Synoptic-Scale Controls of Persistent Low Temperature and Icy Weather over Southern China in January 2008

Wen Zhou; Chan, Johnny C. L.; Wen Chen; Jian Ling; Pinto, Joaquim G.; Yaping Shao
November 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Nov2009, Vol. 137 Issue 11, p3978
Academic Journal
In January 2008, central and southern China experienced persistent low temperatures, freezing rain, and snow. The large-scale conditions associated with the occurrence and development of these snowstorms are examined in order to identify the key synoptic controls leading to this event. Three main factors are identified: 1) the persistent blocking high over Siberia, which remained quasi-stationary around 65°E for 3 weeks, led to advection of dry and cold Siberian air down to central and southern China; 2) a strong persistent southwesterly flow associated with the western Pacific subtropical high led to enhanced moisture advection from the Bay of Bengal into central and southern China; and 3) the deep inversion layer in the lower troposphere associated with the extended snow cover over most of central and southern China. The combination of these three factors is likely responsible for the unusual severity of the event, and hence a long return period.


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