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The inﬂuence of ENSO on winter rainfall in South Africa
N. Philippon,a * M. Rouault,b,c Y. Richarda and A. Favred
Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, UMR5210 CNRS, Universit´ de Bourgogne, Bˆ timent Sciences Gabriel, 6 blvd Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, e a France b Department of Oceanography, Mare Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa c Nansen-Tutu Center for Environmental Research, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa d Climate Systems Analysis Group, ENGEO department, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
ABSTRACT: Whereas the impact of ENSO on the African summer rainfall regions is largely documented and still regularly investigated, little is known about its impact on the winter rainfall regions located at the southwestern and northwestern tips of Africa. Yet, these regions are densely inhabited and are net exporters of high-quality agricultural products. Here we analyze the relationship between El Ni˜ o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and South Africa austral winter rainfall using n a 682 raingauges daily rainfall database documenting the period 1950–1999. The May, June and July (MJJ) seasonal rainfall amount shows a positive correlation with the Ni˜ o3.4 index that becomes signiﬁcant since the so-called 1976/1977 n climate regime shift. Wet spells properties (length, frequency and intensity) at the raingauge scale indicate that high (low) MJJ seasonal rainfall amounts recorded during El Ni˜ o (La Ni˜ a) events are the result of longer (shorter) wet spells in n n the Cape Town area and more (less) frequent wet spells north of 33 ° S. Wet spells with daily rainfall amounts ranging between 10 and 50 mm are also more (less) frequent. Atmospheric dynamics ﬁelds during wet spells feature lower (higher) pressure and northwesterly (southerly) wind anomalies in the troposphere over the region. This suggests that rain-bearing systems are deeper (thinner) and larger (smaller) in extent, and located farther north (south) during El Ni˜ o (La Ni˜ a) n n events. Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society
winter rainfall; South Africa; El Ni˜ o; intra-seasonal variability; wet spells n
Received 19 September 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011
1. Introduction Southern Africa receives most of its rainfall in austral summer except for a region in the southwest that experiences austral winter rainfall. Rainfall maxima are recorded from May to August (Rouault and Richard, 2003) when the track of the temperate weather systems (i.e. extratropical cyclones, cold fronts and cutoff lows) is shifted northward. That southwestern region which encompasses part of the Western and Northern Cape Provinces is bordered in the east by the cold Benguela upwelling system, and to the south, at a distance, by the warm Agulhas Current. Orography plays an important role. In particular, the Cape Folded Mountains which stretch northward to the west and east–west to the south (red dashes, Figure 1) favour high (low) rainfall on their seaward (landward) side. The agricultural sector is critical for the economy of this region (e.g. it accounts for 60% of the Western Cape regional exports). A variety of export-grade fruits (apples, table grapes, oranges . . .) and wines are produced with grapes and deciduous fruits being mainly cultivated under irrigated conditions.
∗ Correspondence to: N. Philippon, Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, UMR5210 CNRS, Universit´ de Bourgogne, Bˆ timent Sciences e a Gabriel, 6 blvd Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France. E-mail: email@example.com Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society
While summer rainfall in southern Africa is known to be inﬂuenced by the ENSO (dryer than normal conditions during El Ni˜ o and wetter than normal conditions n during La Ni˜ a events, Lindesay et al., 1986; Richard n et al., 2000; Mason, 2001; Reason and Rouault, 2002; Misra, 2003; Kane, 2009; among others), the winter rainfall interannual variability was related to the Antarctic Annular Oscillation (Reason and Rouault, 2005), Antarctic sea ice extend (Reason et al., 2002; Blamey and Reason, 2007) and South Atlantic sea surface temperature (Reason et al., 2002; Reason and Jagadheesha, 2005). No relation was found with ENSO (Blamey and Reason, 2007; Reason and Rouault, 2005). However, those studies considered an extended winter season from May to September, and long study periods (1900–2000, or 1950–2000) during which the rainfall-ENSO teleconnections have changed (Janicot et al., 1996; Richard et al., 2000; among others). Recently, Rouault et al. (2010) found an impact of the ENSO on the Western Cape summer climate and adjacent sea surface temperature where the prevailing southeasterly winds drive a coastal upwelling. Wind speed during El Nino (La Nina) events is weaker (stronger) than normal in the region leading to changes in sea surface temperature. Given the importance of the agricultural sector for the economy of the region, the high rate of irrigation farming practised, and the predictability conveyed by ENSO, we
we extracted 1187 stations located in the domain 35° –29 ° S/17° –24 ° E and presenting no missing values for the 1950–1999 period. exhibit a summer rainfall maximum (peak in February). However. we have excluded from the analyses stations belonging to Classes Int. the second explores the shifts in wet spells characteristics (i. in the fourth subsection the potential for seasonal rainfall forecasting is discussed based on lead-lag correlation analyses.1. They are all located west of 21 ° E. (2) Drakenstein and (3) Cederberg mountains within the Cape Folded Mountains. 3–8 mm/day in MJJ) are in the vicinity of Cape Town and on the seaward side of the Drakenstein and Hottentots Holland mountain ranges (Figure 1). 29°S 2000 1800 30°S Na ma qu ala Lamberts Bay 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 (3) meter 31°S nd 32°S 33°S 600 (2) (1) Garden Route 200 0 400 Cape Town 34°S 35°S 18°E 20°E 22°E 24°E Figure 1. 2007). reassess the teleconnection between ENSO and rainfall for the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Given that stations falling in Classes 7 and 8 receive appreciable rainfall in winter related to the eastward displacement of low-pressure systems that also affect stations belonging to Classes 1–6. The white dashed lines indicate the Cape Folded Mountains (∼2000 m) which stretch north–south to the west and east–west to the south. J. Using a high-density daily rainfall dataset and reanalyzed climate data. an area receiving rainfall all year around with slightly higher amounts in spring and fall. while panel (b) presents the annual cycle for each Class (ﬁltered with a 30-day running mean). They are shared between four subsections: the ﬁrst one deals with the ENSO signal in rainfall seasonal amount. 2. 2. Classes 7 and 8 are located on the Garden Route. First. Elevation map of the study region based on SRTMv2 data (Farr et al. PHILIPPON et al. we applied a cluster analysis on the 365 daily means to identify those stations recording a rainfall peak in austral winter. The amplitude of the annual cycle differentiates the 6 Classes. Stations belonging to Classes 1–6 record most of their rainfall from April to September. (2011) . The wettest Classes (2–5. Class 1 includes most of the stations and has a maximum of around 1 mm/day in June. Figure 2(a) and (b) presents the results of the cluster analysis with the 10 retained Classes. Data Rainfall The daily rainfall dataset documenting the southwestern part of the Republic of South Africa were obtained from the Water Research Commission rain-gauge database compiled by Lynch (2003). The initial number of Classes was set up to 20 and after a close look at the cluster tree we retained only 10 Classes. Section 2 presents data used. Classes 9 and 10 which are located on the high plate of the Karoo or on the landward side of the Cape Folded Mountains (Figure 1). the third presents anomalies in atmospheric dynamics ﬁelds related to wet spells during positive and negative phases of ENSO. number of wet spells. (1) Hottentots Holland.N.e. with a peak in June. we are keeping Classes 7 and 8 in our analysis. Panel (a) displays the locations of the stations and their Classes. Section 3 is devoted to results. we show that the seasonal rainfall amounts and several wet spells properties and associated atmospheric dynamics are signiﬁcantly modulated during El Nino and La Nina events since the 1980s during austral winter. Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society Then. their length and intensity) during ENSO.. The paper is divided into 4 sections. Lastly. Climatol. A discussion closes the paper in Section 4.
and the period 1950–1999. As a consequence. we restrict our analyses to 2005. MJJ rainfalls are correlated with MJJ Ni˜ o3. Note that for the 850 hPa level.4. We perform n Int. during the years 2006–2007. J. our Classes 1–6 and 7–8 are in a good match with the regions referred to as G and H. the March–July months correspond to either the onset phase or the decay phase (Larkin and Harisson. To complement the Lynch database which has not been updated after 1999.4 index (5 ° S–5 ° N/120° – n 170 ° W) over the period 1950–2005 based on Hadley Centre SST dataset HadISST available at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Meteorology (KNMI) climate explorer (Van Oldenborgh and Burgers. In particular. the number of stations drops dramatically under 50 (not shown). ∼52. 3. 1996. This leaves us with a total of 682 stations (belonging to Classes 1 to 8).5° resolution ‘reanalyzed’ dataset (V. MJJ and JAS (note that analyses for AMJ and JJA were performed as well and lead to results very close to MJJ which is the trimester recording the highest rainfall total).e.4 index relationn ships are presented for the beginning. given the life cycle of ENSO.4 n index are considered synchronously. the following three overlapping trimesters MAM.1. we used monthly gridded precipitation data provided by the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC). to be consistent with the Lynch database.4) which offers an optimized spatial coverage for the period 1901–2007 (Rudolf and Schneider. (2011) . (b) mean rainfall annual cycles of the 10 clusters ﬁltered with a 30-day moving window. 2000). The relationships with the Ni˜ o3. 2005). Five parameters – meridional (V) and zonal (U) wind.. n To highlight a possible decadal variability in the teleconnection with ENSO (Janicot et al. (a) Location and cluster number of the 1187 stations extracted from the Lynch database over the domain 29–35 ° S/17–24 ° W. on average.g. relative humidity (H) and temperature T – at two levels (850 and 500 hPa) were considered. about 250 stations document the grid points over our region of interest. geopotential height (Z). relative humidity was converted into speciﬁc humidity and then multiplied by U and V to obtain humidity ﬂux. This clustering performed at the seasonal time step agrees with Mason (1998) who used 430 rain gauges across South Africa to delineate regions with homogeneous interannual variability over the period 1951–1995. 2. in ﬁgure 1 herein). 2.. i. core and end of the winter rainy season. Then. We selected the 0. On average. Indeed. May–July (MJJ) and July–September (JAS). 16 and 6% of the total variance. This distinction between the two phases Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society must be kept in mind when we assess the relationship with rainfall.5 std and below −0.THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA (a) −29 −30 −31 latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 17 mm/d (b) 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 18 19 20 21 longitude 22 23 24 J F M A M J J month A S O N D 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 2. Analyses 3.2. Richard et al. we correlate the ﬁrst three PCs (carrying. 9 and 10 only. However. 2002). respectively.3..5 std. However. Atmospheric dynamics We used the NCEP-DOE AMIP-II (NCEP2) reanalyses (Kanamitsu et al. we perform a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on the seasonal rainfall amounts of the 682 stations for each trimester and each 21-year running sub-period of the 1950–1999 period. we can expect the relationship to be modulated according to the phase of ENSO. El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events are deﬁned as the ones when n n the anomaly of the trimester considered is respectively above 0. e. Monthly values were then averaged per trimester: March–May (MAM).4 index. we considerer only the grid points for which station records are available. 2002) to infer daily atmospheric dynamics over the domain 0–50 ° S/10 ° W–80 ° E during MJJ. respectively) to the Ni˜ o3. in Mason (1998. In addition. Climatol. 2005). ENSO signal in seasonal rainfall amounts (synchronous relationships) The seasonal rainfall amounts – Ni˜ o3. Sea surface temperatures We used the monthly Ni˜ o3.
Lastly. In addition to the local signiﬁcance testing. the correlation between Lynch and GPCC 1st PC equals 0.com/journal/joc 0. For each pair of time series to be correlated. 2005).ncep.5 91 1 96 0.com/journal/joc Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society analysis monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.4 index and the rainfall amount 1st PC on the period 1950–2005 n from Lynch (1950–1999. The ﬁeld signiﬁcance has been Int. 2007. 2009). The x-axis provides the central year of the 21-year period.gov/products/ 1979–2005 : MJJ 2 1. rainfall anomalies are close to zero or are of a reverse sign. peak or decay) whereas. MJJ and JAS. The correlations signiﬁcance (and in the remainder of the paper) is tested following the ‘random-phase’ test approach by Ebisuzaki (1997). This ﬁgure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary. mature and decay phases of La Ni˜ a (El Ni˜ o) events as deﬁned n n by CPC over the period 1970–2000. decay) as n deﬁned by CPC (http://www.5 −1 −1. It is obvious that not all the El Ni˜ o (La Ni˜ a) events are associn n ated with strong positive (negative) rainfall anomalies.5 −2 −2 −1 88 99 03 0 NINO3. dots) for the three trimesters MAM. 2007). is associated with strong winter rainfall anomalies over the Western Cape. Moreover.4 and the MJJ n rainfall computed from GPCC over the period 1979–2005 (but standardized over 1979–1999 to match the Lynch database period) is given in Figure 4. Figure 3 shows that over the last 30 years. the scatter-plot between Ni˜ o3.6 0. are correlated. there is no relation with the type of event.4 index and seasonal rainfall amount n for each of the 682 stations on the period 1979–1999. Empty. line) then GPCC (2000–2005. the 1991–1992 event which had a very strong impact on the summer rainfall of Southern Africa (Rouault and Richard. there is an increasing correlation between MJJ rainfall and the Ni˜ o3. given the strong decadal component of the teleconnection. The three trimesters are considered to account for spatial shifts that could have been masked by the PC.4 0. Ni˜ o3. Climatol. Conversely.N.5 GPCC 0 −0. the ﬁeld signiﬁcance has been tested as well.4 and rainfall are n considered synchronously.4 is above 0. while no robust and signiﬁcant correlan tion is found for MAM and JAS. They emphasize the role of the 1977 shift in southern oceans temperature from cold to warm conditions. and the linear correlations are ordered in ascending order. Indeed. during the 1982 and 1987 warm events (the 1985 cold event). Richard et al. Scatter-plot between Ni˜ o3. peak. In the following. Lyon and Mason.4 index. the substantial station-tostation correlation can yield to spatial coherent areas of chance sample correlation.2 r 0 −0.51. it is interesting to note that the 1997/1998 El Ni˜ o event that had a lesser impact than the 1982/1983 n event on the summer rainfall of Southern Africa (Rouault and Richard. is associated with weak winter rainfall anomalies over the western region.2 −0. Figure 3 presents the time evolution from 1950 to 2005 of the correlations for the 1st PC only which is the only one to show signiﬁcant and robust correlations with the Ni˜ o3. one could expect the decay phases to be associated with larger anomalies than the onset phases. The correlation equals 0.94). the intensity of the rainfall anomalies seems completely independent of the phase of the events (onset.4 1 2 85 84 98 89 81 00 86 95 79 80 04 05 90 01 94 92 87 02 83 93 97 82 Figure 4.4 (x-axis) and the rainfall amount n 1st PC (y-axis) from GPCC over the period 1979–2005 and the trimester MJJ.4 1960 MAM MJJ JAS 1970 1980 years 1990 Figure 3.. (2011) .5. n First. dark blue (red) and light blue (red) circles (triangles) denote onset. PHILIPPON et al. J. given the large number of stations used and their close proximity. Figure 5 displays the spatial pattern of the correlations between the Ni˜ o3. 100 random time series having the same power spectrum as the original one. The 21-year moving window correlations between the Ni˜ o3. we focus on the 21-year period 1979–1999 for which daily rainfall from Lynch database and NCEP2 reanalyses are available and when the correlation with Ni˜ o3. Data are standardized over the period 1979–1999. canonical or Modoki (Ashok et al. This ﬁgure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary. (2000) noticed a very similar strengthening of the ENSO association with the summer rainfall over the north and east parts of the RSA since the mid 1970s. El Ni˜ o and n La Ni˜ a years and their phase (onset.4 index (note that over n their 1950–1999 common period. The black circles denote values signiﬁcant at the 95% level according to Ebisuzaki random phase test. The upper 5% tail gives the one-tailed 5% level of signiﬁcance with the alternative hypothesis that the correlation is positive. 2005. the same procedure using the GPCC gridded rainfall over the period 1950–2005.shtml) over the period 1970–2000 are represented with circles of different colours. Further. but random phases.cpc. For instance.noaa.
1. Circles with blue and red contours denote values signiﬁcant at the 95% (90%) level according to Ebisuzaki random phase test.1 −0. The red (blue) shades denote positive (negative) correlations.4 0.7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude −29 −30 −31 latitude latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 17 −29 −30 −31 −32 −33 −34 −35 17 −29 Figure 5. we have computed for each correlation ﬁeld the proportion of stations having a p-value <= 0. Int.1 −0. 2004).4 0. Amount (MAM) 1 field not significant 0.1 −0.4 0.4 index and synchronous seasonal rainfall amount for the 682 stations and the 3 trimesters MAM. J.7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude (b) R: N3.1 and have calculated the q-value that is found for p = 0. (2011) .4 −0. Climatol.4 – Seas.. the ﬁeld is assumed to be not signiﬁcant.1 and the False Discovery Rate (FDR) are also provided when the ﬁeld is signiﬁcant. Correlation maps of the Ni˜ o3.1 −0. 2006). When all the correlations are false positive.7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude (c) R: N3.7 0.4 – Seas. Amount (JAS) 1 field not significant −30 −31 latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 17 0.7 0. The percentage of signiﬁcant correlations at α = 0. Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society Following Brown et al. MJJ n and JAS.7 0. (2010). This gives the expected proportion of false positive correlations incurred for correlations assumed signiﬁcant.4 – Seas.THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA (a) R: N3. and to be insensitive to the non-independence of the local test results (Wilks.1 −0.4 −0.1: 40% FDR: 4% 0.1 −0. assessed using the False Discovery Rate (FDR) approach initially proposed by Benjamini and Hochberg (1995). This approach has been proved to be powerful in evaluating ﬁeld statistical signiﬁcance when many hypothesis tests are performed simultaneously with climatological data (Ventura et al.4 −0. Amount (MJJ) 1 p<=0.
1996). 1999) and neutral events (1979. 1985.e. Indeed.5. In agreement with the preceding results. This is not surprising given that wet spells intensity spatial correlation is usually less than the wet spells length or wet spells number spatial correlation. while the seasonal correlation between rainfall total anomalies and ENSO is of the order of 0. and high positive ones stretching from Lamberts Bay to Namaqualand northwards.1 with 4% only being false positive according to the FDR method. we test the signiﬁcance of the shifts induced in their distributions using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test (Smirnov. n n 1988. To sum up. 1991. The n n mean distribution of the three components along with the differences between samples are presented in Figure 8 for all stations. 1992. core of the winter rainfall season. 1987. a majority of stations display a weak positive correlation with Ni˜ o3. 1997). One way to verify the second point. LWS is sign niﬁcantly modulated in Cape Town area. La Ni˜ a versus n n neutral events. most of these correlations are not signiﬁcant at α = 0. and the shortest wet spells are 1-day long. In MJJ. 1993. east of 20 ° E. much larger (and signiﬁcant) positive correlations are observed mainly for the stations located north of 34 ° S (i. (2002) found that those conditions occurred during wetter than normal winter in the Western Cape. their length (LWS). Figure 6 presents correlation between the Ni˜ o3.4 index as well. (2010) demonstrate that e the correlation between the Multivariate ENSO Index and DJF frequencies of dry days reaches 0. Reason et al.4 in MAM and logically the correlation ﬁeld is not n signiﬁcant. LWS and IWS at n the station scale during MJJ.4 switch from n positive to negative for the stations west of 20 ° E. and El Ni˜ o versus La Ni˜ a events.1.5std: 1982. daily amounts of 20 mm/day and up were signiﬁcantly modulated during El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events. However probabilities are systematically higher (lower) for El Ni˜ o (La Ni˜ a) events and departures n n become signiﬁcant at 95% (according to a Student ttest) when the distance from the reference station ranges between 480 and 720 km. J. 26% of stations are signiﬁcant at α = 0. 1984. 1986. 1995.4 < −0.4 Index and NWS. it is interesting to know if the anomalies observed in seasonal rainfall amount during El Ni˜ o n and La Ni˜ a events come from shifts in the frequency n of rainy days and/or in their intensity. In this study. All results are signiﬁcant at the 95% level and are strengthened when the 1982 and 1987 events are excluded from the El Ni˜ o sample. The daily resolution of the Lynch dataset allows us to compute some intraseasonal properties and to explore the impact of ENSO therein.N. PHILIPPON et al. 1980. 1998. three characteristics of the rainy season are examined: the number of wet spells (NWS). 3. the high seasonal rainfall amounts recorded during El Ni˜ o n events are the result of longer wet spells bringing more rains over Cape Town area and more frequent wet spells bringing more rains north of 33 ° S.5std: 1981.4 n n > 0. wet spells are longer and bring higher n rainfall amounts than during La Ni˜ a events. However.75 for the period 1970–1999. Results for the three samples (of 7 events each) are presented in Figure 7. the probability decreases with distance for the three samples (the farther away from the wet station of reference. Ropelewski and Bell (2008) analyzed such shifts in South American rainfall. (2011) .2. La Ni˜ a events (Ni˜ o3. 1989. While the correlations with Ni˜ o3. This result indicates that the rainy systems affecting our study region in MJJ have a larger extent during El Ni˜ o events than during La Ni˜ a n n events. with 19% of them being false positive. the KS statistics are computed on the three samples considered two by two: El Ni˜ o versus neutral events. This suggests that El Ni˜ o events in austral winter could be associated with n mid-latitude storm tracks shifted to the north and/or with larger and deeper systems. n black thick line). ENSO signal in the rainy season components properties (synchronous relationships) In this subsection. the western region of South Africa typically experiences 11–12 wet spells Int.1 and the correlation ﬁeld is not signiﬁcant. 1994. Cr´ tat et al. 1948). Climatol. during MJJ. Note that the seasonal amount S can be retrieved from i=N W S S= i=1 LW S × AW S (2) Similar to Figure 5. and their intensity (IWS) which is computed for each wet spell following: IWS = AW S LW S (1) where AWS is the rainfall amount recorded during the wet spell. The contrasted behaviour of the south coast stations is obvious in JAS. This test aims at determining if two independent samples are drawn from the same continuous population or not. those signiﬁcantly described by the 1st PC). the focus is on the MJJ season. NWS pictures a contrasted pattern with weak negative correlations in Cape Town area and along the Garden Route. On average (Figure 8. For the South African n n summer rainfall. Few stations located on the south coast (along the Garden Route) are signiﬁcantly correlated with the Ni˜ o3. 1990. the weaker the probability of recording rainfall). they are still positive (and even larger than in MJJ) for the stations of the Garden Route. To further document the impact of ENSO on the three intra-seasonal characteristics of daily rainfall and following Ropelewski and Bell (2008). As expected. 1983. It makes a total of 40% stations n having a correlation signiﬁcant at α = 0. Only the correlation ﬁeld for IWS is signiﬁcant. To account for differences in El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events n n which do not have symmetrical impacts. LWS and IWS display broad patterns of positive correlations suggesting that during Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society El Ni˜ o events. They noticed that whereas no clear signal could be found in seasonal rainfall amounts. A wet spell is deﬁned as a series of rainy days (>= 1 mm). is to compute the conditional probability of occurrence of a wet day (>1 mm) around a wet station as a function of the distance for El Ni˜ o events (Ni˜ o3.
Climatol.7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude LWS 1 field not significant latitude (b) −32 −33 −34 −35 17 −29 −30 −31 0. In addition.4 0. the length (LWS).7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude latitude (c) latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 17 −29 −30 −31 −32 −33 −34 −35 17 Figure 6.4 – NWS (MJJ) 1 field not significant 0.1 −0.4 0.7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 −1 r longitude IWS 1 p<=0. during El Ni˜ o events. the frequency (NWS). and the intensity (IWS).e. i. La Ni˜ a events are associated with a n reverse pattern for IWS: less intense wet spells are more frequent with a threshold set around ∼6 mm/day (against 10 mm/day for El Ni˜ o years).01: 26% FDR: 19% 0.7 0. the 10–50 mm/day wet spells (IWS) are more frequent. J.4 −0. composite maps n of the variation (in % of the normal) of the wet spells intensity for El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a years (not shown) n n indicates that the signal comes mainly from La Ni˜ a. the number of wet n spells (NWS) tends to be shifted toward 15 per season and per station.7 0. with n Int. This increase in NWS can be attributed to the increase of NWS at the northernmost stations (also in Figure 6 (a)). n n For instance. (2011) . a pattern signiﬁcantly modiﬁed during El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events.1 −0.4 −0.4 −0. Actually.1 −0.4 0.THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA (a) −29 −30 −31 R: N3.1 −0.1 −0.1 −0. and reﬂects larger or rain-bearing systems reaching farther north rather than more frequent Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society systems. lasting 1–2 days and bringing about 5 mm/day. Same as Figure 5 but for the MJJ wet spells properties.7 0.
7 0. J.017 1 −0. This suggests that El Ni˜ o tends to be n associated with longer wet spells than during La Ni˜ a. Bars: histogram of the difference between El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events.N.035 0 0 3 6 9 12 15 number LWS 18 21 x 104 10 frequency Figure 7. Thin black line: histogram of the difference n n between El Ni˜ o and neutral events.007 2 −0.2 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 distance (km) (b) 0. La Ni˜ a events also seem to be associated n with a higher number of wet spells (NWS) as compared to neutral events but this could be an artefact induced by the higher number of one-day wet spells (LWS). PHILIPPON et al. and intensity (IWS) of wet spells for the 682 stations in MJJ and all the years.02 4 −0. (2011) . This ﬁgure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary. for each wet spell occurring at a given station. The circles denote differences n signiﬁcant at the 95% level according to the Student’s t-test. when the El Ni˜ o events of n n 1982 and 1987 which are not associated with positive anomalies in seasonal rainfall amounts (Figure 4) are excluded from the sample.06 8 6 0.027 0 10 20 30 40 50 mm 60 70 0 80 Figure 8.005 1000 −0. Climatol. 3. ‘s0’.3 0.01 1500 0. This selection aims at Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society 2 −0. The effect of El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events on the length n n of wet spells (LWS) is less marked than their effect on the number and the intensity of wet spells. n The above analyses described wet spells properties during El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events.com/journal/joc 0. Associated atmospheric n n dynamics ﬁelds during wet spells are explored now in the next section. and this number is not signiﬁcantly higher Int. Similarly.003 frequency 3 −0. First. neutral (full black line) and n La Ni˜ a (blue thick dotted line) events. ﬁltering out the smallest events (note that results do not change using a threshold set at 15 or 25% of stations). we keep only those wet spells for which 20% of the stations at least have the same ‘s0’ (i. the composite maps of the variation in % of normal of the number of wet spells (not shown) for El Ni˜ o and n La Ni˜ a years show that NWS increased (decreased) by n 20% for stations north of 32 ° S.3. length (LWS). Indeed. However.1 −0.4 −0.06 0 2 4 6 8 days IWS 10 12 0 14 x 104 4 (c) 0. Dotted black line: histogram of n the difference between La Ni˜ a and neutral events. All the differences n pass the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test at the 95% level.02 500 0. they experience a synchronous start of a wet spell). n Moreover. Probability of occurrence of a wet day (>= 1 mm) around a wet station (average of the 682 stations) according to the distance (in km) for El Ni˜ o (red thin dashed line).013 0. Anomalies in rainfall and atmospheric dynamics ﬁelds during a wet spell: El Ni˜ o versus La Ni˜ a years n n Analyses performed in this section are based on a selection of wet spells. the shape of the distribution shows a negative departure for the one-day wet spells and positive departures for the two and four–eight-daylong wet spells.e. we retrieve its starting date.5 0. The wet spells selected account for about 25% of the total number of wet spells. Thick black line: histograms of the number (NWS). the distributions of the two samples are very close except for the one-day wet spells which are less frequent during El Ni˜ o events. This represents ∼19 wet spells per year. occurence of wet day (>=1mm) (a) 0.6 probability frequency 0.025 NWS (MJJ) 2000 0.02 most of the stations recording wet spells 20–40% less intense during La Ni˜ a years than during neutral years. Then.
1 −0.Z 500 : mean s 2:s 1 −30 −31 latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 4mm 8mm latitude 12mm 0 −10 −20 −30 −40 −50 −0. Note that given the season we study.2 60 80 22 24 20 0.3 0 18 20 longitude (c) −29 −30 −31 latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 PP : mean s0:s1 (d) U. During the two days preceding the start of the wet spell (s–2:s–1).6 −0.1 −0.com/journal/joc during El Ni˜ o events than during La Ni˜ a events (at n n 95% according to the Student’s t-test).5 −0.1 −0. n n The same analyses performed considering ‘s–1’. The differences in rainfall (in mm) between El Ni˜ o n and neutral. with amounts of 10 mm/day and more Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society in Cape Town area and the seaward sides of the Hottentots Holland. First. and ‘s1’). Right panels: mean atmospheric dynamics (U. It is clear that El Ni˜ o and La n Ni˜ a events do not have perfectly symmetrical impacts. Once the wet spells and their associated ‘s0’ dates are selected.1 −0. This ﬁgure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary. J. The mean evolution from s–2:s–1 to s0:s1 of rainfall and associated atmospheric dynamics (U. but these anomalies are mainly signiﬁcant for the stations in Cape Town area and along the Hottentots Holland and Drakenstein escarpment. and La Ni˜ a and neutral events.3 −0. light rainfall (1 mm/day) are likely to occur over the network at s–2:s–1 (Figure 9 (a)). V. ‘s0’.1 −0. Climatol.THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA (a) PP : mean s 2:s 1 (b) U. there is a clear opposition on each side of 33 ° S with stations to the north (south) experiencing negative (positive) anomalies of rainfall. the patterns Int. n During El Ni˜ o events (Figure 10 (a) and (b)). and s0:s1 periods are presented in Figure 10. We then build two samples averaging the days ‘s–2’ and ‘s–1’.1 −29 80 40 longitude Figure 9.4 −0. and ‘s 0’ and ‘s 1’ to document the rainfall and the atmospheric dynamics ﬁelds before.1 0.1 −0. This is due to the role of the mountain escarpments that uplift the air mass but it could also be due to the uneven distribution of stations over the domain with Cape Town area being overrepresented. The signiﬁcance of the difference is tested according to the Student’s t-test.2 0. and due to the large number of raingauges available.7 −40 −0.2 −0.1 −0. making a distinction between El Ni˜ o.V. La Ni˜ a events (Figure 10 (c) n and (d)) feature different patterns. and during the wet spell. Z) at 500 hPa is displayed in Figure 9. we extract the period spanning from s0 minus 2 days to s0 + 1 day (‘s–2’. V and Z at 500 hPa) ﬁeld before (s–2:s–1) and during (s0:s1) a wet spell (in standard deviation).5 −0.2 0. a wet spell n (s0:s1) is associated with widespread positive anomalies of rainfall. Comparing patterns s–2:s–1 (Figure 9 (a) and (b)) with s0:s1 (Figure 9 (c) and (d)).Z 500 : mean s0:s1 0 4mm 8mm latitude 12mm −10 −20 −0.3 −50 0 18 20 longitude 22 24 20 −0. La Ni˜ a and neutral events. Left panels: mean rainfall ﬁeld before (s–2:s–1) and during (s0:s1) a wet spell. based on how we selected our wet spells. and ‘s 0’ only give very close results.1 40 longitude 60 −0.4 −300. Drakenstein and Cederberg mountains.1 0.2 0. The circles size is proportional to the rainfall amount (in mm). for the n s–2:s–1. there is a clear increase in rainfall amounts during wet spells associated with the arrival of the low pressure system. (2011) .V. ‘s–1’.4 −0.
These atmospheric dynamics patterns are in agreement with rainfall patterns presented in Figure 10. Z. Red (blue) circles denote negative (positive) differences. (a) PP : ENSO – norm. Figure 11 (b)). In addition (not shown). the 850 hPa temperatures over our study region and offshore tend to be warmer before the start of the wet spell then colder during the wet spell. (2011) . Figures 11 and 12). Figure 12 (a)). and Figure 11 (a)) is stronger with anomalies of divergence ahead of the trough (18 ° E/28 ° S) before the start of the wet spell (s–2:s–1). Moreover rainfall amounts are signiﬁcantly modulated (low amounts) in many more stations than during El Ni˜ o events. J. Before the n start of the wet spell (s–2:s–1. 1997). before the start of wet spells (s–2:s–1). s–2:s–1 (d) −29 −30 −31 PP : LNSO – norm. The signiﬁcance of the differences between El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events n n is tested according to the Student’s t-test for Z and the Hotelling T-square statistics (Hotelling. the Cape Town area and the seaward sides of the Hottentots Holland and Drakenstein mountains directly exposed to the northwesterly ﬂow. During the wet spell (s0:s1. V. n The same analyses are carried on the atmospheric dynamics (U. all stations are under the inﬂuence of stronger than normal northwesterlie winds which are consistent with the widespread positive anomalies of rainfall. Patterns at 850 and 500 hPa are quite similar. s–0:s–1 1mm 3mm latitude 5mm 1mm 3mm 5mm latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 18 20 longitude 22 24 −32 −33 −34 −35 18 20 longitude 22 24 Figure 10. The cyclonic circulation centred at 0–40 ° S (Figure 9 bottom right panel. These atmospheric dynamics patterns are typical of low-pressure systems such as cold fronts or cutoff lows which are known to bring rainfall over the western part of South Africa in winter (PrestonWhite and Tyson. the anticyclonic circulation anomaly centred on the Namibia border is prone to inhibit rainfall which explains the negative rainfall anomalies recorded from Lamberts Bay to the Namaqualand. Orange (blue) face colours denote differences signiﬁcant at the 95% level according to the Student’s t-test. This suggests that either rainbearing systems are shifted to the south during La Ni˜ a n events or that they are of a different nature and bring less rain than during El Ni˜ o events. s–2:s–1 (b) PP : ENSO–norm. On the contrary. Climatol. 1931) for U and V. This induces a stronger than normal northwesterly ﬂow offshore from s–2 to Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society s–1. we display the 500 hPa ones only. The circle size is proportional to the difference. s–0:s–1 −29 −30 −31 −29 −30 −31 1mm 3mm latitude 5mm 1mm 3mm 5mm latitude −32 −33 −34 −35 18 20 longitude 22 24 −32 −33 −34 −35 18 20 longitude 22 24 (c) −29 −30 −31 PP : LNSO – norm. PHILIPPON et al. In particular. This pattern is strengthened during El Ni˜ o events. the atmospheric dynamics accompanying wet spells is characterized by deeper lows embedded in the westerly ﬂow. tend to record slightly higher rainfall amounts. and La Ni˜ a and neutral events (bottom panels) in rainfall ﬁeld n n before (s–2:s–1) and during (s0:s1) a wet spell.N. During El Ni˜ o events n and as compared to neutral events (Figure 11). strong Int. n The atmospheric dynamics pattern of anomalies during La Ni˜ a events (Figure 12) is different. before and during wet spells are roughly the same with a clear opposition between stations on each side of 20 ° E: negative (positive) anomalies are recorded to the west (east). Stations located north of 33 ° S n are particularly affected. hence. Differences (in mm) between El Ni˜ o and neutral events (top panels).
4–0. and a weaker high around 30 ° E–35 ° S (Figure 9 (c)) associated with stronger than normal westerlies wind above the western region. LWS and IWS from 10 months before the rainy season to 9 month after (i. J. in conjunction with high pressure anomaly to the west (∼10 ° E) and low-pressure anomaly to the east (∼40 ° E). Ni˜ o3.4 index and seasonal n amount (SA). s0:s1 UV. Shadings (black arrows) denote differences signiﬁcant at the 95% level according to the Student’s t-test (Hotelling T-square statistics). and 3.2.1. Differences between El Ni˜ o and neutral events in wind (arrows) and geopotential height (contours.4.4 and MJJ seasonal rainfall amount. This atmospheric dynamics conﬁguration is close to the Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society southerly meridional ﬂow described by Preston-White and Tyson (1997) that is known to bring rainfall to the Garden Route due to the orography. Following the approach proposed by Korecha and Barnston (2007) in their study of the predictability of the June–September rainfall in Ethiopia. Z 500 : ENSO – norm. not shown). which is downwind. ENSO – rainfall lead-lag relationships Sections 3.4 n Int. During wet spell (s0:s1. a deeper low is present at 0–40 ° S. records negative anomalies of rainfall (Figure 10).THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA (a) 0 −5 −10 −15 latitude −20 −25 −30 −35 −40 −45 −50 −10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 longitude (b) 0 −5 −10 −15 latitude −20 −25 −30 −35 −40 −45 −50 −10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 UV.6) synchronous correlations between N3. Figure 13 displays correlation between the Ni˜ o3. The Garden Route which is windward. in hPa) ﬁelds at 500 hPa before n (s–2:s–1) and during (s0:s1) a wet spell. have shown moderate positive (0. (2011) . Z 500 : ENSO – norm. and intensity of Wet Spells (IWS) at the raingauge scale. Figure 12 (b)). 3. strong southerly wind anomalies are observed over the region. Climatol. records positive anomalies of rainfall while the area from Cape Town to Namaqualand. winds anomalies are rather southwesterly with anomalies of divergence over our study region.e. at 850 hPa (not shown). s–2:s–1 longitude Figure 11. This raises the question of the level of skill rainfall forecasts based on ENSO pre-season values or ENSO forecasts could have. However. cyclonic anomalies are found off the south coast. number of Wet Spells (NWS) north of 32 ° S. This could explain the signiﬁcant negative rainfall anomalies recorded from Cape Town to the Namaqualand (Figure 10 (c)). Cooler air is brought over the region as well (T. NWS.
Correlations are signiﬁcant mainly during and after the rainy season suggesting that IWS could be a potential predictor of ENSO and not the reverse. Figure 13) increases gradually with more than 25% of common variance from March (r >= 0. Same as Figure 11 but for differences between La Ni˜ a and neutral events. even during the rainy season. s–2:s–1 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 longitude (b) 0 −5 −10 −15 −20 latitude −25 −30 −35 −40 −45 −50 −10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 longitude Figure 12.N. Z 500 : ENSO – norm. Climatol. due to the ﬁltering effect of the spatial aggregation with respect to the random variability present in single raingauges. During the season. It involves the propagation of SST anomalies from the Atlantic and Indian subtropics into the tropics from boreal winter to spring then a dynamical atmospheric response over the three tropical basins which might trigger the onset of ENSO. then correlations decrease and are no n longer signiﬁcant. n UV. Int.4 in May. (2011) . Correlations are computed considering a rainfall regional index (average of the standardized 682 raingauges). This is not surprising given the few raingauges for which Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society NWS and LWS are signiﬁcantly correlated to N3.4 in preseason (September to April. we expect stronger correlations than for any individual raingauge. J. and LWS correlations are most of the time weak and not signiﬁcant.4 (Figure 6). the highest correlation is with Ni˜ o3. For the intra-seasonal components NWS.5) and correlations signiﬁcant by January. This is coherent with recent ﬁndings by Jin and Kirtman (2009) and Terray (2011) who show that ENSO forced pattern in the Southern Hemisphere extra-tropics leads the peak phase of ENSO by one season. While the former authors attribute it to divergence/convergence anomalies sensitivity to local seasonality. s0:s1 in August year −1 correlated with SA in MJJ year 0 and Ni˜ o3. the later suggests the setup of a subtropical forcing from the Atlantic and Indian basins on the equatorial Paciﬁc. Z 500 : LNSO – norm. Indeed. IWS features a different pattern. PHILIPPON et al. The MJJ seasonal amount correlation with N3.4 in April year +1 correlated with SA in n MJJ year 0). (a) 0 −5 −10 −15 latitude −20 −25 −30 −35 −40 −45 −50 −10 0 10 UV.
4 preseason or forecasted values to be of moderate n utility and skill to forecast the MJJ rainfall amount or intra-seasonal components. The results point out a signiﬁcant association between ENSO and winter rainfall from the so-called 1976/1977 climate shift from May to July. Following Fauchereau et al. Moreover whereas the statistical signiﬁcance of the decadal variations of rainfall teleconnections with ENSO is questioned by Van Oldenborgh and Burgers (2005). 1997) whereas during La Ni˜ a events. plain line). 5 cold (warm) events out of 7 are synchronous with below (above) normal rainfall amounts. or 1950–2000). peak of the annual cycle of rainfall there.2 are not displayed. Following Reason et al. (2009) who have analyzed the different patterns of convection. The within season correlation values although higher than the preseason ones. There seems to be no difference in rainfall anomalies according to the phase of ENSO (onset or decay). J.4 autocorrelation. Correlation values above 0.49 (∼25% of common variance). further work will focus on weather types themselves to conﬁrm if their occurrence in winter is signiﬁcantly modulated during El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a n n events.4 n index over 1979–1999 equals 0.1 0 −0. So we expect the use of either Ni˜ o3. Ni˜ o3. This relationship has never been reported in previous studies partly because they usually considered the May–September or July–September season or longer periods (1900.6 between season (May–July) and preseason (January–April) are in bold. wet spells are more frequent over the northern stations and the probability of occurrence of a wet day around a wet station increases signiﬁcantly for distances comprised between 480 and 720 km.56 when only those wet days recording more than 10 mm are considered.THE INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WINTER RAINFALL IN SOUTH AFRICA 0. Climatol. dots). This weakening of the ENSO autocorrelation in spring is known as the ‘spring predictability barrier’. The correlation between MJJ rainfall amount 1st PC and the Ni˜ o3. number of wet spells (NWS. Discussion and conclusion The aim of that study was to investigate the existence of an ENSO signal in the winter rainfall region of the Copyright 2011 Royal Meteorological Society western part of the Republic of South Africa.4 index autocorrelation (×100) over the period n 1979–1999.2 A−1 S O N D J0 F M A M0 J0 J0 A S O N D J1 F M A month (lead/lag) Figure 13. positive (negative) n n anomalies in winter (MJJ) rainfall amount during El Ni˜ o n (La Ni˜ a) events are due to wet spells which are longer n (shorter) and bring more (less) rainfall. The 500 hPa geopotential and wind anomalies during El Ni˜ o events n indicates a pattern usually observed during high and widespread rainfall events triggered by deep lows and associated cold fronts (Preston-White and Tyson. Indeed. Correlations below 0. dashed-dotted line) and intensity of wet spells (IWS.5 0. it is obvious that the n June–July state of Ni˜ o3. the associated rainfall anomalies and the correlation with ENSO in summer. Looking at Table I which presents Ni˜ o3. the impact of the ENSO detected here features a strong decadal component and seems restricted to the recent decades. and the 1982 and 1987 warm events seems Int. the ﬂow has a stronger n than normal southerly component which favours rainfall along the Garden Route and inhibits rainfall further north. remain moderate with the highest values found in May for SA and LWS and in June for IWS. (2009) or Pohl et al. length of wet spells (LWS. The availability of daily rainfall data over a dense network of raingauges (682 stations extracted) allowed us to examine changes in wet spells properties during El Ni˜ o and La Ni˜ a events. dashed line).27 to 0. wind and temperature) associated with the largest wet spells suggest that features of rainy systems affecting the western region seem involved as well. Circles denote correlations signiﬁcant at 95%.4 index n and the frequency of wet days jumps from 0. The analyses carried on atmospheric dynamics (geopotential. Table I.3 r value 0.4 0.4 can be hardly inferred from n its state the preceding months.1 −0. Lead-lag correlation (from August year −1 to April year +1) between the Nino3. these results suggest that the use of Ni˜ o3. the hypothesis of rainy systems shifted to the north during El Ni˜ o events is proposed ﬁrst to explain these n results. Typically. In particular. The lack of signal in rainfall during the 1985 cold events.4 index and the regional index of MJJ (year 0) seasonal amount (SA.4 preseason values would lead to a poor forecast n of winter rainfall. while the May state can be accurately inferred from April. (2011) . (2002).2 0.6 0. A majority of stations experiences a signiﬁcant increase (decrease) of wet spells daily rainfall amounts ranging between 10 and 50 mm: the correlation between the Ni˜ o3. 4. March Jan Feb March Apr May June 95 97 1 Apr 85 88 93 1 May 64 67 74 91 1 June 28 28 37 62 80 1 July – – – 44 66 93 MJJ 33 34 44 69 87 98 On the whole.
Ropelewski CF. Harrison MSJ. 2009. Jin D. Ebisuzaki W. Rouault M. It demonstrates. Hotelling H. 78. Janicot S. 2002.1007/s00382-008-0485-4. Interactions between synoptic. 2002. Kirtman B. 1156/1/03. African Journal of Marine Science 32: 237–246. Journal of Geophysical Research 114: D23101. Richard Y. International Journal of Climatology DOI: 10. Coastal Oceanic climate change and variability from 1982 to 2009 around South Africa. Michael K. WRC. Moreover. and to that latter who hosted her. Mason SJ. South African Journal of Science 105: 199–207. their n symmetries. El Ni˜ o n Modoki and its possible teleconnection.1214/aoms/ 1177732979. This is a contribution to the SEACHANGE NRF project and the SATREPS/JICA ACCESS Climate Program. 2005. Geophysical Research Letters 32: L15702. DOI: 10. Fauchereau N. Climatol. Mason SJ. Rouault M. The generalization of Student’s ratio. ACCESS and Nansen-Tutu Center for funding. 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