China’s national average temperature in May hit a record high in history since 1961

By Global Times (Global Times) 10:17, June 06, 2024

Temperatures across China in the past May hit a record high in history with the average temperature reaching 17.7 C, higher than the historical average by 1.2 C, and the highest since 1961 when complete meteorological records first began.

Outside of parts of Northeast China, South China and Southwest China where temperatures were lower than usual in May, the majority of the country recorded similar or higher temperatures compared with the same period of previous years, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) announced during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Temperatures in the western part of North China, the northern part of East China, middle and northern parts of Central China were higher than usual by a range of 1 C to 4 C, while temperatures in the northeastern part of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the western part of North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region recorded temperatures 4 C or above normal.

Higher-than-normal temperatures in May coincided with lower rainfall. The national average precipitation reached 69.4 millimeters, close to the seasonal average of 70.4 millimeters.

According to Jia Xiaolong, deputy director of China’s National Climate Center (NCC), China experienced several major climate events in May, including extreme rainstorms in the south, with five regional heavy rainfalls occurring all in southern regions. There were four reported instances of severe convective weather nationwide, three of which affected the southern areas, with provinces such as Guizhou and Guangdong being heavily impacted. Besides, the number of typhoons generated in May was more than the average number for the same period in previous years.

In May, a total of 34,600 warning messages were issued nationwide, including 33,500 meteorological disaster warnings. A total of 334 red alerts for rainstorms were issued, accounting for 92.5 percent of all the red alerts issued, Jia said.

Jia also predicted that temperatures in Beijing and other parts of the country will be higher than usual by 1 C to 2 C in June.

In terms of precipitation, it is expected that in June, rainfall would be above average in the southern part of East China, the southern part of Central China, the western part of South China, and the eastern part of the Southwest region.

It is expected that temperatures in most parts of the country in June will be close to or above the average for the same period in previous years. In North China and the Huanghuai region, the number of high-temperature days is expected to be higher than usual during the same period, posing a higher risk of periodic heatwaves.

A single typhoon is expected to form in the northwest Pacific Ocean and the waters in the South China Sea in June.

The El Nino event that began in May of 2023 peaked in December of 2023, and was categorized as a moderate event. In 2024, El Nino has been gradually weakening since the beginning of the year and it ended in May. A swing back to La Nina conditions later this summer is expected, according to the monitoring results from CMA.

With the South China Sea summer monsoon taking place in May, the East Asia region, including China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan, will gradually enter its traditional rainy season from south to north. It is expected that the southern and southwestern regions of China will experience continuous heavy rainfalls in the coming two weeks.

An update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released on Monday also confirmed that the 2023/24 El Nino event, which helped fuel a spike in global temperatures and extreme weather around the world, is now showing signs of ending.

As a result of the El Nino phenomenon, the South Asian region has been experiencing extremely high temperatures over the past week, with the mercury soaring to 50 C in some parts of India and Pakistan and resulting in multiple deaths.

According to WMO, the end of El Nino does not mean a pause in long-term climate change, and the past nine years have been the warmest on record even with the cooling influence of a multi-year La Nina from 2020 to early 2023.

According to WMO, there is an 80 percent likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2024 and 2028 will be more than 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. There is a likelihood that at least one of the next five years will be warmer than 2023, the warmest year on record so far.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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