Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 791–800 | Cite as

The influence of moderate ENSO on summer rainfall in eastern China and its comparison with strong ENSO

  • Feng Xue
  • ChangZheng Liu
Articles Atmospheric Sciences


The 6 major ENSO events since 1979 are classified into the strong and moderate ENSO based on intensity. The composite analysis is performed to reveal the influence of ENSO on East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and summer rainfall in eastern China. It is shown that the influence is changed with the seasonal cycle in summer, with a weaker influence in June and a stronger influence in August, indicating a long lagged effect of ENSO on EASM. Besides, the circulation and rainfall anomalies caused by the strong ENSO are also stronger with an earlier starting time, while the influence of the moderate ENSO is evident in August. The composite summer rainfall in eastern China for the moderate ENSO exhibits a northern rainfall pattern, which is totally different from the classical ENSO-type rainfall pattern. Based on the composite analysis, two moderate ENSO years with a similar intensity (i.e., 1995 and 2003) are compared. The result shows that, the response of EASM to the moderate ENSO during June and July is, to a certain degree, modulated by the circulation systems in mid-high latitudes of Eurasia and in the Southern Hemisphere, thereby inducing a different rainfall distribution in eastern China. In comparison with the strong ENSO in 1983, it is further revealed that, the strong ENSO plays a dominant role in summer rainfall anomalies in eastern China as well as in controlling the influence of the other factors on EASM. The strong ENSO is therefore different with the moderate ENSO.


moderate ENSO strong ENSO East Asian summer monsoon subtropical high summer rainfall 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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