Effects of El Niño in Mexico during rainy and dry seasons: an extended treatment

José Luis Bravo-Cabrera, Enrique Azpra-Romero, Víctor Zarraluqui-Such, Carlos Gay-Garcia

Abstract

The effect of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on precipitation in Mexico is analyzed. Unlike previous studies, the amount of data used is larger and the Mexican territory is more widely covered. In this paper, daily precipitation from the CLICOM database updated to 2015 was used. The studied period spans from 1961 to 2013 and was divided into two periods: 1961-1990 and 1991-2013. For the same periods two separated seasons were considered: the cold and dry (November-April), and the warm and wet (May-October). Thus, the number of stations that exceed the amount of continuous information criteria for a certain period increases considerably. The Pearson correlation coefficient with a significance of 5% was used in order to test for the existence of a relationship between precipitation and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI). The results are presented in maps where regions of precipitation above or below average are observed. During the summer/warm months, the northwestern region of Mexico is clearly identified with a direct relationship between MEI and precipitation, whereas an inverse relationship in the part that lies south of latitude 22º N is seen. In the winter/cold months, there is a general increase in precipitation with increasing MEI. Distributions of normal rainfall for both winter and summer are also shown.

Keywords

El Niño; precipitation; Pearson correlation; cold season; warm season

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