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How Well do Existing Indices Measure the Strength of the East Asian Winter Monsoon?


doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-9094-3

  • Defining the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) with a simple index has been a difficult task. This paper elaborates on the meanings of 18 existing EAWM strength indices and classifies them into four categories: low level wind indices, upper zonal wind shear indices, east-west pressure contrast indices, and East Asian trough indices. The temporal/spatial performance and prediction potential of these indices are then analyzed for the 1957--2001 period. It reveals that on the decadal timescale, most indices except the east--west pressure contrast indices can well capture the continuous weakening of the EAWM around 1986. On the interannual timescale, the low level wind indices and East Asian trough indices have the best predictability based on knowledge of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation, respectively. All the 18 existing indices can well describe the EAWM-related circulation, precipitation, and lower tropospheric air temperature anomalies. However, the variations of surface air temperature over large areas of central China cannot be well captured by most indices, which is possibly related to topographic effects. The results of this study may provide a possible reference for future studies of the EAWM.
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    [2] SU Qin, LU Riyu, LI Chaofan, 2014: Large-scale Circulation Anomalies Associated with Interannual Variation in Monthly Rainfall over South China from May to August, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 31, 273-282.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-013-3051-x
    [3] JU Jianhua, Lü Junmei, CAO Jie, REN Juzhang, 2005: Possible Impacts of the Arctic Oscillation on the Interdecadal Variation of Summer Monsoon Rainfall in East Asia, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 22, 39-48.  doi: 10.1007/BF02930868
    [4] LI Weiping, XUE Yongkang, 2005: Numerical Simulation of the Impact of Vegetation Index on the Interannual Variation of Summer Precipitation in the Yellow River Basin, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 22, 865-876.  doi: 10.1007/BF02918686
    [5] CHEN Guanghua, HUANG Ronghui, 2008: Influence of Monsoon over the Warm Pool on Interannual Variation on Tropical Cyclone Activity over the Western North Pacific, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 25, 319-328.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0319-7
    [6] GAO Jianyun, Tim LI, 2012: Interannual Variation of Multiple Tropical Cyclone Events in the Western North Pacific, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 29, 1279-1291.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1031-1
    [7] GAO Jianyun, Tim LI, 2012: Interannual Variation of Multiple Tropical Cyclone Events in the Western North Pacific, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 29, 1279-1291.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1031-1
    [8] WU Zhiwei, LI Jianping, 2008: Prediction of the Asian-Australian Monsoon Interannual Variations with the Grid-Point Atmospheric Model of IAP LASG (GAMIL), ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 25, 387-394.  doi: 0.1007/s00376-008-0387-8
    [9] LIU Jing, ZHAI Panmao, 2014: Changes in Climate Regionalization Indices in China during 1961-2010, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 31, 374-384.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-013-3017-z
    [10] PENG Jingbei, CHEN Lieting, ZHANG Qingyun, 2014: The Relationship between the El Nio/La Nia Cycle and the Transition Chains of Four Atmospheric Oscillations. Part I: The Four Oscillations, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 31, 468-479.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-013-2275-0
    [11] YAN Hongming, YANG Hui, YUAN Yuan, LI Chongyin, 2011: Relationship Between East Asian Winter Monsoon and Summer Monsoon, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 28, 1345-1356.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-011-0014-y
    [12] BIAN Jianchun, YANG Peicai, 2005: Interdecadal Variations of Phase Delays Between Two Ni(n)o Indices at Different Time Scales, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 22, 122-125.  doi: 10.1007/BF02930875
    [13] Wang Huijun, Xue Feng, Zhou Guangqing, 2002: The Spring Monsoon in South China and Its Relationship to Large-Scale Circulation Features, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 19, 651-664.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-002-0005-0
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    [15] Mengyu DENG, Riyu LU, Chaofan LI, 2022: Contrasts between the Interannual Variations of Extreme Rainfall over Western and Eastern Sichuan in Mid-summer, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 39, 999-1011.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1219-3
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 July 2010
Manuscript revised: 10 July 2010
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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How Well do Existing Indices Measure the Strength of the East Asian Winter Monsoon?

  • 1. Center for Monsoon System research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, Key Laboratory of Global Change and Marine-Atmospheric Chemistry, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen 361005,Center for Monsoon System research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190

Abstract: Defining the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) with a simple index has been a difficult task. This paper elaborates on the meanings of 18 existing EAWM strength indices and classifies them into four categories: low level wind indices, upper zonal wind shear indices, east-west pressure contrast indices, and East Asian trough indices. The temporal/spatial performance and prediction potential of these indices are then analyzed for the 1957--2001 period. It reveals that on the decadal timescale, most indices except the east--west pressure contrast indices can well capture the continuous weakening of the EAWM around 1986. On the interannual timescale, the low level wind indices and East Asian trough indices have the best predictability based on knowledge of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation, respectively. All the 18 existing indices can well describe the EAWM-related circulation, precipitation, and lower tropospheric air temperature anomalies. However, the variations of surface air temperature over large areas of central China cannot be well captured by most indices, which is possibly related to topographic effects. The results of this study may provide a possible reference for future studies of the EAWM.

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