Abstract

Characteristic patterns of precipitation-associated tropical intraseasonal oscillations, including the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO), are identified using local empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation data as a function of the day of the year. The explained variances of the EOF analysis show two peaks across the year: one in the middle of the boreal winter corresponding to the MJO and the other in the middle of summer corresponding to the BSISO. Comparing the fractional variance indicates that the BSISO is more coherent than the MJO during the TRMM period. Similar EOF analyses with the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) confirm this result and indicate that the BSISO is less coherent before the TRMM era (1979–98). In contrast, the MJO exhibits much less decadal variability. A precipitation-based index for tropical intraseasonal oscillation (PII) is derived by projecting bandpass-filtered precipitation anomalies to the two leading EOFs as a function of day of the year. A real-time version that approximates the PII is further developed using precipitation anomalies without any bandpass filtering. It is further shown that this real-time PII index may be used to diagnose precipitation in the subseasonal forecasts.

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