Interdecadal change in the South China Sea summer monsoon withdrawal around the mid-2000s

  • Peng Hu
  • Wen ChenEmail author
  • Shangfeng Chen


In this study, a significant interdecadal change in the South China Sea (SCS) summer monsoon (SCSSM) withdrawal, which occurred around the mid-2000s, is revealed using NCEP-DOE reanalysis, CMAP rainfall, and OLR data. The withdrawal of the SCSSM occurred much later (about 2 weeks) after the mid-2000s. The westerlies and rainfall are stronger around the SCS during the period after the mid-2000s compared to those that occurred before the mid-2000s, which is consistent with the delayed SCSSM withdrawal. The robust and significant increases in rainfall and convection around the SCS and Philippine Sea are dynamically associated with the appearance of an anomalous low-level cyclone around the northern SCS, and the anomalous westerlies at approximately 10°N extend eastward from the Indo-China Peninsula to the western North Pacific (WNP). Anomalous mid-level ascending motion and upper-level divergence were also observed around the Philippine Sea, together with anomalous descending motion and upper-level convergence over the equatorial eastern Indian Ocean. Correspondingly, an anomalous zonal circulation formed between the WNP (upward motion) and eastern Indian Ocean (downward motion). Further analysis indicates that the increasing number and frequent visits to the SCS by the tropical cyclones and enhanced quasi-biweekly oscillation activities may both contribute to the delayed SCSSM withdrawal around the mid-2000s.


South China Sea Summer monsoon withdrawal Interdecadal change Tropical cyclones Intraseasonal oscillations 



We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which led to significant improvement in the manuscript. This study is supported jointly by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No.2016YFA0600604), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41721004), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (QYZDY-SSW-DQC024). PH thanks Yaheng Tan and Shaorou Dong of Sun Yat-sen University and Zhiang Xie and Shuoyi Ding of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics for helpful advice and several discussions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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