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Trends in autumn rain of West China from 1961 to 2014

Zhang, Chi, Wang, Zunya, Zhou, Botao, Li, Yonghua, Tang, Hongyu, Xiang, Bo
Theoretical and applied climatology 2019 v.135 no.1-2 pp. 533-544
autumn, climate, rain, rain intensity, water vapor, wet season, China
Autumn rain of West China is a typical climate phenomenon, which is characterized by continuous rainy days and large rainfall amounts and exerts profound impacts on the economic society. Based on daily precipitation data from 524 observation stations for the period of 1961–2014, this article comprehensively examined secular changes in autumn rain of West China, including its amount, frequency, intensity, and associated extremes. The results generally show a significant reduction of rainfall amount and rainy days and a significant enhancement of mean rainfall intensity for the average of West China during autumn (September–October) since 1961. Meanwhile, decreasing trends are consistently observed in the maximum daily rainfall, the longest consecutive rainy days, the greatest consecutive rainfall amount, and the frequencies of the extreme daily rainfall, consecutive rainfall, and consecutive rainfall process. Further analysis indicates that the decreases of autumn rainfall and related extremes in West China are associated with the decreases in both water vapor content and atmospheric unstable stratification during the past decades. On the regional scale, some differences exist in the changes of autumn rainfall between the eastern and western parts of West China. Besides, it is found that the autumn rainy season tends to start later and terminate earlier particularly in eastern West China.