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Spatio-temporal variability of dryness/wetness in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin and correlation with large-scale climatic factors

Abstract

The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin (MLYR) are greatly affected by frequent drought/flooding events and abrupt alternations of these events in China. The purpose of this study is to analyze the spatial and temporal variability of dryness/wetness based on the data obtained from 75 meteorological stations in the MLYR for the period 1960–2015 and investigate the correlations between dryness/wetness and atmospheric circulation factors. The empirical orthogonal function method was applied in this study based on the monthly Standardized Precipitation Index at a 12-month time scale. The first leading pattern captured the same characteristics of dryness/wetness over the entire MLYR area and accounted for 40.87% of the total variance. Both the second and third leading patterns manifested as regional features of variability over the entire MLYR. The cross-wavelet transform method was applied to explore the potential relationship between the three leading patterns and the large-scale climate factors, and finally the relationships between drought/wetness events and climate factors were also analyzed. Our results indicated that the main patterns of dryness/wetness were primarily associated with the Niño 3.4, Indian Ocean Dipole, Southern Oscillation Index and Northern Oscillation Index, with the first pattern exhibiting noticeable periods and remarkable changes in phase with the indices.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the State Key Program of National Natural Science of China (No. 51339004) and National key research and development program (2017YFA0603704).

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Correspondence to Liping Zhang.

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Chen, X., Zhang, L., Zou, L. et al. Spatio-temporal variability of dryness/wetness in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin and correlation with large-scale climatic factors. Meteorol Atmos Phys 131, 487–503 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00703-018-0582-9

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