Potential impacts of northeastern Eurasian snow cover on generation of dust storms in northwestern China during spring

Yun Gon Lee, Chang Hoi Ho, Jhoon Kim, Jinwon Kim

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Abstract

The effects of the northeastern Eurasian snow cover on the frequency of spring dust storms in northwestern China have been examined for the period 1979-2007. Averaged over all 43 stations in northwestern China, a statistically significant relationship has been found between dust-storm frequency (DSF) and Eurasian snow-water equivalent (SWE) during spring: mean DSF of 7.4 and 3.3 days for years of high- and low SWE, respectively. Further analyses reveal that positive SWE anomalies enhance the meridional gradients of the lower tropospheric temperatures and geopotential heights, thereby strengthening westerly jets and zonal wind shear over northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China, the regions of major dust sources. The anomalous atmospheric circulation corresponding to the Eurasian SWE anomalies either reinforces or weakens atmospheric baroclinicity and cyclogenesis, according to the sign of the anomaly, to affect the spring DSF. This study suggests that Eurasian SWE anomalies can be an influential factor of spring DSF in northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-733
Number of pages13
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume41
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 1

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snow water equivalent
dust storm
snow cover
anomaly
cyclogenesis
wind shear
zonal wind
geopotential
westerly
atmospheric circulation
dust
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

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abstract = "The effects of the northeastern Eurasian snow cover on the frequency of spring dust storms in northwestern China have been examined for the period 1979-2007. Averaged over all 43 stations in northwestern China, a statistically significant relationship has been found between dust-storm frequency (DSF) and Eurasian snow-water equivalent (SWE) during spring: mean DSF of 7.4 and 3.3 days for years of high- and low SWE, respectively. Further analyses reveal that positive SWE anomalies enhance the meridional gradients of the lower tropospheric temperatures and geopotential heights, thereby strengthening westerly jets and zonal wind shear over northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China, the regions of major dust sources. The anomalous atmospheric circulation corresponding to the Eurasian SWE anomalies either reinforces or weakens atmospheric baroclinicity and cyclogenesis, according to the sign of the anomaly, to affect the spring DSF. This study suggests that Eurasian SWE anomalies can be an influential factor of spring DSF in northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China.",
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Potential impacts of northeastern Eurasian snow cover on generation of dust storms in northwestern China during spring. / Lee, Yun Gon; Ho, Chang Hoi; Kim, Jhoon; Kim, Jinwon.

In: Climate Dynamics, Vol. 41, No. 3-4, 01.08.2013, p. 721-733.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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