Summer High Temperature Extremes over China Linked to the Pacific Meridional Mode

Ming Luo, Ngar Cheung Lau, Wei Zhang, Qiang Zhang, Zhen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study investigates the association between summer high temperature extremes (HTEs) over China and the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) that is characterized by an anomalous north-south sea surface temperature gradient and an anomalous surface circulation over the northeastern subtropical Pacific. It is found that the HTE activities over most parts of southern China (particularly eastern China) are prominently intensified during the positive PMM phase and weakened during the negative phase. Further examinations suggest that thePMMis linked with HTEs in China through processes that entail both eastward and westward development of signals emanating from the PMM site. The westward development is associated with the formation of an anomalous low-level cyclone over the western North Pacific (WNP), which may be viewed as a Matsuno-Gill-Type response to the off-equatorial heating in the eastern Pacific. This circulation change is accompanied by anomalous ascent overWNPand northern China, and subsidence over eastern China. On the other hand, the eastward development process is linked to the PMM-induced displacement of the East Asian jet stream and the generation of a midlatitude Rossby wave train. In the positive PMM phase, the above circulation changes are accompanied by anomalous air subsidence and enhanced adiabatic heating, reduced precipitation, anomalous lower-level anticyclone, and rising surface pressure over the eastern part of China. Moreover, the land surface of that region receives more solar radiation. Opposite changes are discernible over northern China. These changes are favorable for the occurrence and persistence of HTEs over eastern China and tend to suppress HTEs over northern China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5905-5917
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Summer High Temperature Extremes over China Linked to the Pacific Meridional Mode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this