Variability of Blowing Dust Weather Frequency over Semi-Arid Areas of China (Baicheng, Jilin Province) and Relationships with Climatic Factors During 1951 - 2006

  • Author(s): Yun-Fei Wu, Ren-Jian Zhang, Cong-Bin Fu, and Zong-Ting Gao
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2010.09.15.01(A)
  • Keywords: Blowing dust weather frequency, Climatic factors, Variability, relationship
  • Citation: Wu, Y. F., R. J. Zhang, C. B. Fu, and Z. T. Gao, 2011: Variability of blowing dust weather frequency over semi-arid areas of China (Baicheng, Jilin Province) and relationships with climatic factors during 1951 - 2006. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 22, 315-324, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2010.09.15.01(A)

We analyzed the variability of blowing dust weather frequency (BDWF) and patterns in climatic factors over Baicheng for the period 1951 - 2006 in this study. The data showed that blowing dust over Baicheng occurs intensively during the spring and shows significant inter-decadal variability. One of the main findings is that the occurrence of blowing dust has significantly decreased after the mid-1980s. The mean wind speed (WS), diurnal temperature range (DTR), relative humidity (RH) and precipitation at Baicheng during the spring show decreasing trends. The decreasing trends of the mean WS and DTR are significant at 99% confidence levels according to the t-test; the dataset also indicated a sharp decrease in WS occurred after the mid-1980s. The mean surface air temperature (SAT) escalated in a fluctuating manner during 1951 - 2006. BDWF at Baicheng was significantly related to local WS, SAT and DTR during the spring [correlation coefficients (CCs) are 0.41, -0.47 and 0.36, respectively]. The correlation between BDWF at Baicheng and selected climatic factors over the sand-dust source regions and transmission paths were also calculated. We found that BDWF is well correlated to the mean WS and SAT during the spring, with CCs of 0.45 and -0.48, respectively. The most likely causes for the dramatic decrease observed in BDWF after the mid-1980s were related to the adjustment of large-scale circulation patterns in response to a decrease of meridional temperature differences, the weakening of steering westerlies and the strengthening of downward motions that has occurred at the middle latitudes of eastern Eurasia in recent decades.

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