Spatiotemporal characteristics of seasonal precipitation and their relationships with ENSO in Central Asia during 1901–2013

Xi Chen*, Shanshan Wang, Zengyun Hu, Qiming ZHOU, Qi Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    The vulnerable ecosystem of the arid and semiarid region in Central Asia is sensitive to precipitation variations. Long-term changes of the seasonal precipitation can reveal the evolution rules of the precipitation climate. Therefore, in this study, the changes of the seasonal precipitation over Central Asia have been analyzed during the last century (1901–2013) based on the latest global monthly precipitation dataset Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Full Data Reanalysis Version 7, as well as their relations with El Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Results show that the precipitation in Central Asia is mainly concentrated in spring and summer seasons, especially in spring. For the whole study period, increasing trends were found in spring and winter, while decreasing trends were detected in summer and fall. Inter-annual signals with 3–7 years multi-periods were derived to explain the dominant components for seasonal precipitation variability. In terms of the dominant spatial pattern, Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) results show that the spatial distribution of EOF-1 mode in summer is different from those of the other seasons during 1901–2013. Moreover, significant ENSO-associated changes in precipitation are evident during the fall, winter, spring, and absent during summer. The lagged associations between ENSO and seasonal precipitation are also obtained in Central Asia. The ENSO-based composite analyses show that these water vapor fluxes of spring, fall and winter precipitation are mainly generated in Indian and North Atlantic Oceans during El Niño. The enhanced westerlies strengthen the western water vapor path for Central Asia, thereby causing a rainy winter.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1341-1368
    Number of pages28
    JournalJournal of Geographical Sciences
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Central Asia
    • ENSO
    • seasonal precipitation
    • spatiotemporal pattern


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