Climate Dynamics

, Volume 29, Issue 2–3, pp 113–129 | Cite as

Impacts of recent El Niño Modoki on dry/wet conditions in the Pacific rim during boreal summer

  • Hengyi Weng
  • Karumuri Ashok
  • Swadhin K. Behera
  • Suryachandra A. Rao
  • Toshio Yamagata


Present work uses 1979–2005 monthly observational data to study the impacts of El Niño Modoki on dry/wet conditions in the Pacific rim during boreal summer. The El Niño Modoki phenomenon is characterized by the anomalously warm central equatorial Pacific flanked by anomalously cool regions in both west and east. Such zonal SST gradients result in anomalous two-cell Walker Circulation over the tropical Pacific, with a wet region in the central Pacific. There are two mid-tropospheric wave trains passing over the extratropical and subtropical North Pacific. They contain a positive phase of a Pacific-Japan pattern in the northwestern Pacific, and a positive phase of a summertime Pacific-North American pattern in the northeastern Pacific/North America region. The western North Pacific summer monsoon is enhanced, while the East Asian summer monsoon is weakened. In the South Pacific, there is a basin-wide low in the mid-latitude with enhanced Australian high and the eastern South Pacific subtropical high. Such an atmospheric circulation pattern favors a dry rim surrounding the wet central tropical Pacific. The El Niño Modoki and its climate impacts are very different from those of El Niño. Possible geographical regions for dry/wet conditions influenced by El Niño Modoki and El Niño are compared. The two phenomena also have very different temporal features. El Niño Modoki has a large decadal background while El Niño is predominated by interannual variability. Mixing-up the two different phenomena may increase the difficulty in understanding their mechanisms, climate impacts, and uncertainty in their predictions.


El Niño Modoki El Niño Climate extremes Boreal summer teleconnections The Pacific rim 



We are thankful to Y. He for the U.S. 102-division rainfall data, to S.-W. Wang and J.-B. Huang for the 160-station rainfall data in China, to R.-C. Zhang, H. Shibata and T. Maeda for their help in processing rainfall data in Japan. We appreciate very much for the constructive comments from three anonymous reviewers. Our special thanks go to P. Delecluse for her encouragement and inspiring remarks. HW also extends her thanks to S. Hakeem, Y.-M. Liu, J.-J. Luo, and D.-P. Shi for various discussions, to Z. Yu for her many critical remarks to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hengyi Weng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Karumuri Ashok
    • 1
  • Swadhin K. Behera
    • 1
  • Suryachandra A. Rao
    • 1
  • Toshio Yamagata
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Frontier Research Center for Global Change/JAMSTECYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Climate Variations Research Program, Frontier Research Center for Global Change, JAMSTECYokohamaJapan

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