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Daily atmospheric variability in the South American monsoon system

Abstract

The space–time structure of the daily atmospheric variability in the South American monsoon system has been studied using multichannel singular spectrum analysis of daily outgoing longwave radiation. The three leading eigenmodes are found to have low-frequency variability while four other modes form higher frequency oscillations. The first mode has the same time variability as that of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and exhibits strong correlation with the Pacific sea surface temperature (SST). The second mode varies on a decadal time scale with significant correlation with the Atlantic SST suggesting an association with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). The third mode also has decadal variability but shows an association with the SST of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). The fourth and fifth modes describe an oscillation that has a period of about 165 days and is associated with the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO). The sixth and seventh modes describe an intraseasonal oscillation with a period of 52 days which shows strong relation with the Madden-Julian oscillation. There exists an important difference in the variability of convection between Amazon River Basin (ARB) and central-east South America (CESA). Both regions have similar variations due to ENSO though with higher magnitude in ARB. The AMO-related mode has almost identical variations in the two regions, whereas the PDO-related mode has opposite variations. The interseasonal NAO-related mode also has variations of opposite sign with comparable magnitudes in the two regions. The intraseasonal variability over the CESA is robust while it is very weak over the ARB region. The relative contributions from the low-frequency modes mainly determine the interannual variability of the seasonal mean monsoon although the interseasonal oscillation may contribute in a subtle way during certain years. The intraseasonal variability does not seem to influence the interannual variability in either region.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (ATM-0332910, ATM-0830068), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NA04OAR4310034, NA09OAR4310058, NA07OAR4310221), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NNG04GG46G, NNX09AN50G). The authors thank Bohua Huang for helpful comments.

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Krishnamurthy, V., Misra, V. Daily atmospheric variability in the South American monsoon system. Clim Dyn 37, 803–819 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-010-0881-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-010-0881-4

Keywords

  • South American monsoon
  • ENSO
  • Atlantic multidecadal oscillation
  • Intraseasonal oscillation-MJO
  • NAO