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Leading modes of wind field variability over the western Tibet Plateau

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xiaofeng Li, Professor Hayley Fowler



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s). Atmospheric circulations bring moisture from above the ocean to the high mountains of the western Tibet Plateau (TP), thus wind variability is of great importance to the water cycle centered on the western TP. This study therefore examines the leading modes of the wind fields over the western TP. We use the multivariate empirical orthogonal function (MV-EOF) analysis method to detect the dominant wind patterns above the western TP. This method extracts the leading modes of combined meridional and zonal wind variability at 200-hPa in the region of 22° N–50° N, 50° E–92° E. We find the first leading mode of the combined zonal and meridional wind field in the annual mean and in most seasons (spring, summer and autumn) over the western TP shows high similarity to the Western Tibetan Vortex (WTV), a large-scale atmospheric vortex-like pattern recently recognized over the western TP. In winter, the WTV, however, is closer to the second leading mode. We estimate the sensitivity of our results by changing the domain of the MV-EOF analysis region surrounding the western. We find the influence of the WTV is less sensitive to analysis location around the western TP. In short, the WTV generally represents the first leading mode of the wind field in most seasons over the western TP. This study augments our knowledge on wind variability over the western TP.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang J, Li X-F, Liu S, Liu T, Dai Y, Yang S, Fowler HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Climate Dynamics

Year: 2023

Volume: 60

Pages: 1239-1251

Print publication date: 01/02/2023

Online publication date: 27/06/2022

Acceptance date: 16/05/2022

Date deposited: 13/07/2022

ISSN (print): 0930-7575

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0894

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00382-022-06358-2


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Funder referenceFunder name
Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster J. Wang et al. 1 3 Studies (Grant no. 2020B1212060025)
Innovation Group Project of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) (Grant nos. 311021009 and 311021001)
Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants nos. 42088101, 42175026, 41875128)