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Characteristics of the onset, cessation and length of the rainy season in typical mountainous areas in China

Fei Xu, Yangwen Jia*, Cunwen Niu, Jiajia Liu, Chunfeng Hao

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Variation in the onset, cessation and length of the rainy season (ORS, CRS, and LRS, respectively) influences crop growth and food security. In this study, the cumulative precipitation anomaly method, spline interpolation, the Mann-Kendall trend test, and the linear regression were used to investigate the ORS, CRS, LRS and rainfall amount during the rainy season (ARS), their temporal trends for the Taihang Mountain area (THM), the Hengduan Mountain area (HDM), and the Qian-Gui Karst Mountain area (KSTM) in China from 1961 to 2013. The results showed that the rainy season began first in the KSTM, followed by the HDM and finally the THM. The coefficients of variation for the ORS, CRS, LRS and ARS in the THM had the highest values of the three mountainous areas, and therefore agricultural production in the THM faces higher risks. From 1961 to 2013, both the ORS and CRS had the tendencies of becoming earlier, and ARS showed decreasing trends. The decreasing trend magnitudes for the LRS and ARS in the KSTM were the largest of the three typical mountainous regions. Furthermore, ORS become later, CRS earlier, LRS shorter, and ARS decreased significant in the north of the KSTM than that in the south. The results of this study may provide support for planning and decision makers to make adequate preparations to prevent risks and failures, and help farmers optimize production activities.