Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 48, Issue 21, pp 2366–2370 | Cite as

Typical severe dust storms in northern China during 1954 —2002



Based on China’s available daily observation data from 681 national meteorological stations from 1954 to 2002, a time series of typical severe dust storms in northern China is constructed in terms of the weather process, and the temporal and spatial distribution, and their evolution tendency is analyzed. The results indicate that there were 223 relatively typical severe dust storms in northern China from 1954 to 2002, among which the event on April 10–12, 1979 had the largest affected area. Closely associated with the geographical distribution of deserts, sandy lands and the tracks of strong cold air outbreaks, severe dust storms mainly occurred in the Tarim Basin, the eastern part of Northwest China and the northern part of North China. The season with the most frequent severe dust storms was spring, in which the frequency accounts for 82.5% in the whole year, while the least occurrence was in summer and autumn. During the past 49 years, the highest frequency of severe dust storms occurred in the 1950s and the lowest was in the 1990s with a general descending tendency, but during 2000–2002 the occurrence was relatively increasing. On the average, the duration of severe dust storms was shortest in the 1990s, about 0.5–1 h shorter than that in the other 4 decades.


northern China typical severe dust storms temporal and spatial distribution weather process 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Nickling, W. G., Brazel, A. J., Temporal and spatial characteristics of Arizona dust storms (1965–1980), J. Climatology, 1984, 4: 645–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Littmann, T., Dust storm frequency in Asia: Climatic control and variability, Int. J. Climatology, 1991, 11: 393–412.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Swap, R. S., Ulanski, S., Cobbett, M. et al., Temporal and spatial characteristics of Saharan dust outbreaks, J. Geophys. Res., 1996, 101: 4295–4220.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Joseph, P. V., Raipal, D. K., Deka, S. N., “Andhi”, the convective duststorm of northwest India, Mausam, 1980, 31: 431–442.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Middleton, N. J., A geography of dust storms in south-west Asia, J. Climatology, 1986, 65: 183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Xu Qiyun, Hu Jingsong, Features of spatial and temporal distributions of the dust storms in Northwest China, Quart. J. Applied Meteorology (in Chinese), 1996, 7(4): 479–482.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Qian Zhengan, He Huixia, Qu Zhang et al., The classification standard of dust-storm in northwest China and its case spectra and statistic characteristics, Research of Dust-Storm in China (in Chinese), Beijing: Meteorological Press, 1997, 1–10.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lu Qi, Yang Youlin, Globale Alarm: Dust and Sandstorms From the World’s Drylands (in Chinese), Beijing: China Environmental Science Press, 2001, 235–243.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sun Jimin, Zhang Mingying, Liu Tungsheng, Spatial and temporal characteristics of dust storms in China and its surrounding regions, 1960–1999: relatons to source area and climate, J. Geophys. Res., 2001, 106: 10325–10333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Qian Zhengan, Song Minghong, Li Wanyuan, Analysis on distributive variation and forecast of sand-dust storms in recent 50 years in north China, J. Natural Disasters (in Chinese), 2002, 22(2): 106–111.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhou Zijiang, Blowing-sand and sandstorm in China in recent 45 years, Quaternary Sciences (in Chinese), 2001, 21(1): 9–17.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhou Zijiang, Wang Xiwen, Niu Ruoyun, Climate Characteristics of sandstorm in China in recent 47 years, Quart. J. Applied Meteorology (in Chinese), 2002, 13(2): 193–200.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zhou Zijiang, Wang Xiwen, Analysis of the severe group dust storms in eastern part of Northwest China, J. Geographical Science, 2002, 12(3): 357–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of PhysicsPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.National Meteorological CenterBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations