Impacts of different ENSO flavors and tropical Pacific convection variability (ITCZ, SPCZ) on austral summer rainfall in South America, with a focus on Peru: IMPACTS ENSO FLAVORS, SPCZ, AND ITCZ ON RAINFALL OF SOUTH AMERICA
Monthly precipitation data from the period of 1970 to 2004 from 38 meteorological stations in the Mantaro river basin were used to classify the rainy seasons (September–April) of each year into anomalously dry or wet, and to determine the basin-wide extent of the anomalies based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The wet periods mostly occurred in the early 1970’s and during the first half of the 1980’s, except for the event that occurred in the 1993/94 period which was the strongest and most generalized in the analyzed period. The dry periods occurred mostly during the second half of the 1980’s and the 1990’s. Consistent with this, a negative trend in precipitation of 2% per decade was found for the rainy season, due mainly to a stronger trend (−4%/decade) during the peak phase (January–March). Despite previously reported significant negative correlations between El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and rainfall during the peak of the rainfall season, the similar amplitude variability of precipitation during the onset phase of the rainfall season (September–December), which is uncorrelated with ENSO, participate to the reduction of the absolute correlation for the full rainfall season. Correlations between rainfall in the Mantaro basin and sea surface temperature (SST) in the tropical Atlantic are significant only near the end of the rainy season, with more rain associated with a weaker north-south difference in SST in the tropical Atlantic.