Guangzhou Plagued with 3rd Heaviest Rainfall Since Records Began

By Matthew Bossons, May 9, 2019

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If it seems like it has been rainier than usual in Guangzhou this spring, that’s because it has: according to statistics released by the Guangzhou Meteorological Observatory, the city received the third most rainfall since records began. The reason behind the torrent of water falling from the sky? El Nino.

Guangzhou received a whopping 819.9 millimeters of rain between the start of the year and May 2, a 74% increase when compared with the average level from the same period in 2018, Senior Forecaster Li Huaiyu from the Guangzhou Meteorological Observatory told Yangcheng Evening News.

According to Ecns.cn, the year with the heaviest precipitation levels during the January-May period was 1983, which saw an average of over 1,000 millimeters of rainfall. This year’s deluge was over 10 times the record low, 78.7 millimeters, which was recorded during the same period in 1963.

El Nino is a climate phenomenon that occurs when the surface of the ocean heats up. Since we aren’t climate scientists or meteorologists, we’re going to let the fine folks over at Climate.gov describe El Nino in a bit more depth for you:  

“[El Nino is] a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures (SST), in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Over Indonesia, rainfall tends to become reduced while rainfall increases over the tropical Pacific Ocean. The low-level surface winds, which normally blow from east to west along the equator (‘easterly winds’), instead weaken or, in some cases, start blowing the other direction (from west to east or ‘westerly winds’).”

Guangzhou looks set for a break from the rain, though. Current forecasts indicate the city will avoid precipitation until next Tuesday, when thunderstorms are expected to hit.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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