CR 32:209-218 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/cr032209

Spatial and temporal variability of precipitation in East China from 1880 to 1999

Weihong Qian1,*, Zicheng Yu2, Yafen Zhu1

1Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 31 Williams Drive, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA

ABSTRACT: In this study, updated seasonal precipitation time series for 1880–1999 from 71 sites in East China were analyzed to identify spatial and temporal precipitation variability, to document possible climate regime changes, and to place the extreme climate events and disasters in the historical context of the last century. The records were constructed using a combination of historical documents and instrumental records. During the last 100 yr (1900–1999), dry and wet climate anomalies based on 3 decade averaged precipitation tended to initiate in NW China and shifted eastward or southeastward. In the spring and winter seasons, dry or wet anomaly centers first appeared in NW China and shifted eastward to North China and NE China. In the summer and autumn seasons, dry or wet centers also occurred first in NW China and shifted southeastward to the central and lower Yangtze Valley regions and South China. Annual mean precipitation series from 6 regions showed that the 1920s were the driest decade in East China during the last 100 yr.

KEY WORDS: Precipitation · Regime shift · East China · 20th century · Decadal rainfall anomalies

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