Acute aortic dissection (AAD) is a life-threatening emergency with poor clinical outcomes. Understanding the chronological patterns of AAD onset would be helpful for identifying the triggers of AAD and preventing this catastrophic event.We collected data from 2048 patients diagnosed with AAD at Tongji Hospital (Wuhan, China) from 2011 to 2018. The χ2 test was used to determine whether a specific period had significantly different seasonal/weekly distributions from other periods. Fourier models were used to analyse the rhythmicity in monthly/circadian distribution.The mean age was 53.4±10.9 years, and 1161 patients (56.7%) were under 55 years. One thousand six hundred fifty-seven patients (80.9%) were male, and 935 cases (45.7%) were type A dissections. The proportions of patients with comorbid hypertension/diabetes were 60.3% (1234 cases) and 1.8% (36 cases), respectively. A peak was identified in colder periods (winter/December) and a trough in warmer periods (summer/June). No significant variation was observed in weekly distribution. Fourier analysis showed a statistically significant circadian variation (p<0.001) with a nocturnal trough in 2:00-3:00, a morning peak in 9:00-10:00, and an afternoon peak in 16:00-17:00. Subgroup analyses identified circadian rhythmicity in all subgroups except for the female group and younger group (younger than 55 years).Our results confirmed that the onset of AAD exhibits significant seasonal, monthly and circadian patterns. Patients with AAD with different Stanford-type dissections, sexes, ages and hypertension statuses could present different circadian variations. These findings may provide novel perspectives for identifying the triggers of AAD and better preventing this catastrophic event.