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Pacific and Atlantic controls of the relationship between Mainland Southeast Asia and East China interannual precipitation variability


The Asian monsoon region is highly dependent on boreal summer rainfall, which directly impacts the socio-economic stability and welfare of billions of people each year. Precipitation variability over East China has been extensively studied and is known to be characterized by meridional tripole and dipole precipitation structures. In contrast, few studies have focused on precipitation variability over Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) and the possible relationship with the variability over East China. Here we focus on how interannual precipitation variability across MSEA during 1983–2017 may be associated with the tripole or dipole patterns using an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. The first EOF shows a meridional tripole pattern in East China summer precipitation and an in-phase relationship between MSEA and South China precipitation. In contrast, the second EOF shows a meridional dipole pattern in East China precipitation and an out-of-phase relationship between MSEA and South China precipitation. We show that the first EOF mode is a delayed precipitation response to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), while the second EOF mode is a simultaneous precipitation response to the remote influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Therefore, the in-phase or out-of-phase variations in precipitation between MSEA and South China may be used to gauge the relative importance of local Pacific and remote Atlantic influences on Asian monsoon climate.

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