Distribution of seasonal rainfall in the East Asian monsoon region

Peking University, Peping, Beijing, China
Theoretical and Applied Climatology (Impact Factor: 2.02). 01/2002; 73(3):151-168. DOI: 10.1007/s00704-002-0679-3


¶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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    • "It indicates the end of the dry season and the beginning of the summer rainy season. The onset of SCSSM is considered as the beginning of the East Asian summer monsoon (Tao and Chen, 1987; Lau and Yang, 1997; Wang et al., 2004; Li and Zhang, 2009), and it is a key indicator characterizing the abrupt transition from the dry to the rainy season in East Asia (Qian et al., 2002; Wang and Ding, 2006; Ding, 2007). After its onset, the summer monsoon propagates northward and the Meiyu rain belt establishes itself in South China, the Yangtze and the Huaihe River Basins; the Changma is forming over the Korean Peninsula; and the Baiu is taking place over Japan (Wang and LinHo, 2002; Wang, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article investigates the year-to-year variability of the onset of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM) and the possible influences exerted by the surface temperature anomalies over land and sea. Early and late monsoon onsets are related to the temperature anomalies in different regions. It is found that an early onset follows negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the central tropical Pacific (CP) Ocean during the preceding winter and spring, corresponding to a CP La Niña. In contrast, a late onset is preceded by the negative surface air temperature anomalies over land in the central Asian continent. Negative SST anomalies in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and the associated warming in the western Pacific induce an anomalously enhanced Walker circulation. This anomalous Walker cell leads to an increase in convection, causing more latent heat release and a subsequent decrease of surface pressure. The anomalous Walker cell and the enhanced latent heat release weaken the Western North Pacific subtropical high and the Philippine Sea anticyclone, favouring a westerly flow from the Indian Ocean, resulting in an early SCSSM onset. On the other hand, negative land surface temperature anomalies cool the atmosphere over land, and locally modify the Hadley circulation, accompanied by the anomalous divergence in the low-level atmosphere over the western equatorial Pacific. This divergence anomaly reduces the latent heat release and strengthens the anticyclone in the Philippine Sea, thus preventing the westward extension of the westerlies from the Indian Ocean and causing a late SCSSM onset.
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    • "More than half of the total rainfall amount is concentrated in June and July (Kim et al., 2002), while precipitation of winter is less than 10% of the total precipitation (Min et al., 2011). In other words, precipitation in Korea is unpredictable and has large spatio-temporal variability due to the Asian monsoon season (Qian et al., 2002; Chen et al., 2004; KMA, 2006). Therefore, Korea often suffers from drought or flood even though with high annual precipitation (Lee et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: An understanding soil moisture spatio-temporal variability is essential for hydrological and meteorological research. This work aims at evaluating the spatio-temporal variability of near surface soil moisture and assessing dominant meteorological factors that influence spatial variability over the Korean peninsula from May 1 to September 29, 2011. The results of Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests for goodness of fit showed that all applied distributions (normal, log-normal and generalized extreme value: GEV) were appropriate for the datasets and the GEV distribution described best spatial soil moisture patterns. The relationship between the standard deviation and coefficient of variation (CV) of soil moisture with mean soil moisture contents showed an upper convex shape and an exponentially negative pattern, respectively. Skewness exhibited a decreasing pattern with increasing mean soil moisture contents and kurtosis exhibited the U-shaped relationship. In this regional scale (99,720 km 2), we found that precipitation indicated temporally stable features through an ANOVA test considering the meteorological (i.e. precipitation , insolation, air temperature, ground temperature and wind speed) and physical (i.e. soil texture, elevation, topography, and land use) factors. Spatial variability of soil moisture affected by the meteorological forcing is shown as result of the relationship between the meteorological factors (precipitation, insolation, air temperature and ground temperature) and the standard deviation of relative difference of soil moisture contents (SDRD t) which implied the spatial variability of soil moisture. The SDRD t showed a positive relationship with the daily mean precipitation, while a negative relationship with inso-lation, air temperature and ground temperature. The variation of spatial soil moisture pattern is more sensitive to change in ground temperature rather than air temperature changes. Therefore, spatial variability of soil moisture is greatly affected by meteorological factors and each of the meteorological factors has certain duration of effect on soil moisture spatial variability in regional scale. The results provide an insight into the soil moisture spatio-temporal patterns affected by meteorological and physical factors simultaneously, as well as the design criteria of regional soil moisture monitoring network at regional scale.
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    • "The decrease is gradual, from 1,000–2,000 mm on the southeastern coast to 100–200 mm in the northwest. The spatial distribution and seasonal variation of precipitation in China have been widely discussed (Qian et al. 2002; Yang et al. 2010; Wang et al. 2011). Typically, precipitation in China has seasonal characteristics and is largely controlled by the Asian monsoon (Lau and Weng 2001; Lau and Yang 1997). "

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