What controls the interannual variation of the wet season onsets over the amazon?


Journal Article

© 2014. American Geophysical Union. All rights reserved. Previous studies have established that sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic are the main forcing of the interannual variation of the wet season onsets in the Amazon. However, this variation appears to be complex and not uniquely determined by SSTAs. What causes such a complexity and to what extent the interannual variation of the wet season onsets is predictable remain unclear. This study suggests that such a complex relationship is the result of several competing processes, which are nonlinearly related to the SSTAs. In particular, three dry season conditions are crucial for determining interannual variation of the wet season onset. (i) A poleward shift of the Southern Hemisphere subtropical jet (SHSJ) over the South American sector, initiated from a wave train-like structure possibly forced by south central Pacific SST patterns, can prevent cold frontal systems from moving northward into the Amazon. This delays cold air incursion and results in late wet season onset over the southern Amazon. (ii) An anomalous anticyclonic center, which enhances westerly wind at 850 hPa over the southern Amazon and also the South American low-level jets, leads to moisture export from the southern Amazon to La Plata basin and reduces convective systems that provide elevated diabatic heating. (iii) Smaller convective available potential energy (CAPE) limits local thermodynamically driven convection. Based on the stepwise and partial least squares regressions, these three selected preseasonal conditions (Niño 4, SHSJ, and CAPE) can explain 57% of the total variance of the wet season onset.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yin, L; Fu, R; Zhang, YF; Arias, PA; Nelun Fernando, D; Li, W; Fernandes, K; Bowerman, AR

Published Date

  • March 16, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 2314 - 2328

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2156-2202

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-0227

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/2013JD021349

Citation Source

  • Scopus