Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 7–8, pp 2035–2047 | Cite as

The western Pacific subtropical high after the 1970s: westward or eastward shift?

  • Yanyan HuangEmail author
  • Huijun Wang
  • Ke Fan
  • Yongqi Gao


The interdecadal variation of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) in summer (June–July–August) during 1979–2009 relative to 1948–1978 was investigated based upon NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data. Since the WPSH appeared to be much more stable and stronger in the lower troposphere compared to the middle troposphere and had great influences on the East Asian summer climate with the lower-level southerlies or southwesterlies at its western and southern edge, the interdecadal changes of the WPSH at low levels were examined in this study. Over the area of interest (~15°–30°N, 120°–150°E), the 850-hPa anticyclone circulation was weakened, the sea level pressure decreased, the relative vorticity at middle and lower levels (1,000–600 hPa) increased, and the maximum meridional wind at each latitude (between 17.5° and 32.5°N) moved eastward. All the above decadal variations suggested that the WPSH recessed eastward during 1979–2009 relative to 1948–1978, which can be displayed in the 850-hPa eddy geopotential height field. In association with the eastward recession of the WPSH, the water vapor transport from the Indian summer monsoon played a more important role in the summer precipitation over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River valley during 1979–2009 relative to 1948–1978.


Interdecadal variation Western Pacific subtropical high East Asian summer monsoon 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41210007), the Strategic Ethnological Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA05090426), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41130103), and the CAS-CSIRO Cooperative Research Program (Grant No. GJHZ1223).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanyan Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Huijun Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ke Fan
    • 1
    • 4
  • Yongqi Gao
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Climate Change Research CenterChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  5. 5.Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing CenterBergenNorway

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