Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2007, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (3): 268-278.doi: 10.11821/xb200703004

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Reliability of NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Data on Mount Qomolangma and Western Nyainqentanglha Range

XIE Aihong, QIN Dahe, REN Jiawen, QIN Xiang, KANG Shichang, JIANG Youyan   

  1. Joint Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2006-11-12 Revised:2006-12-20 Online:2007-03-25 Published:2007-03-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40501015; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX3-SW-344; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.90411003


Mount Qomolangma , the highest peak on Earth, is often referred to as the third pole of the globe. The Nyainqentanglha is one of the closest remote parts of mountain range north to the Himalayas. As such the two places are relatively inaccessible on the southern Tibetan Plateau and little is known about their meteorology. In 2003, an auto weather station was deployed at the north col of western Nyainqentanglha (WNQ) range (30o24'44.3"N, 90o34'13.1"E, 5850 m a.s.l.). In 2005, the other station was operated at the north col of Mount Qomolangma (28o01'0.95"N, 86o57'48.4"E, 6523 m a.s.l.). We believe that these represent the high elevation at which continuous weather data have never been collected and thus are valuable datasets with which to investigate the meteorology of the high altitude southern Tibetan Plateau. In this paper, we compare the observations with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis, in order to understand the reliability of NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data on Mount Qomolangma and Nyainqentanglha Range. We find that the reanalysis captures much of the synoptic-scale variability in temperature and pressure, although the reanalysis values are systematically lower than the observations. Furthermore, most of the variability magnitude is, to some extent, underestimated. In addition, the weather event extracted from the NCEP/NCAR reanalyzed pressure and temperature prominently appears one-day lead to that from the observational data on Mount Qomolangma , while on the WNQ range it frequently occurs on the same day and there is no obvious lead or lag. Influenced by the same atmosphere circulation, Mount Qomolangma and the WNQ range have close correlations both in the observational data and reanalyzed data.

Key words: Mount Qomolangma, Nyainqentanglha Range, NCEP/NCAR, Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau