Climate Dynamics

, Volume 42, Issue 11–12, pp 3253–3269 | Cite as

Intraseasonal variability in South America during the cold season

  • Mariano S. AlvarezEmail author
  • C. S. Vera
  • G. N. Kiladis
  • B. Liebmann


Intraseasonal (IS) variability in South America is analyzed during the cold season using 10–90 day bandpass filtered OLR anomalies (FOLR). IS variability explains a large percentage of variance with maximum values over Paraguay, northeastern Argentina, and southern Brazil. The leading pattern of FOLR, as isolated from an EOF analysis, (Cold Season IS pattern, CSIS), is characterized by a monopole centered over southeastern South America (SESA) with a northwest-southeast orientation. CSIS induces a large modulation on daily precipitation anomalies, especially on both wet spells and daily precipitation extremes, which are favored during positive (wet) CSIS phases. Large-Scale OLR anomalies over the tropical Indian and west Pacific Oceans associated with CSIS exhibit eastward propagation along tropical latitudes. In addition, circulation anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere reveal the presence of an anticyclonic anomaly over Antarctica with opposite-sign anomalies in middle latitudes 10 days before CSIS is maximum as well as evidence of Rossby wave-like patterns. Positive precipitation anomalies in SESA are favored during wet CSIS phases by the intensification of a cyclonic anomaly located further south, which is discernible over the southeastern Pacific for at least 14 days before CSIS peaks. The cyclonic anomaly evolution is accompanied by the intensification of an upstream anticyclonic anomaly, which remains quasi-stationary near the Antarctica Peninsula before the CSIS peak. We speculate that the stationary behavior of the anticyclonic center is favored by a hemispheric circulation anomaly pattern resembling that associated with a negative southern annular mode phase and a wavenumber 3–4 pattern at middle latitudes.


Intraseasonal variability Winter Outgoing longwave radiation South America 



This research was supported by CONICET PIP 112-200801-00399, UBACyT 20020100100434, ANPCyT PICT-2010-2110, NOAA Climate Program Office GC10-685 and NA0OAR4310170. M.A. is supported by a Ph.D grant from CONICET, Argentina.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariano S. Alvarez
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. S. Vera
    • 1
  • G. N. Kiladis
    • 2
    • 3
  • B. Liebmann
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera(CIMA/CONICET-UBA), DCAO/FCEN, UMI-IFAECI/CNRSBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Earth System Research LaboratoryNOAABoulderUSA
  3. 3.University of ColoradoCIRESBoulderUSA

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