Monday, 30 August 2010
Characteristics of the precipitation over the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau
Alpine Ballroom B (Resort at Squaw Creek)
Variations of precipitation over the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau are analyzed by using data over station Yaan including daytime, nighttime, and daily-mean precipitation and satellite-derived information. A comparison of some features over Yaan and other stations is also carried out. Over Yaan, light-moderate precipitation contributes significantly to both the number of rainy days (96.9%) and the amount (66.9%) of total precipitation. The light-moderate precipitation occurs more frequently at nighttime than at daytime (by 44.5 days, or 33.4%, and by 520.6 mm, or 134.4%, each year), and the nighttime precipitation is mainly in the form of light-moderate precipitation. The number of rainy days and the amount of total precipitation have decreased from the 1950s to the 1970s and during the recent 20 years, associated with negative trends of light-moderate precipitation. Similar features are also found in the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite data. Local convective precipitation is the main form of the light-moderate precipitation over Yaan. The absorption of latent heat at the lower troposphere and the release of latent heat at the upper troposphere are larger at nighttime than at daytime by 1-2 times and 2-3 times, respectively. Both the peak value and the total release of latent heat over Yaan are significantly larger than those over the Tibetan Plateau, eastern China, and the western Pacific warm pool. These distinct local characteristics of the “rain city” Yaan are closely related to the interaction between the atmospheric circulation and the steep topography on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.