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OWU Connection Programs
Project Title: Extreme Cold Weather in January South China
Student: Dianyi Li ’18
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Rowley
From January 20-25, 2016, there was a significant cold wave in Southern China as reported and an orange alert of cold wave was issued by the National Meteorological on January 24th. Weather China showed that the strong cold wave pushed the Chinese snowline southwards, reaching its southernmost position since 1951. The average temperature anomaly was 6 to 8° C below the climatological average.
Similar patterns have been identified during previous cold waves, and has been attributed to variability in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and moving of the Polar Vortex (PV) (Wang and Chen, 2010; He and Wang, 2016). Based on the AO index from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), the AO was in the negative phase since the beginning of January, and peaked from 15 – 18 January. Additionally, there was an observed extreme high pressure center over eastern Siberia, causing the extreme cold weather in China.
This work seeks to identify the factors of this extreme weather event and its correlation to the AO, East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM), and the movement of the PV. Investigation of this connection explains the generation process of extreme cold waves in the region, and this allows for the development of- better forecasts of extreme cold wave events, and enhances our prediction of the probabilities cold winters.