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.
Keywordsnorthern China typical severe dust storms temporal and spatial distribution weather process
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