The state of China's climate in 2018: More extreme events, but less loss
In order to provide information on climate features, meteorological disasters and climate impacts to the public for the previous year, the National Climate Center (NCC) of China has just completed a report to give an accessible and authoritative assessment of the climate in China based on the NCC operational system. It gives a summary of China's climate as well as major weather and climate events during 2018, and has been published in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters. The majority of the report is based on temperature and precipitation observations.
"For weather and climate events, we select several high-impact events that occurred in 2018, such as typhoons, low-temperature freezing and snow disasters, rainstorms, heatwaves, droughts, severe convective weather events, dust storms, and haze events," says Dr. Chan Xiao, director of the climate services division of NCC.
According to the report, in 2018, the mean temperature in China was 0.54°C above normal, and the annual rainfall was 7% above normal. More typhoons made landfall, inflicting severe damage. Low-temperature freezing and snow disasters occurred frequently, causing extensive losses. In summer, rainstorms occurred frequently, but with limited damage. Northeast China and central East China suffered extreme heatwaves. Regional and periodic droughts resulted in slight impacts. Severe convective weather and dust storms were relatively limited, but periodic haze influenced air quality and human health.
The good news is that, in 2018, the area of affected crops, death toll, and direct economic losses were all significantly less than those over the last five years. "Improved prediction and early-warning system from meteorological services were obviously instrumental." Said Xiao.