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Linking extreme precipitation in Southeast Asia to equatorial waves

Ferrett, S. ORCID:, Yang, G.-Y. ORCID:, Woolnough, S. J. ORCID:, Methven, J. ORCID:, Hodges, K. and Holloway, C. E. ORCID: (2020) Linking extreme precipitation in Southeast Asia to equatorial waves. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 146 (727). pp. 665-684. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/qj.3699


Equatorially trapped waves, such as Kelvin Waves, Equatorial Rossby Waves and Westward-moving Mixed Rossby-Gravity (WMRG) Waves, play a major role in organizing tropical convection on synoptic to sub-seasonal timescales. These waves have the potential to provide an important source of predictability for high impact weather in Southeast (SE) Asia and the tropics more widely. To aid understanding of the role played in high impact weather by such waves, the observed statistical relationship between identified equatorial waves and heavy rainfall in SE Asia is examined for the period 1998-2016. Increases in the amount of precipitation and the likelihood of extreme precipitation in SE Asia are linked to all three types of waves that are included in analysis; Kelvin, equatorial Rossby and WMRG waves. There is both increased mean rainfall and increased probability of occurrence of heavy rainfall on days when high amplitude waves propagate over SE Asia. In particular, heavy precipitation can be up to three times more likely in regions of SE Asia during equatorial waves, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Kelvin waves have a large influence on heavy rainfall over Indonesia, WMRG and Kelvin waves impact Malaysia rainfall, and equatorial Rossby and WMRG waves are linked to increased rainfall over the Philippines. Based on this study it can be concluded that the probability of extreme precipitation in this region is dependent on equatorial wave activity. Therefore, the skill in probabilistic prediction of extreme precipitation in SE Asia would be expected to be conditional on the skill in equatorial wave prediction, and the modelled relationship between equatorial waves and convection.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:87464
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society


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