Prediction of global rainfall probabilities using phases of the Southern Oscillation Index

Stone, Roger C. and Hammer, Graeme L. and Marcussen, Torben (1996) Prediction of global rainfall probabilities using phases of the Southern Oscillation Index. Nature, 384 (6606). pp. 252-255. ISSN 0028-0836

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THE El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a quasi-periodic interannual variation in global atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns, known to be correlated with variations in the global pattern of rainfall1−3. Good predictive models for ENSO, if they existed, would allow accurate prediction of global rainfall variations, thus leading to better management of world agricultural production4,5, as well as improving profits and reducing risks for farmers6,7. But our current ability to predict ENSO variation is limited. Here we describe a probabilistic rainfall 'forecasting' system that does not require ENSO predictive ability, but is instead based on the identification of lag-relationships between values of the Southern Oscillation Index, which provides a quantitative measure of the phase of the ENSO cycle, and future rainfall. The system provides rainfall probability distributions three to six months in advance for regions worldwide, and is simple enough to be incorporated into management systems now.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Electronic copy of Author's version unavailable.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2009 06:08
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2011 22:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Southern Oscillation Index; rainfall prediction
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1038/384252a0

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