Temporal and Spatial Patterns of Seasonal Precipitation Variability in China, 1951-1999

Yuk Yee YAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rainfall variability in China for the period from 1951 to 1999 was investigated. Monthly rainfall data for 160 stations were obtained from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. Mean seasonal rainfall amounts were grouped into four distinct precipitation regions by cluster analysis. These regions differed in size and extent in each season and were related to the rainfall-generating mechanism operating at that time of year. The Asian monsoon played a major role in shaping the precipitation regime. Local topography also helped in casting the seasonal variability patterns within regions. To understand the impact of large scale circulation on rainfall variability, areally averaged anomaly percentages were correlated with major atmospheric teleconnection features. It was discovered that the Polar-Eurasia (POL) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) index were positively associated with winter precipitation, indicating the significance of the winter monsoon in producing the rainfall pattern. Negligible effects of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), West Pacific (WP), and North Pacific (NP) patterns on precipitation were observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-301
Number of pages21
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Monsoon
  • Precipitation variability
  • Teleconnections


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