Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
07 Jan 2008
07 Jan 2008

Sand/dust storm processes in Northeast Asia and associated large-scale circulations

Y. Q. Yang, Q. Hou, C. H. Zhou, H. L. Liu, Y. Q. Wang, and T. Niu

Abstract. This paper introduces a definition of sand/dust storm process as a new standard and idea of sand/dust storm (SDS) groups a number of SDS-events in Northeast Asia. Based on the meteorological data from WMO/GOS network, 2456 Chinese surface stations and NCEP-NCAR reanalysis, the sand/dust storm processes in Northeast Asia in spring 2000–2006 are investigated. And the evolutions of anomalies of general circulation in the troposphere are analyzed by comparing the spring having most and least occurrences of SDS in year 2006 and 2003. Associated with the noticeably increased occurrence of SDS processes in spring 2006, the anomalies in 3-D structure of general circulation especially in the mid-and high latitudes of the Northen Hemisphere (NH) are revealed. The transition period from the winter of 2005 to spring 2006 has witnessed a fast-developed high center over the circumpolar vortex area in the upper troposphere, which pushes the polar vortex more southwards to mid-latitudes with a more extensive area over the east NH. In spring 2006, there are the significant circulation anomalies in the middle troposphere from the Baikal Lake to northern China with a stronger southward wind anomaly over Northeast Asia. Compared with a normal year, stronger meridional wind with a southward wind anomaly also in the lower troposphere prevail over the arid and semiarid regions in Mongolia and northern China during spring 2006. The positive anomalies of surface high pressure registered an abnormal high of 4–10 hPa in the Tamil Peninsular make a stronger cold air source for the repeated cold air outbreak across the desert areas in spring 2006 resulting in the most frequent SDS seasons in the last 10 years in Northeast Asia.

Final-revised paper