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Climatology of Tropical Cyclone Extreme Rainfall over China from 1960 to 2019


Tropical cyclone extreme rainfall (TCER) causes devastating floods and severe damage in China and it is therefore important to determine its long-term climatological distribution for both disaster prevention and operational forecasting. Based on the tropical cyclone (TC) best-track dataset and TC precipitation data from 1960 to 2019, the spatiotemporal distribution of TCER affecting China is analyzed.

Results show that there were large regional differences in the threshold for TCER in China, decreasing from the southeastern coast to the northwest inland. TCER occurred infrequently in northern China but had a high intensity and was highly localized. The frequency and intensity of TCER showed slightly increasing trends over time and was most likely to occur in August (41.0%). Most of the TC precipitation processes with extreme rainfall lasted for four to six days, with TCER mainly occurring on the third to fourth days. TCER with wide areas showed a northwestward prevailing track and a westward prevailing track.

Strong TCs are not always accompanied by extreme precipitation while some weak TCs can lead to very extreme rainfall. A total of 64.7% (35.3%) of the TCER samples occurred when the TC was centered over the land (sea). TCER⩾ 250 mm was located within 3° of the center of the TC. When the center of the TC was located over the sea (land), the extreme rainfall over land was most likely to appear on its northwestern (northeastern) side with a dispersed (concentrated) distribution. TCER has unique climatic characteristics relative to the TC precipitation.


台风极端降水(TCER)给我国带来严重洪涝灾害, 研究其气候特征对我国台风业务预报和防台减灾具有重要意义。本文利用1960-2019年中国气象局热带气旋最佳路径资料和客观天气图分析法(OSAT)台风降水数据, 定义单站台风日降水量第99百分位作为台风极端降水(TCER)阈值, 对近60年影响我国(含台湾)TCER的时空分布特征进行了统计分析。

结果表明:我国TCER阈值具有显著的区域差异, 总体由东南沿海向西北内陆递减, 最大阈值(578mm, 台湾阿里山)约为最小阈值(16.1mm, 山西五寨)的35倍; TCER强度除了台湾和华南沿海为高值中心外, 内陆也有零星高值中心, 尽管北方地区出现TCER的频率不高, 但强度大、局地性突出; 从长期趋势看, TCER频次(强度)有波动增多趋势; TCER具有群发性特征, 在出现过极端降水的台风里, 平均每个台风有12站次突破极端降水阈值; 发生极端降水的台风陆上降水过程以4-6日居多, 而极端降水多出现在第3-5天, 即TCER多出现在台风陆上降水过程后半段。TCER最易(41.0%)发生在8月份。造成我国大范围极端降水的台风有两类盛行路径, 一是以西北行路径影响(登陆)台湾之后进而登陆我国东南沿海, 之后深入我国内陆地区。二是以西北行或西行路径影响(登陆)海南岛及两广地区。

多样本平均而言, 较强(弱)台风对应的极端降水量较大(小), 但单个台风强度和TCER强度之间具有不确定性, 弱台风甚至台风残涡也可带来强TCER。相比台风中心位于海上(台风登陆前或者擦边台风)时, 台风登陆后更易造成极端降水。当台风中心位于海上(陆地)时, 影响我国的台风其西北(东北)象限最易出现极端降水, 其分布范围相对分散(集中)。量级越大的TCER越集中在台风中心附近发生。TCER的气候特征联系并区别于台风降水的气候特征。

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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (GrantNo. 2019YFC1510205), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 42175008, 41775048 and 41930972), National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2015CB452804), the Open Grants of the State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather (Grant Nos. 2021LASW-A12 and 2020LASW-B06) and Huafeng Meteorological Media Group Essential Research Project (Grant No. CY-J2020002). The best-track data is from The authors are grateful to the insightful editors and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that highly improved the quality of this paper.

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Correspondence to Dajun Zhao.

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Article Highlights

• The TCER threshold decreased from the southeast coast to the northwest inland, with the maximum precipitation about 35 times higher than the minimum.

• TCER was characterized by group occurrence and occurred most frequently in August (41.0%).

• When the center of the TC was located over the sea (land), extreme rainfall over land was more likely to appear on its northwestern (northeastern) side.

This paper is a contribution to the special issue on Climate Change and Variability of Tropical Cyclone Activity.

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Li, Y., Zhao, D. Climatology of Tropical Cyclone Extreme Rainfall over China from 1960 to 2019. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 39, 320–332 (2022).

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Key words

  • tropical cyclones
  • extreme rainfall
  • threshold
  • track characteristics
  • intensity characteristics


  • 台风
  • 极端降水
  • 阈值
  • 路径特征
  • 强度特征