• Synergetic thermal effect of the Tibetan and Iranian plateaus on the South Asian high

    The South Asian high (SAH) is the strongest and most stable atmospheric circulation system in the upper troposphere during boreal summer, and its variations in location and intensity have significant impacts on flooding and drought in China.

    Haoxin ZHANG, a PhD student at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, became interested in the topic of the influence of late springtime surface sensible heat flux anomalies over the Tibetan and Iranian plateaus on the location of the SAH in early summer and carried out some research when he was a Masters candidate at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, supervised by Profs. Weiping LI and Weijing LI, by analyzing ERA-Interim data for the period 1979–2014.

    “The elevated heating of the plateaus has a significant effect on the atmospheric circulation over their adjacent areas,” says Haoxin ZHANG. “The Iranian Plateau is located at the upstream position of the Tibetan Plateau. The surface sensible heat over the Tibetan Plateau (TPSH) and the Iranian Plateau (IPSH) are negatively correlated from late spring to early summer. When the IPSH is stronger and the TPSH is weaker than normal in May, strengthened southwesterly flow to India brings more moisture to northern India and the ascending motion of the air over the eastern TP is weaker, resulting in a stronger latent heat release over northern India. Finally, the vertical gradient of the atmospheric heat source is altered and the SAH moves northwestward”.

    Reference
    Zhang, H. X., W. P. Li, and W. J. Li, 2019: Influence of late springtime surface sensible heat flux anomalies over the Tibetan and Iranian plateaus on the location of the South Asian High in early summer. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 36(1), https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-018-7296-2 .




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