Climate Dynamics

, Volume 42, Issue 11–12, pp 2885–2898 | Cite as

Time-lagged impact of spring sensible heat over the Tibetan Plateau on the summer rainfall anomaly in East China: case studies using the WRF model

  • Ziqian Wang
  • Anmin Duan
  • Guoxiong Wu


This study explores the time-lagged impact of the spring sensible heat (SH) source over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on the summer rainfall anomaly in East China using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Numerical experiments for 2003 indicate that a spring SH anomaly over the TP can maintain its impact until summer and lead to a strong atmospheric heat source, characterized both by the enhanced SH over the western TP and enhanced latent heat of condensation to the east. Wave activity diagnosis reveals that the enhanced TP heating forces a Rossby wave train over the downstream regions. A cyclonic response over the northeast TP brings about a low-level northerly anomaly over northern China, while an anticyclonic response over the western Pacific enhances the subtropical high and the low-level southerly on its western flank. As a result, cold and dry airflow from mid-high latitudes, and warm and wet airflow from tropical oceans converge around the Huaihe River basin. In addition, warm advection originating from the TP induces vigorous ascending motion over the convergence belt. Under these favorable circulation conditions the eastward-propagating vortexes initiated over the TP intensify the torrential rainfall processes over the Huaihe River basin. In contrast, additional experiments considering the year 2001 with weak spring SH over the TP and an overall southward retreat of the summer rainfall belt in East China further demonstrate the role of spring SH over the TP in regulating the interannual variability of EASM in terms of wave activity and synoptic disturbances.


Spring sensible heat (SH) Tibetan Plateau (TP) East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) Summer rainfall 



We thank Dr. Schneider and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments; and also thank Meirong Wang for helpful discussions. This work was supported jointly by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (grant 2010CB951703; 2012CB417203), the Chinese Ministry of Finance/Ministry of Science and Technology (GYHY201006014), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 41175070; 41275088; 41275095).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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