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N. Nicholls

Abstract

The relationship between mean rainfall and the relative variability of annual rainfall is shown to be different for stations that have consistent relationships with ENSO compared with stations not affected by ENSO. Variability is typically one-third to one-half higher for ENSO-affected stations. It appears that ENSO causes a snore variable climate in the areas it affects.

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N. Nicholls
and
K. K. Wong

Abstract

The relationship between the relative variability of annual rainfall, the long-term mean annual rainfall, the latitude, and the correlation between annual rainfall and the Southern Oscillation Index is examined, using data from 974 stations. A nonlinear relationship between these variables accounts for 94% of the variance in annual rainfall variability. Relative variability typically increases as mean annual rainfall decreases, as latitude decreases, and as the effect of the Southern Oscillation increases. There is an interaction between latitude and the Southern Oscillation so that the effect of the Southern Oscillation on variability weakens as latitude increases.

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