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CMA: Strong southwest monsoon causes floods in Southern China

By Li Peixuan | | Updated: 2024-07-04 20:37
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Firefighters relocate villagers trapped by flooding in Kangle village in Pingjiang county, Hunan province, on Tuesday. GUO LILIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

In the wake of relentless and intense rainfall since June, vast swathes of southern China have been battered by severe floods and geological upheavals, prompting urgent alerts for residents in impacted regions, according to a meteorologist.

Addressing a news conference convened by the China Meteorological Administration on Thursday, Zhang Jiancheng, deputy director of the National Meteorological Center, explained the reason for the recent persistent heavy rainfall in southern China.

"It is currently the plum rain season in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, where the main rain belt is located," he said.

"Due to stable atmospheric circulation and a strong Western Pacific subtropical high, the strong southwest monsoon brings abundant moisture, resulting in stable and intense rainfall in the southern rain belt with significant overlapping of rainfall areas."

Since June 17, there has been continuous heavy rainfall in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Guangxi, Guizhou, and other regions, Zhang continued.

Some areas in Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, and Guangxi have accumulated rainfall of 400 to 600 millimeters, with Huangshan in Anhui (1117 mm), Hangzhou in Zhejiang (921 mm), Guilin (940 mm), and Liuzhou (932 mm) in Guangxi receiving over 900 mm of rainfall, he said.

The daily rainfall at 24 national meteorological observation stations has exceeded historical June records, Zhang added.

"In areas such as northwest Zhejiang, southeast Anhui, southeast Hubei, northwest Hunan, and northern Guangxi, the accumulated rainfall is 2 to 3 times higher than the same period in a typical year," he said.

Looking ahead to July, the CMA foresees a precipitation trend characterized by a "more in the north, less in the south" distribution in central and eastern China. Additionally, temperatures across the nation are anticipated to hover around or exceed seasonal norms for this time of year.

In terms of temperatures, most areas across the country will experience temperatures close to or above what they would normally experience at this time of the year, according to the CMA.

As summer vacations kick off and travel plans surge, the CMA issued a cautionary advisory, urging the public to brace for high temperatures and heavy rainfall during their journeys.

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