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Changes in urban-related precipitation in the summer over three city clusters in China

Zhao, Deming, Wu, Jian
Theoretical and applied climatology 2018 v.134 no.1-2 pp. 83-93
evaporation, models, monsoon season, rain, remote sensing, river deltas, rivers, runoff, summer, urban areas, wind speed, China, Yangtze River
The impacts of urban surface expansion on the summer precipitations over three city clusters [Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), and the Pearl River Delta (PRD)] in eastern China under different monsoonal circulation backgrounds were explored using the nested fifth-generation Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model version 3.7 (MM5 V3.7), including the urban-related thermal and dynamical parameters. Ten-year integrations were performed using satellite image data from 2000 and 2010 to represent the urban surface distributions and expansions in China. Changes in the precipitation revealed obvious subregional characteristics, which could be explained by the influences of the vertical wind velocity and moisture flux. With urban-related warming, vertical wind motion generally intensified over urban surface-expanded areas. Meanwhile, the increase in impervious surface areas induced rapid rainwater runoff into drains, and the Bowen ratio increased over urban areas, which further contributed to changes in the local moisture fluxes in these regions. The intensities of the changes in precipitation were inconsistent over the three city clusters, although the changes in vertical motion and local evaporation were similar, which indicates that the changes in precipitation cannot be solely explained by the changes in the local evaporation-related moisture flux. The changes in precipitation were also influenced by the changes in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) circulation and the corresponding moisture flux, which are expressed in marked subregional characteristics. Therefore, the influence of urban-related precipitation over the three city clusters in China, for which changes in moisture flux from both the impacted local evaporation and EASM circulation should be considered, varied based on the precipitation changes of only a single city.