Cloud and Precipitation Properties of MCSs Along the Meiyu Frontal Zone in Central and Southern China and Their Associated Large-Scale Environments

Wenjun Cui, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Min Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study focuses on investigating the cloud and precipitation features of Meiyu mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) and their relation to the large-scale environments in central and southern China using satellite observations and reanalysis data during the period 2014–2018. MCSs from two different locations, the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) and Southern China (SC), are examined separately. The Meiyu MCSs have a mean precipitation rate of 3.6 mm/hr and contribute 20% to 60% of the total precipitation during the Meiyu period. The diurnal cycle of Meiyu MCSs shows a maximum precipitation amount in the morning, which is associated with the enhanced nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ) overnight. Although the synoptic setups in YRB and SC are found to be similar when normalized around the MCS initiation locations, MCSs exhibit some differences in terms of the cloud top height, precipitation rate, and duration, which are likely by the differences in the local forcing. Large interannual variations are found in MCSs' number, cloud size, lifetime, and rainfall intensity, which is found to be associated with the interannual variabilities in the large-scale environments. By comparing the large-scale environments with climatological mean states, we find that the year with the most intense MCS activity during the study period is characterized by an intensified southwesterly LLJ, which increases the moisture transport from the Indian Ocean and an enhancement of the midtropospheric westerly jet, which induces adiabatic ascent along the Meiyu front, creating more favorable conditions for convection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019JD031601
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 27 2020


  • MCS precipitation
  • Meiyu rainfall
  • extreme precipitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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