Article

Distribution of seasonal rainfall in the East Asian monsoon region

Theoretical and Applied Climatology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 01/2002; 73(3):151-168. DOI: 10.1007/s00704-002-0679-3

ABSTRACT ¶This study deals with the climatological aspect of seasonal rainfall distribution in the East Asian monsoon region, which
includes China, Korea and Japan. Rainfall patterns in these three countries have been investigated, but little attention has
been paid to the linkages between them. This paper has contributed to the understanding of the inter-linkage of various sub-regions.
Three datasets are used. One consists of several hundred gauges from China and South Korea. The second is based on the Climate
Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP). The two sources of precipitation information are found to
be consistent. The third dataset is the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis 850-hPa winds.

The CMAP precipitation shows that the seasonal transition over East Asia from the boreal winter to the boreal summer monsoon
component occurs abruptly in mid-May. From late March to early May, the spring rainy season usually appears over South China
and the East China Sea, but it is not so pronounced in Japan. The summer monsoon rainy season over East Asia commonly begins
from mid-May to late May along longitudes of eastern China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. A strong quasi-20-day sub-seasonal
oscillation in the precipitation appears to be dominant during this rainy season. The end date of the summer monsoon rainy
season in eastern China and Japan occurs in late July, while the end date in the Korean Peninsula is around early August.
The autumn rainy season in the Korean Peninsula has a major range from mid-August to mid-September. In southern China, the
autumn rainy season prevails from late August to mid-October but a short autumn rainy season from late August to early September
is noted in the lower part of the Yangtze River. In Japan, the autumn rainy season is relatively longer from mid-September
to late October.

The sub-seasonal rainfall oscillation in Korea, eastern China and Japan are explained by, and comparable to, the 850-hPa circulation.
The strong westerly frontal zone can control the location of the Meiyu, the Changma, and the Baiu in East Asia. The reason that the seasonal sea surface temperature change in the northwestern Pacific plays a critical role
in the northward advance of the onset of the summer monsoon rainfall over East Asia is also discussed.

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