As extreme climate events in China occur frequently, the characteristics of temperature extremes have changed substantially. Spatial and temporal pattern in the selected temperature extreme indices was analyzed by using the Mann–Kendall method (MK), sliding t-test and standard t-test, and Pearson correlation analysis method. In addition, the relationship between them and AO/NAO (Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation) was investigated during 1961–2018 in mainland China. The results show regional and seasonal pattern in temperature extremes. Both ELTs (extreme low temperatures) and EHTs (extreme high temperatures) show increasing trend in autumn and winter, but decreasing trend in spring and summer. In particular, ELTs in all northern basins have more significant increasing trend, while EHTs in the southern areas show insignificant or even decreasing trend. The AO plays an important role in the change of ELTs in summertime (summer and autumn), while the NAO accounts for it during wintertime (winter and spring). Moreover, the NAO is partly responsible for the change of EHTs.

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