Assessment of the Pacific decadal oscillation’s contribution to the occurrence of local torrential rainfall in north China
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On 21–22 July 2012, torrential rains hit North China, with the daily precipitation record at Beijing station reaching 160.6 mm; this event is named the Beijing 7–21 case. This paper assesses the likelihood of the occurrence of local torrential rains, such as the Beijing 7–21 case, from the perspective of climate variability. In particular, the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is assessed. There were five extreme events, with daily precipitation records equal to or larger than 160.6 mm, at Beijing station during the period 1951–2012; all of these events happened during negative phases of the PDO. The present analysis indicates that precipitation events more extreme than the Beijing 7–21 case should happen more than once per decade during negative phases of the PDO, but only about once every four decades during positive PDO phases. The negative phase of the PDO is found to be associated with a much greater probability of daily records of southerly winds in North China during summer. Strong southerly summer monsoons are deemed favorable for increasing the occurrence of local extreme rainfall over North China.
KeywordsReturn Period Pacific Decadal Oscillation Empirical Mode Decomposition East Asian Summer Monsoon Extreme Rainfall Event
This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No.2012CB956200), the Special Fund for Public Welfare Industry (meteorology) (Grant No.GYHY201306026), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.41405082 and 51339004) and Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No.8144055).
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