Seasonal division of 850 hPa South China Sea based on multi-element atmospheric condition similarity

  • Zheng Wang
  • Guolin FengEmail author
  • Rong Zhi
  • Po Hu
Original Paper


Comprehensive consideration of multiple meteorological elements for the objective identification and division of seasonal changes is important in the field of climate monitoring and diagnostic analysis. The development of relevant identification and classification methods will help us better understand the new characteristics of seasonal transitions against the background of climate change. Based on reanalysis data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction from 1950 to 2015, we used the multi-element atmospheric condition similarity method to seasonally divide the average climatological conditions at 850 hPa over the South China Sea, and analyzed the annual mean results of the onset of seasons and annual mean seasonal variations of meteorological elements in this region. The results show the following. First, the seasonal division results based on multi-element atmospheric condition similarity coincide with the seasonal variation times of each meteorological element with atmospheric conditions comprising five meteorological elements. When the four seasons change, the meteorological elements at 850 hPa in the South China Sea have obvious seasonal variation, and atmospheric circulation and surface upward long-wave radiation change conspicuously with seasonal transformation. This confirms the validity of the method as applied to seasonal divisions in the South China Sea. Second, when the climate system translates from winter to summer in the South China Sea, thermal elements change greatly and rapidly. Changes to thermal elements in spring provide climate conditions for the onset of summer and the onset of the summer monsoon in the South China Sea. Third, when the climate system shifts from summer to winter in the South China Sea, changes to wind elements are obvious and rapid. In autumn, changes in thermal conditions between the Eurasian continent and the Pacific Ocean lead to major changes in atmospheric circulation and wind. In addition, seasonal divisions are no longer just nodes of time. Rather, they can be used as important indicators for further studies of atmospheric circulation changes, short-term climate predictions, and seasonal changes of other climate systems.


Multi-element atmospheric condition similarity Season division Atmospheric conditions South China Sea 



We would like to thank the National Centers for Environmental Prediction at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for providing the climate database used in this study, and thank International Science Editing ( for editing this manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41530531, 41575074, and 41575082) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC1502306).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Atmospheric SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina

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