Seasonal variation of climatological bypassing flows around the Tibetan Plateau

Research paper by Qiang Li, Renhe Zhang

Indexed on: 12 Aug '12Published on: 12 Aug '12Published in: Advances in Atmospheric Sciences


The present study investigated diagnostically the seasonal variation of the bypassing flows caused by the splitting effect of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). The relationships among the splitting bypassing flows around the TP to precipitation in China, the westerly jet stream, and the thermal status over the TP are revealed. The bypassing flows occur from the 1st to the 22nd pentad and from the 59th to the 73rd pentad, respectively, and they disappear from the 29th to the 58th pentad. They are strongest in winter from the 1st to the 22nd pentad and from the 59th to the 73rd pentad, respectively. During the rebuilding of the bypassing flows from mid-October to mid-February, they are the main cause of precipitation over southeastern China. The enhancement of the bypassing flow intensity in March can cause the precipitation to increase in the early stage of the persistent spring rain over southeastern China. From winter to summer, the seasonal transition of the bypassing flows in the lower troposphere precedes that of the westerly jet stream axis in the upper troposphere to the west of the TP by ∼4 pentads, while from summer to winter lags by ∼4 pentads. The seasonal variation of the thermal status over the TP plays an important role in the bypassing flows around the TP. The strengthening of the heating over the TP weakens the bypassing flows, and the increase in cooling over the TP is related to the rebuilding and strengthening of the bypassing flows.