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Moisture source variations for summer rainfall in different intensity classes over Huaihe River Valley, China

Abstract

Rainfall is one of the most influential climatic factors on regional development and environment, and changes in rainfall intensity are of specific concern. In the Huaihe River Valley (HRV), heavy rainfall is a primary trigger of floods. However, the difference in the origin of moisture contributed to heavy rainfall and light rainfall is rarely studied and not entirely understood. This study analyzes the rainfall moisture sources in association with different categories of rainfall intensity over the HRV during 1980–2018 using the Water Accounting Model with ERA-Interim reanalysis and precipitation observations from China Meteorological Administration. The results show that the moisture for the HRV summer rainfall is mainly from terrestrial subregion (40%), the Indian Ocean (27%), the Pacific Ocean (25%), and the local HRV (8%). In addition, moisture sources differ substantially between light and heavy rainfall. Specifically, the local HRV contributes more moisture to light rainfall (12%) compared to heavy rainfall (4%), whereas the Indian Ocean contributes more to heavy rainfall (33%) than to light rainfall (20%). The grids located in the southern source region make higher contribution ratio in heavy rainfall than in light rainfall. These results suggest that moisture from distant oceanic areas, especially the Indian Ocean, plays a crucial role in intense summer rainfall, whereas moisture from the land sources covering local grids plays a dominant role in light rainfall in the HRV.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41790424, 41730645, 41701033), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant no. XDA20060402), and the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (Grant no. 2019QZKK0208). L. Li acknowledges the funding support from the National Science Foundation (ICER-1663138). Ruud van der Ent acknowledges funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), project number 016.Veni.181.015.

Funding

This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41790424, 41730645, 41701033), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant no. XDA20060402), the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (Grant no. 2019QZKK0208), the National Science Foundation (ICER-1663138) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), project number 016.Veni.181.015.

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QT designed the experiments, and YL and CZ carried them out. YL performed the calculation, and RJE provided the technical and code support. YL prepared the manuscript, and all co-authors contributed to the interpretation of the analysis and writing of the paper.

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Correspondence to Qiuhong Tang.

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Cite this article

Liu, Y., Zhang, C., Tang, Q. et al. Moisture source variations for summer rainfall in different intensity classes over Huaihe River Valley, China. Clim Dyn 57, 1121–1133 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-021-05762-4

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Keywords

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Water Accounting Model
  • Moisture source
  • Huaihe River
  • Indian Ocean