Long-Term Trends and Interannual Variability of Southwesterly Flows around Southern Taiwan during 44 Mei-Yu Seasons

Yen Chao Chiu, Fang Ching Chien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the characteristics and long-term trends of southwesterly flows around southern Taiwan (SWs) during mei-yu seasons (15 May–15 June) from 1979 to 2022. The results show that the number of SWs in general exhibited an increasing trend over this 44-yr period, with a decadal oscillation starting from a relatively small number in the 1980s and reaching a relative peak in the 2000s. This tendency posts a potential threat to Taiwan because of the increasing trend of heavy rainfall associated with the higher moisture flux of the SWs events. The SWs activity was influenced by the long-term increasing trend of geopotential height gradients and their decadal variability near Taiwan. When the intraseasonal oscillation was evident, the weather system mainly affecting the occurrence of SWs was the low pressure system to the north of Taiwan; when it was weak, the intensity and location of the western North Pacific subtropical high to the south of Taiwan was relatively more important. In addition, the SWs index, which was highly correlated with the precipitation during mei-yu seasons, can effectively reflect the interannual variability of precipitation in Taiwan in periods of different lengths. These findings indicate that the SWs index can be used as a monsoonal precipitation index for Taiwan, especially southern Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1222
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 1


  • Climate variability
  • Interannual variability
  • Interdecadal variability
  • Precipitation
  • Rainfall
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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