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Indian Ocean sea surface temperature variability and winter rainfall: Eastern Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 19:31 authored by Verdon, DC, Franks, SW
[1] This study investigates the relationship between sea surface temperature (SST) variability occurring over the Indian Ocean and winter rainfall variability in eastern Australia. Six indices of SST variability are compared and their relationship to rainfall over eastern Australia is determined. An analysis of historical rainfall data for Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria reveals that a strong relationship exists between a number of these indices and winter rainfall. In particular, anomalous SSTs over the Indonesian region provide a good indication of winter rainfall variability in eastern Australia. Additionally, this relationship is shown to hold true irrespective of potential impacts on rainfall by the El Nin˜o–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A possible physical process by which the Indian Ocean SST anomalies may influence winter rainfall is proposed, involving their impact on the nature of the northwest Australian cloud band. This study demonstrates marked controls on winter climate variability comparable to that induced in summer by the better known ENSO processes and hence offers improved understanding of year-round seasonal climates.

History

Publication title

Water Resources Research

Volume

41

Issue

9

Article number

W09413

Number

W09413

Pagination

1-10

ISSN

0043-1397

Department/School

School of Engineering

Publisher

Amer Geophysical Union

Place of publication

2000 Florida Ave Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20009

Rights statement

Copyright 2005 American Geophysical Union

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other environmental management not elsewhere classified

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