Warm and Dry Climate Over China in 2022 with Extreme Heatwaves and Droughts

Meteorology and environment are significant elements impacting the growth of the economy and society. Within China, the National Climate Center of the country issues a yearly weather report that thoroughly encompasses China’s advancements and advancements in the realm of weather system monitoring, weather effect evaluation, and additional facets. This sequence of publications has consistently appeared in the periodical “Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters” for a continuous span of five years since 2019, and the latest edition, titled “China’s weather status in 2022,” is presently accessible.

This year’s document offers a thorough overview of the principal climatic features and significant weather and climate incidents that occurred in China during 2022. As elucidated by Li Wei, the Director of the Climate Service Office at the National Climate Center, China experienced an overall climate condition that was more unfavorable than the norm, characterized by a warm and dry climate with the second-highest annual average temperature ever recorded. The annual precipitation reached its lowest level since 2012. Both the number of hot days and instances of extreme high temperatures reached unprecedented heights, while the national average number of rainy days hit an all-time low. The summer and autumn seasons witnessed below-average precipitation, with summer precipitation being the second lowest since 1961. In particular, Northeast and North China experienced increased rainfall during the flood season, whereas the Yangtze River Basin faced reduced precipitation, resulting in severe heatwaves and droughts.

During 2022, there was a noticeable pattern of drought occurrences across different regions, particularly impacting southern China, which experienced prolonged dry spells throughout the summer and autumn seasons. Conversely, rainstorms were frequent, especially over the Pearl River Basin and the Songliao River Basin, leading to severe flooding disasters in South China and Northeast China. In the summer, central and eastern China faced the most intense heatwave since 1961. Southern China witnessed persistent cold, rainy, snowy, and overcast conditions in February, while a strong cold wave from late November to early December brought significant cooling across a wide area. Sandstorm occurrences were less frequent and delayed compared to normal, and the frequency of typhoons making landfall was exceptionally low.

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