How does El Niño-Southern Oscillation affect winter fog frequency over eastern China?

  • Suqiong Hu
  • Wenjun ZhangEmail author
  • Andrew G. Turner
  • Jiaren Sun


The winter fog frequency over eastern China displays remarkable interannual variability, which has a linear relationship with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Eastern China usually experiences more (less) frequent fog during El Niño (La Niña) winters. During El Niño winters, an anomalous anticyclone tends to appear over the western North Pacific (WNP), which can weaken the climatological winter northerly winds and enhance water vapor supply from oceans, conducive to the formation of foggy weather. Roughly opposite anomalies of fog frequency are displayed during La Niña winters. However, this linear relationship is mainly contributed by the La Niña and partial El Niño events, since the El Niño events exhibit diversity in impacts on the winter fog frequency due to their different types. Increased winter fog frequency can be significantly detected during eastern-Pacific (EP) El Niño, while this signal is not observed during central-Pacific (CP) El Niño. It is found that the winter fog frequency during the CP El Niño seems to be dependent on its zonal locations, associated with different WNP atmospheric circulation and local difference between air temperature and dew point temperature (T − Td) anomalies. The further eastward CP El Niño largely coincides with more frequent fog weather similar to the EP El Niño, while the further westward CP El Niño is usually accompanied with less frequent fog weather. This relationship has important implications for seasonal prediction of winter fog frequency and places a high requirement on consideration of zonal location of the CP El Niño.


Winter fog frequency ENSO EP El Niño CP El Niño 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program (2018YFC1506002, 2018YFC0213902), the SOA Program on Global Change and Air–Sea interactions (GASI-IPOVAI-03), the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41675073).


  1. Alexander MA, Bladé I, Newman M et al (2002) The atmospheric bridge: the influence of ENSO teleconnections on air–sea interaction over the global oceans. J Clim 15:2205–2231.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashok K, Behera SK, Rao SA et al (2007) El Niño Modoki and its possible teleconnection. J Geophys Res 112:C11007. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beiderwieden E, Wrzesinsky T, Klemm O (2005) Chemical characterization of fog and rain water collected at the eastern Andes cordillera. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci Discuss 2:863–885. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belorid M, Lee CB, Kim J-C, Cheon T-H (2015) Distribution and long-term trends in various fog types over South Korea. Theor Appl Climatol 122:699–710. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bott A, Sievers U, Zdunkowski W (1990) A radiation fog model with a detailed treatment of the interaction between radiative transfer and fog microphysics. J Atmos Sci 47:2153–2166.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chang L, Xu J, Tie X, Wu J (2016) Impact of the 2015 El Nino event on winter air quality in China. Sci Rep 6:34275. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen S, Shi Y, Wang L, Dong A (2006) Impact of climate variation on fog in China. J Geogr Sci 16:430–438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cressman GP (1959) An operational objective analysis system. Mon Weather Rev 87:367–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ding Y, Liu Y (2014) Analysis of long-term variations of fog and haze in China in recent 50 years and their relations with atmospheric humidity. Sci China Earth Sci 57:36–46. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feng J, Li J (2011) Influence of El Niño Modoki on spring rainfall over south China. J Geophys Res 116:D13102. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fu GQ, Xu WY, Rong RF et al (2014) The distribution and trends of fog and haze in the North China Plain over the past 30 years. Atmos Chem Phys 14:11949–11958. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fuzzi S, Castillo RA, Jiusto JE, Lala GG (1984) Chemical composition of radiation fog water at Albany, New York, and its relationship to fog microphysics. J Geophys Res Atmos 89:7159–7164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gao H, Li X (2015) Influences of El Nino Southern Oscillation events on haze frequency in eastern China during boreal winters. Int J Climatol 35:2682–2688. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gao S, Lin H, Shen B, Fu G (2007) A heavy sea fog event over the Yellow Sea in March 2005: analysis and numerical modeling. Adv Atmos Sci 24:65–81. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gerber HE (1981) Microstructure of a radiation fog. J Atmos Sci 38:454–458.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gill AE (1980) Some simple solutions for heat-induced tropical circulation. Q J R Meteorol Soc 106:447–462. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gultepe I (ed) (2007) Fog and boundary layer clouds: fog visibility and forecasting. Birkhäuser Basel, BaselGoogle Scholar
  18. He C, Liu R, Wang X et al (2019) How does El Niño-Southern Oscillation modulate the interannual variability of winter haze days over eastern China? Sci Total Environ 651:1892–1902. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jeong J-H, Ho C-H (2005) Changes in occurrence of cold surges over east Asia in association with Arctic Oscillation: cold surges and AO over east Asia. Geophys Res Lett. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kao H-Y, Yu J-Y (2009) Contrasting eastern-Pacific and central-Pacific types of ENSO. J Clim 22:615–632. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kirkland EJ (2010) Bilinear Interpolation. In: Kirkland EJ (ed) Advanced computing in electron microscopy. Springer US, Boston, pp 261–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klein SA, Soden BJ, Lau N-C (1999) Remote sea surface temperature variations during ENSO: evidence for a tropical atmospheric bridge. J Clim 12:917–932.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koračin D, Businger JA, Dorman CE, Lewis JM (2005) Formation, evolution, and dissipation of coastal sea fog. Bound Layer Meteorol 117:447–478. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kug J-S, Jin F-F, An S-I (2009) Two types of El Niño events: cold tongue El Niño and warm pool El Niño. J Clim 22:1499–1515. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Larkin NK (2005) On the definition of El Niño and associated seasonal average U.S. weather anomalies. Geophys Res Lett 32:L13705. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li Z, Xu H, Zhang W (2015) Asymmetric features for two types of ENSO. J Meteorol Res 29:896–916. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li Q, Zhang R, Wang Y (2016) Interannual variation of the wintertime fog–haze days across central and eastern China and its relation with East Asian winter monsoon. Int J Climatol 36:346–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Li S, Han Z, Chen H (2017) A comparison of the effects of interannual Arctic sea ice loss and ENSO on winter haze days: observational analyses and AGCM simulations. J Meteorol Res 31:820–833. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li Y, Sheng L, Li C, Wang Y (2019) Impact of the Eurasian teleconnection on the interannual variability of haze-fog in northern China in January. Atmosphere 10:113. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nakanishi M (2000) Large-eddy simulation of radiation fog. Bound Layer Meteorol 94:461–493. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Niu S, Lu C, Yu H et al (2010) Fog research in China: an overview. Adv Atmos Sci 27:639–662. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Park T-W, Ho C-H, Yang S, Jeong J-H (2010) Influences of Arctic Oscillation and Madden–Julian Oscillation on cold surges and heavy snowfalls over Korea: a case study for the winter of 2009–2010. J Geophys Res 115:D23122. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Quan J, Zhang Q, He H et al (2011) Analysis of the formation of fog and haze in North China Plain (NCP). Atmos Chem Phys 11:8205–8214. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rasmusson EM, Carpenter TH (1982) Variations in tropical sea surface temperature and surface wind fields associated with the southern Oscillation/El Niño. Mon Weather Rev 110:354–384.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rayner NA (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:4407. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sachweh M, Koepke P (1995) Radiation fog and urban climate. Geophys Res Lett 22:1073–1076. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sachweh M, Koepke P (1997) Fog dynamics in an urbanized area. Theor Appl Climatol 58:87–93. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shi C, Roth M, Zhang H, Li Z (2008) Impacts of urbanization on long-term fog variation in Anhui Province, China. Atmos Environ 42:8484–8492. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stuecker MF, Jin F-F, Timmermann A, McGregor S (2015) Combination mode dynamics of the anomalous northwest Pacific anticyclone. J Clim 28:1093–1111. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Syed FS, Körnich H, Tjernström M (2012) On the fog variability over south Asia. Clim Dyn 39:2993–3005. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Taylor GI (1917) The formation of fog and mist. Q J R Meteorol Soc 43:241–268. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Taylor KE, Stouffer RJ, Meehl GA (2011) An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93:485–498. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vautard R, Yiou P, van Oldenborgh GJ (2009) Decline of fog, mist and haze in Europe over the past 30 years. Nat Geosci 2:115–119. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wallace JM, Rasmusson EM, Mitchell TP et al (1998) On the structure and evolution of ENSO-related climate variability in the tropical Pacific: lessons from TOGA. J Geophys Res Oceans 103:14241–14259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wang B, Wu R, Fu X (2000) Pacific-east Asian teleconnection: how does ENSO affect east Asian climate? J Clim 13:1517–1536.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wang H, Chen H, Liu J (2015) Arctic sea ice decline intensified haze pollution in eastern China. Atmos Ocean Sci Lett 8:1–9Google Scholar
  48. Weng H, Ashok K, Behera SK et al (2007) Impacts of recent El Niño Modoki on dry/wet conditions in the Pacific rim during boreal summer. Clim Dyn 29:113–129. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Williams IN, Patricola CM (2018) Diversity of ENSO events unified by convective threshold sea surface temperature: a nonlinear ENSO Index. Geophys Res Lett 45:9236–9244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Williams AP, Schwartz RE, Iacobellis S et al (2015) Urbanization causes increased cloud base height and decreased fog in coastal Southern California. Geophys Res Lett 42:1527–1536. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wu D (2006) More discussions on the differences between haze and fog in city. Guangdong Meteorol 1:9–13 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  52. Wu R, Wang B (2002) A contrast of the east Asian summer monsoon–ENSO relationship between 1962–77 and 1978–93. J Clim 15:3266–3279.;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wu R, Hu Z-Z, Kirtman BP (2003) Evolution of ENSO-related rainfall anomalies in east Asia. J Clim 16:3742–3758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Xie S-P, Hu K, Hafner J et al (2009) Indian ocean capacitor effect on Indo-Western Pacific climate during the summer following El Niño. J Clim 22:730–747. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yan S, Zhu B, Kang H (2019) Long-term fog variation and its impact factors over polluted regions of east China. J Geophys Res Atmos 124:1741–1754. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yeh S-W, Kug J-S, Dewitte B et al (2009) El Niño in a changing climate. Nature 461:511–514. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yin Z, Wang H, Guo W (2015) Climatic change features of fog and haze in winter over North China and Huang-Huai Area. Sci China Earth Sci 58:1370–1376. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yu J-Y, Kim ST (2013) Identifying the types of major El Niño events since 1870. Int J Climatol 33:2105–2112. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yu H, Li T, Liu P (2019a) Influence of ENSO on frequency of wintertime fog days in Eastern China. Clim Dyn 52:5099–5113. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yu X, Wang Z, Zhang H, Zhao S (2019b) Impacts of different types and intensities of El Niño events on winter aerosols over China. Sci Total Environ 655:766–780. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhang W, Jin F-F, Li J, Ren H-L (2011) Contrasting impacts of two-type El Niño over the Western North Pacific during Boreal Autumn. J Meteorol Soc Jpn Ser II 89:563–569. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhang W, Jin F-F, Zhao J-X et al (2013) The possible influence of a nonconventional El Niño on the severe autumn drought of 2009 in southwest China. J Clim 26:8392–8405. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang W, Jin F-F, Turner A (2014) Increasing autumn drought over southern China associated with ENSO regime shift. Geophys Res Lett 41:4020–4026. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zhang W, Wang Y, Jin F-F et al (2015) Impact of different El Niño types on the El Niño/IOD relationship: relation of IOD with Two-Type El Niño. Geophys Res Lett 42:8570–8576. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zhang W, Li S, Jin F-F et al (2019) ENSO regime changes responsible for decadal phase relationship variations between ENSO sea surface temperature and warm water volume. Geophys Res Lett 46:7546–7553. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhao S, Zhang H, Xie B (2018) The effects of El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the winter haze pollution of China. Atmos Chem Phys 18:1863–1877. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zou Y, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Koo J-H (2017) Arctic sea ice, Eurasia snow, and extreme winter haze in China. Sci Adv 3:e1602751CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIC-FEMD/ILCEC, Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education (KLME), College of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.NCAS-ClimateUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  3. 3.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Urban Ecological Environmental Simulation and Protection of Ministry of Environmental ProtectionSouth China Institute of Environmental Sciences, The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of PRCGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations