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CR 23:31-38 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/cr023031

El Niño signals contained in precipitation at the East China Sea

You-Soon Chang1,*, HuiSoo An2, DongChull Jeon3, Jae-Cheol Nam1, Jang-Won Seo1

1Marine Meteorology and Earthquake Research Laboratory, Meteorological Research Institute, Seoul 156-720, Korea
2Department of Earth Science Education, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
3Ocean Environment and Climate Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Ansan PO Box 29, Seoul 425-600, Korea

ABSTRACT: In general, El Niño signals can be easily identified in the tropical Pacific Ocean but not in the East China Sea, due to the complexity of the monsoon system and insufficient knowledge of El Niño effects in mid-latitudinal regions. In this study interannual variability of precipitation at the East China Sea is analyzed. Regional correlation and the spatial distribution of interannual variation of precipitation are also analyzed in order to confirm the teleconnection pattern. Most of the rainfall stations located in the southern area of Korea show significant biennial and interannual cycles with 2 to 8 yr periodicity. As for the wavelet analysis, it was found that the periods of significant maximum power spectrum corresponded with historical El Niño episodes, especially when a strong El Niño/La Niña was repeated. Maximum positive correlation appears between the Niño3 region (equatorial eastern Pacific) and the East China Sea at a time lag of about 4 mo. This correlation tendency can be confirmed in the second mode of Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis explaining the strong El Niño event. These results also suggest variation in upper wind fields such as the Hadley circulation and East Asia jet stream.

KEY WORDS: Precipitation · El Niño · Teleconnection · Wavelet · Correlation · EOF · Upper wind

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