Deterministic Chaos in Tropical Atmospheric Dynamics

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  • 1 Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
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Abstract

An 11-year dataset from the tropical weather station of Tlaxcala, Mexico, is examined. It is found that mutual information drops quickly with the delay, to a positive value that relaxes to zero with a timescale of 20 days. The mutual dependence of the observables is also examined and it is concluded that the dataset gives the equivalent of eight variables per day, known to a precision of 2%. It is determined that the effective dimension of the attractor is Deff ≈ 11.7 at the scale 3.5% < R/Rmax < 8%. Evidence is found that the effective dimension increases as R/Rmax → 0, supporting a conjecture by Lorenz that the climate system may consist of a large number of weakly coupled subsystems, some of which have low-dimensional attractors. A local reconstruction of the dynamics in phase space is performed; the short-term predictability is modest and agrees with theoretical estimates. Useful skill in predictions of 10-day rainfall accumulation anomalies reflects the persistence of weather patterns, which follow the 20-day decay rate of the mutual information.

Abstract

An 11-year dataset from the tropical weather station of Tlaxcala, Mexico, is examined. It is found that mutual information drops quickly with the delay, to a positive value that relaxes to zero with a timescale of 20 days. The mutual dependence of the observables is also examined and it is concluded that the dataset gives the equivalent of eight variables per day, known to a precision of 2%. It is determined that the effective dimension of the attractor is Deff ≈ 11.7 at the scale 3.5% < R/Rmax < 8%. Evidence is found that the effective dimension increases as R/Rmax → 0, supporting a conjecture by Lorenz that the climate system may consist of a large number of weakly coupled subsystems, some of which have low-dimensional attractors. A local reconstruction of the dynamics in phase space is performed; the short-term predictability is modest and agrees with theoretical estimates. Useful skill in predictions of 10-day rainfall accumulation anomalies reflects the persistence of weather patterns, which follow the 20-day decay rate of the mutual information.

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