Wet-to-dry shift over Southwest China in 1994 tied to the warming of tropical warm pool

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Lin Wang
  • Gang Huang
  • Wen Chen
  • Wen Zhou
  • Weiqiang Wang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3111–3123
Journal / PublicationClimate Dynamics
Volume51
Issue number7-8
Early online date10 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Abstract

The autumn climate in Southwest China (SWC) experienced a notable wet-to-dry shift in 1994. Associated with this change in precipitation, decadal signatures of large-scale atmospheric circulation and SST identify a likely dynamical origin: the tropical warm pool (TWP) consisting of tropical northwest Pacific (TNWP, 3°S–12°N and 110°E–150°E) sector and tropical east Indian Ocean (TEI, 10°S–3°N and 80°E–110°E) sector. A cold-to-warm phase switch of TWP SST occurred in 1994, coinciding exactly with the timing of the regime transition of SWC precipitation. During post-1994 period, warm states in the TNWP and TEI sectors plays in a synergistic fashion to invoke dry decades in SWC. On the one side, warm SST over the TNWP sector excites an anomalous cyclone centered on the South China Sea directed opposite to the climatological moisture transport and strengthened zonal wind to its west accompanied by a weakening of the poleward flux; on the other side, warm SST over the TEI sector acts to intensify inflow into TEI with less concurrent transfer of moisture to SWC and to steer moisture to the northern Arabic Sea and away from the SWC-oriented track. Meanwhile, the troposphere over SWC is capped by subsidence, which is jointly contributed by TNWP and TEI. It then follows a reduced moisture supply, suppressed convective activity, and anomalous divergence in SWC, bringing a precipitation deficit there. In contrast, cold TWP SST during 1961–1994 favors wet conditions in SWC, given a perfectly symmetrical circulation pattern. Further, the dominant role of TWP is confirmed, because the modeled response to TWP SST forcing alone bears a great resemblance to the observed evidence. Finally, it is also found that the teleconnected influence induced by TWP is stronger in southern SWC than in northern SWC, which explains the south-north gradient of interdecadal signal of SWC precipitation.

Research Area(s)

  • Decadal shift, Drought, Southwest China, SST, Tropical warm pool

Citation Format(s)

Wet-to-dry shift over Southwest China in 1994 tied to the warming of tropical warm pool. / Wang, Lin; Huang, Gang; Chen, Wen; Zhou, Wen; Wang, Weiqiang.

In: Climate Dynamics, Vol. 51, No. 7-8, 10.2018, p. 3111–3123.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review