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The Southwest China Flood of July 2018 and Its Causes

1,2,3, 1,2,4,*, 1, 5, 1,2 and 1,2
1
Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2
College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Public Meteorological Service Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
4
Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, China
5
Laboratory for Climate Studies and CMA–NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050247
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Climate)
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PDF [1903 KB, uploaded 6 May 2019]
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Abstract

Excessive rainfall was observed over Southwest China in July 2018, leading to floods in several major tributaries of the Yangtze River and landslide and debris flow in the neighboring provinces. The rainfall during 7–11 July was unusually heavy and broke the record that can be traced back to 1961. The occurrence of the excessive rain can be attributed to the anomalous convection over the western North Pacific and the presence of a mid-latitude Rossby wave train. On one hand, the convection over the western North Pacific was anomalously strong in July 2018, and it could have excited the negative phase of the Pacific–Japan pattern and led to a northwestward shift of the western Pacific subtropical high. Hence, the water vapor transport toward inland China including Southwest China was enhanced, providing a favorable moisture environment for precipitation. On the other hand, a mid-latitude Rossby wave train was observed to propagate from Northern Europe towards East Asia, which was conducive to anomalous ascending motion over Southwest China via warm advection and differential vorticity advection, creating a favorable dynamical condition for precipitation. As a result, the combination of the two effects mentioned above led to the occurrence of the flood over Southwest China in July 2018. View Full-Text
Keywords: El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); East Asian summer monsoon; rainfall; Pacific-Japan (PJ) pattern El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); East Asian summer monsoon; rainfall; Pacific-Japan (PJ) pattern
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Wang, L.; Wang, L.; Liu, Y.; Gu, W.; Xu, P.; Chen, W. The Southwest China Flood of July 2018 and Its Causes. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 247.

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