Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 2:45 PM
Examining the effect of Concurrent SST anomalies on Caribbean Rainfall
Enfield and Alfaro (Journal of Climate 1999 -hereafter EA99), use singular value decomposition (SVD) to show the existence of a relationship between Caribbean rainfall and concurrent sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in both the tropical north Atlantic (TNA) and tropical Pacific. They find a strong response to oppositely signed concurrent anomalies in the TNA and tropical Pacific, with the tendency for enhanced rainfall over the Caribbean and Central America under a warm Atlantic-cool Pacific scenario.
In this study we repeat the analysis of EA99 after stratifying the Caribbean rainfall season (May-November) into two month periods. This contrasts with the use of a mean rainfall season in EA99. We do this as there is strong evidence that the dominant oceanic influence on interannual variability of Caribbean rainfall changes as the season progresses. We find similar results to EA99 during the later part of the Caribbean rainfall season, however we do not find an inter-ocean tropical SST gradient to be a significant influence during the early part of the season.