Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 250–256 | Cite as

Effect of urbanization on the winter precipitation distribution in Beijing area

  • XiQuan Wang
  • ZiFa Wang
  • YanBin Qi
  • Hu Guo


According to the urbanization extent of Beijing area, and with 1980 as a turning point, the duration from 1961 to 2000 is divided into two periods: one is defined as the slow urbanization period from 1961 to 1980, and other one as the fast urbanization period from 1981 to 2000. Based on the 40-year's precipitation data of 14 standard weather stations in Beijing area, the effect of urbanization on precipitation distribution is studied. It is found that there has been a noticeable and systematic change of winter precipitation distribution pattern between these two periods in Beijing area: in the slow urbanization period, the precipitation in the southern part of Beijing is more than that in the northern part; but in the fast urbanization period, the precipitation distribution pattern is reverse, i.e. the precipitation in the southern part is less than that in the northern part; But in other seasons, the precipitation distribution pattern did not change remarkably in general. The possible cause resulting in the change of winter precipitation distribution pattern, might be that with urban area extension, the effects of “urban heat island” and “urban dry island” become more and more intensified, and increase hydrometeors evaporation below precipitable cloud, and then cause less precipitation received on the ground surface in the downtown and the southern part. It is also noteworthy to further research why the precipitation distribution pattern does not change systematically in other seasons except winter after intense urbanization in Beijing area.


urbanization urban precipitation urban heat island urban dry island Beijing area 


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© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nansen-Zhu International Research CenterInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Jilin Province Weather Modification OfficesChangchunChina
  3. 3.Beijing Meteorological BureauBeijingChina

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