Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
Research article
23 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 23 Mar 2016

Patterns and trends of high-impact weather in China during 1959–2014

Jun Shi, Kangmin Wen, and Linli Cui

Abstract. The spatial and temporal characteristics of the frequencies of four types of high-impact weather (HIW), i.e. snowfall, thunderstorms, fog and hailstorms, were analysed in China during 1959–2014. Results indicate a significant decrease in the number of snowfall days, thunderstorm days and thunderstorm spells in all six regions of China, with regional decreasing rates of 0.1–3.4 days, 1.6–5.1 days and 0.23–0.77 times per decade respectively. The number of foggy days, hailstorm days and snowfall spells decreased at rates of 0.2–1.8 days, 0.1–0.7 days and 0.14–0.44 times per decade respectively in almost all regions and fog and hailstorm spells decreased at rates of 0.06–0.17 and 0.001–0.043 times per decade respectively in most regions of China. Spatially, there was more snowfall in northeastern China and western China, and more thunderstorms in southern China and southwestern China. The number of fog events was larger in some high mountain stations, eastern China and central China. Hailstorms were concentrated on Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. Over the past 56 years, snowfall days, thunderstorm days and thunderstorm spells decreased in most parts of China, and hailstorm days decreased in northeastern China, most parts of northern China and Tibet, southern Qinghai and western Sichuan. The spatial trends of foggy days, foggy spells, snowfall spells and hailstorm spells were not significant in most parts of China. With global warming, some types of HIW are likely to increase in their intensities, so more mitigation and adaptation strategies are still essential for local government and the public in China.

Final-revised paper