• Kuroshio system;
  • net heat flux;
  • temperature;
  • precipitation;
  • China


On the basis of the datasets obtained for the monthly turbulent heat flux (1984–2009) from the Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Heat Flux (OAFlux), the radiation flux from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), the variability characteristics of the net heat flux (Qnet) over the Kuroshio System (KS) and its relationship with the climate in China were studied. The results reveal that except for a steady enhancement in the period 1984–2009, the boreal winter Qnet over the KS is characterized by obvious interannual variation of the period quasi-5 year as well as decadal variability shifting from negative to positive anomalies in the mid-1990s. In the wintertime, the increasing KS Qnet is primarily responsible for the intensification of the East Asia winter monsoon (EAWM) via a deepening of the Aleutian low and an enhancement of the Siberia high and has a correlation coefficient of 0.72 with a 1-month delay. The enhanced-EAWM induces colder winters in Northeast China and higher Qnet over the KS by carrying significantly greater amounts of cold air mass. During the low Qnet winter, the EAWM is weakened, and the southwesterly wind that contains abundant water vapour enhances and pushes toward southern China, thereby bringing heavier rainfall. The anomalous Qnet over the KS in the wintertime lasts until the following spring with a weaker relative intensity. In the spring after the low KS Qnet winter, the anomalous easterly wind transfers colder air masses from the Sea of Japan to the North China and Yellow–Huaihe regions and then cools these regions. The warmer and wetter southwesterlies along the northwestern flank of the anomalous anticyclone east of Taiwan Island meet these colder easterlies accompanied by an anomalous upward motion, thereby inducing an anomalous northwest–southeast precipitation band in the central and eastern region of China, especially in the Yangtze-Huaihe region.