Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 203–218 | Cite as

Atmospheric Circulation Patterns over East Asia and Their Connection with Summer Precipitation and Surface Air Temperature in Eastern China during 1961–2013

  • Shuping Li
  • Wei Hou
  • Guolin Feng
Regular Articles


Based on the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data and Chinese observational data during 1961–2013, atmospheric circulation patterns over East Asia in summer and their connection with precipitation and surface air temperature in eastern China as well as associated external forcing are investigated. Three patterns of the atmospheric circulation are identified, all with quasi-barotropic structures: (1) the East Asia/Pacific (EAP) pattern, (2) the Baikal Lake/Okhotsk Sea (BLOS) pattern, and (3) the eastern China/northern Okhotsk Sea (ECNOS) pattern. The positive EAP pattern significantly increases precipitation over the Yangtze River valley and favors cooling north of the Yangtze River and warming south of the Yangtze River in summer. The warm sea surface temperature anomalies over the tropical Indian Ocean suppress convection over the northwestern subtropical Pacific through the Ekman divergence induced by a Kelvin wave and excite the EAP pattern. The positive BLOS pattern is associated with below-average precipitation south of the Yangtze River and robust cooling over northeastern China. This pattern is triggered by anomalous spring sea ice concentration in the northern Barents Sea. The anomalous sea ice concentration contributes to a Rossby wave activity flux originating from the Greenland Sea, which propagates eastward to North Pacific. The positive ECNOS pattern leads to below-average precipitation and significant warming over northeastern China in summer. The reduced soil moisture associated with the earlier spring snowmelt enhances surface warming over Mongolia and northeastern China and the later spring snowmelt leads to surface cooling over Far East in summer, both of which are responsible for the formation of the ECNOS pattern.

Key words

atmospheric circulation patterns precipitation surface air temperature external forcing 


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We thank the reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions that led to significant improvements in this paper. We also thank Dr. Yanjun Guo for her constructive suggestions about the snow cover extent data analysis.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Atmospheric SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.National Climate Center, China Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Physical Science and TechnologyYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina

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