Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 1–2, pp 423–439 | Cite as

Relationship between summer rainfall anomalies and sub-seasonal oscillations in South China

  • Chunhui Li
  • Tim Li
  • Ailan Lin
  • Dejun Gu
  • Bin Zheng


Sub-seasonal variability of summer (May–October) rainfall over South China exhibits two dominant timescales, one with a quasi-biweekly (QBW) period (10–20 days) and the other with an intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) period (20–60 days). A significant positive correlation (at a 99 % confidence level) was found between the summer precipitation anomalies and the intensity of the QBW and ISO modes. By examining the composite structure and evolution characteristics, we note that the QBW and ISO modes are characterized by a northwest-southeast oriented wave train pattern with a pronounced baroclinic vertical structure, moving northwestward. A marked feature is the phase leading of low-level moisture relative to convection. For the QBW mode, such a phase leading feature appears in both the strong and weak composites. However, for the ISO mode, this feature is only clearly seen in the strong composite. The high positive correlation between the summer precipitation and the sub-seasonal variability suggests that the summer mean state may exert a large-scale control on the sub-seasonal modes. It is found that when South China is anomalously wet, large-scale atmospheric conditions in the key QBW/ISO activity region are characterized by deeper moist layer, more convectively unstable stratification, and greater ascending motion. Such environmental conditions favor the growth of the QBW and ISO perturbations.


Interannual variation of summer rainfall Quasi-biweekly oscillation Intraseasonal oscillation 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41205069, 41375095 and 41075073), State Key Development Program of Basic Research of China (2010CB950304), and the Special Fund for Meteorological-scientific Research in the Public Interest (GYHY201106003),Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2012A030200006). TL acknowledges support from NSF Grant AGS-1106536, ONR Grant N000141210450, and the International Pacific Research Center that is sponsored by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). This is SOEST contribution number 9121 and IPRC contribution number 1057.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunhui Li
    • 1
  • Tim Li
    • 2
  • Ailan Lin
    • 1
  • Dejun Gu
    • 1
  • Bin Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Tropical and Marine Meteorology/Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Regional Numerical Weather PredictionChina Meteorological AdministrationGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.IPRC and Department of MeteorologyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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