AbstractVariations and trends of atmospheric precipitable water (APW) are examined using radiosonde data from Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) from 1995 to 2012 in mainland China. The spatial distribution of the climatological mean APW shows that APW gradually decreases from the southern to the northern regions of mainland China. The seasonal mean pattern of APW shows clear regional difference, except for higher APW in summer (June–August) and lower APW in winter (December–February). Four regions show significantly downward trends in APW. Moreover, the trends of APW calculated using reanalysis datasets are consistent with the results of radiosonde data. Furthermore, the relationship between APW and the general circulation is investigated. The summer East Asian monsoon intensity and El Niño events show positive correlations with APW, whereas the North Atlantic Oscillation shows negative correlation with APW. The downward trend of APW is in accordance with the downward trend of mean column temperature (1000–300 hPa) at most stations, which suggests that decreasing mean column temperature results in decreasing APW in mainland China. Additionally, statistical analysis has revealed the regional trends in APW are not consistent with the regional trends in precipitation, implying that not all the variation of precipitation can be explained by APW.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 3, 2017
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