308 Impacts of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) on Rainfall in Sri Lanka

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
I M Shiromani Priyanthika Jayawardena, Department of Meteorology, Colombo, Sri Lanka; and M. C. Wheeler, W. L. Sumathipala, and B. R. S. B. Basnayake

Handout (2.9 MB)

The influence of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) on rainfall in Sri Lanka (SL) is examined based on 30 years of daily station data from 1981–2010. Composites are constructed for each of the eight phases of the MJO defined with the Real-time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index, and daily rainfall data from 44 stations over SL for four climatic seasons. Composites of lower tropospheric wind and convective anomaly are also investigated in order to examine how the local rainfall anomalies are associated with large-scale circulations. The greatest impact of the MJO on rainfall over SL occurs in the Second Inter-Monsoon (SIM), and Southwest Monsoon (SWM) seasons. Enhanced rainfall generally occurs over SL during RMM phases 2 and 3 when the MJO convective envelop is located in the Indian Ocean, and conversely suppressed rainfall in phases 6 and 7. This rainfall impact is due to the direct influence of the MJO’s tropical convective anomalies and associated low-level circulations in the Bay of Bengal. In contrast, the MJO influence during the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) season is slightly less than during the SWM and SIM seasons as a result of the southward shift of the MJO convective envelop during boreal winter. Occurrence of extreme rainfall events is most frequent during phase 2 in First Inter-Monsoon (FIM) phases 2 and 3 in SWM, phases 1, 2 and 3 in SIM and phases 2 and 3 in NEM seasons. The analysis of this study provides a useful reference of when and where the MJO has significant impacts on rainfall as well as extreme rainfall events during four climatic seasons in Sri Lanka. This information can be used along with accurately predicted MJO phase by dynamical or statistical models, to improve extended range forecasting in Sri Lanka.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner