Teleconnections between Ethiopian summer rainfall and sea surface temperature: part I—observation and modelling
In this study, the oceanic regions that are associated with anomalous Ethiopian summer rains were identified and the teleconnection mechanisms that give rise to these associations have been investigated. Because of the complexities of rainfall climate in the horn of Africa, Ethiopia has been subdivided into six homogeneous rainfall zones and the influence of SST anomalies was analysed separately for each zone. The investigation made use of composite analysis and modelling experiments. Two sets of composites of atmospheric fields were generated, one based on excess/deficit rainfall anomalies and the other based on warm/cold SST anomalies in specific oceanic regions. The aim of the composite analysis was to determine the link between SST and rainfall in terms of large scale features. The modelling experiments were intended to explore the causality of these linkage. The results show that the equatorial Pacific, the midlatitude northwest Pacific and the Gulf of Guinea all exert an influence on the summer rainfall in various part of the country. The results demonstrate that different mechanisms linked to sea surface temperature control variations in rainfall in different parts of Ethiopia. This has important consequences for seasonal forecasting models which are based on statistical correlations between SST and seasonal rainfall totals. It is clear that such statistical models should take account of the local variations in teleconnections.