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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science