Characteristics and mechanisms of the diurnal variation of winter precipitation in Taiwan

Wan Ru Huang, Ya Hui Chang

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Using gridded precipitation data remapping from rain-gauge observations of the time period of 2001–2015 winter months (December, January and February), this study examines the spatio-temporal characteristics of the climatological diurnal winter precipitation in Taiwan. Our results show that the timings of the maximum values of the diurnal precipitation in Taiwan exhibit clear east–west regional differences, with night-time maxima over eastern Taiwan but early morning maxima over western Taiwan. Analyses also show that the climatological characteristics of diurnal winter precipitation documented in this study are not controlled by some unusual, heavy precipitation events and can be seen as the common features. By examining the changes in meteorological variables (including winds, relative humidity and temperature) extracted from the in situ observations and the MERRA (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications) reanalysis, this study further suggests that (a) the radiative cooling effect and (b) the surface wind convergence induced by the interaction between the local orography, the local land–sea breeze and the large-scale diurnal circulation changes over the East Asian–western North Pacific (EAWNP) region are two of the possible formation mechanisms responsible for the spatio-temporal differences of the climatological diurnal winter precipitation in Taiwan. This finding sheds light on the importance of understanding the role of the large-scale diurnal circulation changes over the EAWNP region in modulating local diurnal precipitation properties during the winter months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3058-3068
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 15



  • East Asia
  • climatology
  • diurnal circulation
  • diurnal precipitation
  • winter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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