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  • Zhang, T. T., S. Yang, X. W. Jiang, and P. Zhao, 2016: Seasonal–interannual variation and prediction of wet and dry season rainfall over the Maritime Continent: Roles of ENSO and monsoon circulation. J. Climate, 29, 36753695, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0222.1.

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Interdecadal Variation of the Wintertime Precipitation in Southeast Asia and Its Possible Causes

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  • 1 Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 3 Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change Research Unit, School of Energy and Environment, University of Phayao, Phayao, Thailand
  • | 4 Environmental Research and Training Center, Technopolis, Pathumthani, Thailand
  • | 5 Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
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Abstract

Based on several observational and reanalysis datasets for the winters 1901–2017, this study investigates the interdecadal (ID) variation of the Southeast Asian rainfall (SEAR) and its potential drivers. The dominant mode of the wintertime SEAR on the ID time scale features enhanced precipitation over the eastern Maritime Continent and the Philippines and a slight decrease of precipitation over the western Maritime Continent, or the opposite sign. The ID SEAR variability peaks at the 8–16-yr period and explains more than 20% of the total variance regardless of the datasets and period considered, highlighting the importance of the ID variability of the SEAR. The atmospheric circulation that facilitates abundant ID SEAR is characterized by enhanced lower-tropospheric wind convergence and cyclonic anomalies over the South China Sea and the Philippines. On the one hand, this wind convergence is attributed to the enhanced Walker circulation induced by the negative phase of the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO). On the other hand, it is attributed to the enhanced northerly anomalies along the coast of East Asia induced by a strong East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and reduced autumn Arctic sea ice in the Barents–Kara Seas. These mechanisms are further confirmed by model experiments from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). The effects of the IPO, EAWM, and Arctic sea ice on the SEAR are mostly independent. They together explain approximately 70% of the SEAR variance on the ID time scale.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Lin Wang, wanglin@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Based on several observational and reanalysis datasets for the winters 1901–2017, this study investigates the interdecadal (ID) variation of the Southeast Asian rainfall (SEAR) and its potential drivers. The dominant mode of the wintertime SEAR on the ID time scale features enhanced precipitation over the eastern Maritime Continent and the Philippines and a slight decrease of precipitation over the western Maritime Continent, or the opposite sign. The ID SEAR variability peaks at the 8–16-yr period and explains more than 20% of the total variance regardless of the datasets and period considered, highlighting the importance of the ID variability of the SEAR. The atmospheric circulation that facilitates abundant ID SEAR is characterized by enhanced lower-tropospheric wind convergence and cyclonic anomalies over the South China Sea and the Philippines. On the one hand, this wind convergence is attributed to the enhanced Walker circulation induced by the negative phase of the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO). On the other hand, it is attributed to the enhanced northerly anomalies along the coast of East Asia induced by a strong East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and reduced autumn Arctic sea ice in the Barents–Kara Seas. These mechanisms are further confirmed by model experiments from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). The effects of the IPO, EAWM, and Arctic sea ice on the SEAR are mostly independent. They together explain approximately 70% of the SEAR variance on the ID time scale.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Lin Wang, wanglin@mail.iap.ac.cn
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