Observation of strong winds on the northern slopes of Mount Everest in monsoon season

Fanglin Sun, Yaoming Ma, Zeyong Hu, Maoshan Li, Tobias Gerken, Lang Zhang, Cunbo Han, Genhou Sun

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9 Scopus citations


An analysis of the local atmospheric circulation in a northern Himalayan valley in the region of Mount Everest is presented. Data were collected using an automatic weather station over a one-year period in 2014. A ground-based wind profiler radar (WPR) and an in situ GPS radiosonde (RS) were also employed. This study focuses on the characteristics of afternoon strong wind events in the downstream of Rongbuk Valley. We found that: (1) The occurrence of the southwesterly wind during non-monsoon was in good consistency with high values of westerly wind at high levels over this region and confirmed to be driven by the strong westerly jet aloft. (2) The strong afternoon wind in monsoon season has a persistent southeasterly direction, which differs from the prevailing direction of the strong wind in non-monsoon. This flow was found to be independent of the wind aloft and was strongly seasonal, developing at Qomolangma Station (QOMS) when the subtropical jet stream had moved northward and was most stable and strongest in the early monsoon season but before the rainy season. (3) The southeasterly wind in monsoon is colder than local air, suggesting that it is driven by a strong thermal gradient from the Arun Valley to QOMS. Our results contribute to improving our knowledge of local circulation patterns in the Himalayas, and also to gaining a detailed understanding of the mountain chain's role in both the monsoon system and regional transport of atmospheric pollutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-697
Number of pages11
JournalArctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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