PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 709-717.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.05.008

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Relationships between interannual variations of spring winds in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of Northern China and winter sea surface temperature

Yihong HU1,2,3(), Daoyi GONG1,2,3,*(), Rui MAO1,2,3, Xiaoxue SHI1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2019-03-04 Revised:2019-03-25 Online:2019-05-28 Published:2019-05-28
  • Contact: Daoyi GONG;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41621061; National Key Research and Development Program of China, No. 2016YFA0602401


This study investigated possible relationships between winter sea surface temperature (SST) and the interannual variation of spring wind speed in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of Northern China by employing daily wind speed observations of 64 meteorological stations, the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature, version 5 (ERSST v5) dataset, and the ERA-Interim reanalysis data. The results show that spring wind exhibited strong year-to-year variations. During the period of 1979-2016, the interannual components accounted for 36% of the total variance. Winter SST, which affects the interannual variation of wind speed in the study area in spring, presented a negative-positive-negative distribution between 20°N-65°N in the North Atlantic, and a negative-positive distribution in the domain of 10°N-55°N and 130°W-180° in the North Pacific Ocean. Interannual variations of surface spring wind in the study area were significantly related to the North Atlantic SST index (r = 0.50) and the North Pacific SST index (r = 0.44). The large-scale atmospheric circulation in the northern hemisphere is the bridge that links winter SSTs and the spring wind. In association with the North Atlantic SST anomalies of negative-positive-negative distribution from high to low latitudes, a wave pattern of pressure height anomalies appeared over the North Atlantic and Eurasia. Accompanying a negative-positive distribution in North Pacific SST anomalies, the pressure height anomalies from the North Pacific to East Asia presented a three-wave pattern. Both of them can lead to an anomalous cyclonic circulation over East Asia in spring. The anomalous cyclonic circulation existed in both the middle and the lower troposphere, which was the factor directly resulting in higher wind speed over the study area. The significant correlation between winter SST and spring wind speed implies that winter SST can be used as a skillful predictor for spring wind in practice. A statistical forecast model with winter SSTs in the North Atlantic and North Pacific as predictors can explain 32% of the interannual variance of the spring wind speed. Cross-validation shows that the time lag relationship between SST and wind speed is significant and robust.

Key words: wind speed, sea surface temperature, interannual variation, agro-pastoral transitional zone in Northern China