Moisture source variations for summer rainfall in different intensity classes over Huaihe River Valley, China

Yubo Liu, Chi Zhang, Qiuhong Tang*, Seyed Mohammad Hosseini-Moghari, Gebremedhin Gebremeskel Haile, Laifang Li, Wenhong Li, Kun Yang, Ruud J. van der Ent, Deliang Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Rainfall is one of the most influential climatic factors on regional development and environment, and changes in rainfall intensity are of specific concern. In the Huaihe River Valley (HRV), heavy rainfall is a primary trigger of floods. However, the difference in the origin of moisture contributed to heavy rainfall and light rainfall is rarely studied and not entirely understood. This study analyzes the rainfall moisture sources in association with different categories of rainfall intensity over the HRV during 1980–2018 using the Water Accounting Model with ERA-Interim reanalysis and precipitation observations from China Meteorological Administration. The results show that the moisture for the HRV summer rainfall is mainly from terrestrial subregion (40%), the Indian Ocean (27%), the Pacific Ocean (25%), and the local HRV (8%). In addition, moisture sources differ substantially between light and heavy rainfall. Specifically, the local HRV contributes more moisture to light rainfall (12%) compared to heavy rainfall (4%), whereas the Indian Ocean contributes more to heavy rainfall (33%) than to light rainfall (20%). The grids located in the southern source region make higher contribution ratio in heavy rainfall than in light rainfall. These results suggest that moisture from distant oceanic areas, especially the Indian Ocean, plays a crucial role in intense summer rainfall, whereas moisture from the land sources covering local grids plays a dominant role in light rainfall in the HRV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1133
Number of pages13
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Heavy rainfall
  • Huaihe River
  • Indian Ocean
  • Moisture source
  • Water Accounting Model


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