Climate Change Editors' Highlights

Meiyu: The Dragon Dictating Rainfall Variability in East Asia

According to Chinese myth, rain is water poured out of a dragon; in reality is the Meiyu that dictates rainfall in eastern Asia, producing rain belts jumping from south in spring to north in summer.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


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Meiyu is the Chinese name for the monsoon season in East Asia. Understanding the mechanisms and variations of the Meiyu system is key for weather forecasting and climate projection in Eastern Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea.

Ding et al. [2020] review the multi-time scale variability of the Meiyu. They also examine its extreme precipitation events, as well as the relationships between the multi-scale variability of Meiyu and the Asian summer monsoon. The foci are placed on the long-term trend, interdecadal, interannual, and seasonal variations, and the prediction skills of extreme precipitation by operational climate models.

On the multi–time scales from quasi-biweekly to intra-seasonal and inter-annual, and in regions from the tropics to middle and high latitudes, the authors explore the impact of various factors and meteorological regimes on the variability of the East Asian Meiyu. These include the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Tropospheric Biennial Oscillation (TBO) on inter-annual time scale, the variations of East Asian summer monsoon on decadal time scale, and the continued impacts of global warming, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) on inter-decadal scale and long-term trend.

While being a mighty natural system, the Meiyu is susceptible to such anthropogenic effects as global warming, urbanization, and aerosol effects, as seen in some specific characteristics including significantly weakened continuous rain, uneven spatial distribution of precipitation, and increased (decreased) number of strong (weak) precipitation days.

Citation: Ding, Y., Liang, P., Liu, Y., & Zhang, Y. [2020]. Multiscale variability of Meiyu and its prediction: A new review. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2019JD031496. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD031496

—Zhanqing Li, Editor, JGR: Atmospheres

Text © 2020. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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