Weather regimes linked to daily precipitation anomalies in Northern Chile
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European Commission's projectS2S4E - Sub-seasonal to Seasonal climate forecasting for Energy (EC-H2020-776787)
Northern Chile is one of the most arid regions in the world, with precipitation mainly occurring during austral summer, between December and April. The aim of this study is to classify the main weather regimes derived from sea level pressure, surface wind speed, 500 or 250 hPa geopotential heights, in order to measure their influence on precipitation anomalies and determine if they can be considered sources of predictability of rainfall in this region. Four weather regimes were found to optimally describe atmospheric circulation in the study area during 1966-2015 and for each of the four levels described above. Using daily precipitation data from a network of 161 meteorological stations across the region, the rainfall anomalies associated with each weather regime were quantified. They are coherent with the direction of flow derived from pressure and geopotential anomalies, bringing humid air masses from the Amazon Basin or the Pacific. The transitions between the different regimes are also coherent, representing transitions to and from similar regimes. A few negative and significant trends in the persistence of different regimes were detected, most likely linked to the absence of anthropogenic warming in the Antarctic as opposed to the Arctic. Finally, two of the regimes derived from surface wind speed exhibit a negative and significant trend in its frequency of occurrence, determining a precipitation decrease in the south of the study area (28–30°S), which can be compared with the Megadrought experienced in central Chile.
CitationMeseguer-Ruiz, O. [et al.]. Weather regimes linked to daily precipitation anomalies in Northern Chile. "Atmospheric Research", Maig 2020, vol. 236, 104802.