Variability of rainfall from tropical cyclones in northwestern México and its relation to SOI and PDO

S. C. DÍAZ, C. A. SALINAS ZAVALA, S. HERNÁNDEZ VÁZQUEZ

Abstract

Tropical cyclones during September affect the semi-arid northwestern region of México with a relatively high frequency, bringing much-needed precipitation. This study provided a better understanding of tropical cyclone inter-annual variability, their relationships with other atmospheric-oceanic phenomena, and their inter-decadal occurrences. Daily rain data from 534 meteorological stations were analyzed and used to calculate the percentage of the annual precipitation related to tropical cyclones of the eastern North Pacific Ocean affecting the region from 1949 to 2002. Using interpolation techniques, the stations were grouped in 1º × 1º areas, and the area structure of the tropical cyclone influence was obtained using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) variable analysis to identify five regions. Representative inter-annual variation series from each region were analyzed to identify changes in the influence of tropical cyclones as part of the annual precipitation. A gradient of tropical cyclone influence was found declining from south to north, mainly in the peninsula area. A regime shift in 1976 is coincident with a shift trend in series from areas with larger tropical cyclones influence. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) driving is stronger for the northern part of the region, while the southern part has stronger Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) influence.

 

Keywords

Tropical cyclones, eastern North Pacific Ocean, precipitation, SOI, PDO

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