Diurnal variations of warm-season precipitation over Northern China

Huizhong He, Fuqing Zhang

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147 Scopus citations


This study examines the diurnal variations of the warm-season precipitation over northern China using the high-resolution precipitation products obtained from the Climate Prediction Center's morphing technique (CMORPH) during May-August of 2003-09. The areas of focus are the Yanshan-Taihangshan Mountain ranges along the east peripheries of the Loess and Inner Mongolian Plateaus and the adjacent North China Plains. It is found that the averaged peak in local precipitation begins early in the afternoon near the top of the mountain ranges and propagates downslope and southeastward at a speed of ~13 m s-1. The peak reaches the central North China Plains around midnight and the early morning hours resulting in a broad area of nocturnal precipitation maxima over the plains. The diurnal precipitation peak (minimum) is closely collocated with the upward (downward) branch of a mountain-plains solenoid (MPS) circulation. Both the MPS and a low-level southwesterly nocturnal jet are likely to be jointly responsible for the nighttime precipitation maxima over the plains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1025
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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