Understanding the patterns and mechanisms of precipitation variations is important for assessing flood and drought risks and for ensuring sustainable water use. Here, we analyzed the characteristics of annual precipitation changes in eight subregions of China using the Mann–Kendall test based on daily precipitation data from 774 rain gauge stations during 1961–2017. Then, we used the monthly precipitation concentration index (PCI) and daily concentration index (CI) to analyze precipitation concentrations. The results are as follows: (1) PCI and CI in northern China generally decreased with time, indicating a uniform precipitation distribution. Notably, the annual precipitation increased significantly in Xinjiang and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which could alleviate future drought. (2) PCI increased and CI decreased in the plain regions of the Yangtze River and Southeast China, exhibiting high CI values with marked increases of annual precipitation. Such heavy rainfall events combined with high rainfall concentrations could increase the flood risk. (3) A significant PCI increase and CI decrease occurred in Southwest China, where annual precipitation decreased significantly. Regular rainfall decreased notably, which could increase the likelihood of drought hazards. (4) Overall, both indices showed negative trends at most stations; precipitation distribution was generally more uniform over China. These findings improve our understanding of extreme rainfall evolution and water resource distribution over China. Furthermore, PCI and CI can serve as warning tools for disaster control and water resource management.
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