Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 29–37 | Cite as

Changes in winter cold surges over Southeast China: 1961 to 2012

  • Tinghai Ou
  • Deliang Chen
  • Jee-Hoon JeongEmail author
  • Hans W. Linderholm
  • Tianjun Zhou


The present study investigates the overall changes in occurrences of winter cold surges over Southeast China for the period 1961–2012, using instrumental observations, reanalysis and model simulation datasets. Based on objectively defined criteria, cold surges were classified into 3 types according to their dynamical origin as inferred from daily evolution patterns of surface pressure systems with a focus on the Siberian High (SH): type A with an amplification of a quasi-stationary SH associated with high-pressure anomalies over the Ural mountains, type B with a developing SH associated with fast traveling upper-level waves, and type C with a high-pressure originated in the Arctic. Examination of the long-term change in cold surge occurrences shows different interdecadal variations among the 3 types. During 1961–2012, type A events (37.8%) decreased, while type B events, accounting for the majority (52.5%) of total winter cold surges, increased slightly. The contribution by type C to the total occurrence of the cold surges was small (8.8%) compared to that of A and B, but it became more frequent in the latest decade, related to the tendency of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) being more in its negative phase. Overall, we found slightly increased occurrences of cold surges over Southeast China since the early 1980s, despite the weakened SH intensity and warmer mean temperature compared to previous decades. The climate model projections of the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) suggests similar trend in the late 21st century under warmer climate.


Cold surge Siberian high Arctic Oscillation Southeast China long-term climate change 


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Copyright information

© Korean Meteorological Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tinghai Ou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deliang Chen
    • 2
  • Jee-Hoon Jeong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hans W. Linderholm
    • 2
  • Tianjun Zhou
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth Systems & Environmental SciencesChonnam National UniversityGwangjuKorea
  2. 2.Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.LASG, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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