sinks in Relation to Great Precipitation Anomalies in the Yangtze River Valley

  • Yang Hui
Article
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Abstract

Using the summer (June to August) monthly mean data of the National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) — National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis from 1980 to 1997, atmospheric heat sources and moisture sinks are calculated. Anomalous circulation and the vertically integrated heat source with the vertical integrated moisture sink and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) flux are examined based upon monthly composites for 16 great wet-spells and 8 great dry-spells over the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

The wind anomaly exhibits prominent differences between the great wet-spell and the great dry-spell over the Yangtze River Valley. For the great wet-spell, the anomalous southerly from the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea and the anomalous northerly over North China enhanced low-level convergence toward a narrow latitudinal belt area (the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River). The southerly anomaly is connected with an anticyclonic anomalous circulation system centered at 22°N, 140°E and the northerly anomaly is associated with a cyclonic anomalous circulation system centered at the Japan Sea. In the upper level, the anomalous northwesterly between an anticyclonic anomalous system with the center at 23°N, 105°E and a cyclonic anomalous system with the center at Korea diverged over the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River. On the contrary, for the great dry-spel~ the anomalous northerly over South China and the anomalous southerly over North China diverged from the Yangtze River Valley in the low level. The former formed in the western part of a cyclonic anomalous system centered at 23°N, 135°E. The latter was located in the western ridge of an anticyclonic anomalous system in the northwestern Pacific. The upper troposphere showed easterly anomaly that converged over the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River. A cyclonic anomalous system in South China and an anticyclonic system centered in the Japan Sea enhanced the easterly.

Large atmospheric heat source anomalies of opposite signs existed over the western Pacific—the South China Sea, with negative in the great wet-spell and positive in the great dry-spell. The analysis of heat source also revealed positive anomalous heat sources during the great wet-spell and negative anomalous heat sources during the great dry-spell over the Yangtze River valley. The changes of the moisture sink and OLR were correspondingly altered, implying the change of heat source anomaly is due to the latent heat releasing of convective activity. Over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau- the Bay of Bengal, the analysis of heat source shows positive anomalous heat sources during the great wet-spell and negative anomalous heat sources during the great dry-spell because of latent heating change.

The change of divergent wind coexisted with the change of heat source. In the great wet-spell, southerly divergent wind anomaly in the low level and northerly divergent wind anomaly in high-level are seen over South China. These divergent wind anomalies are helpful to the low-level convergence anomaly and high-level divergence anomaly over the Yangtze River valley. The low-level northerly divergent wind anomaly and high-level southerly divergent wind anomaly over South China reduced the low-level convergence and high-level divergence over the Yangtze River valley during the great dry-spell.

Key words

Anomalous atmospheric circulation Heat sources and moisture sinks anomalies Great precipitation anomalies in the Yangtze River valley 

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© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Hui
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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