The influence of low frequency sea surface temperature modes on delineated decadal rainfall zones in Eastern Africa region
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Advances in Water Resources. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Advances in Water Resources, Vol. 54 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2013.01.001
Influence of low frequency global Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) modes on decadal rainfall modes over Eastern Africa region is investigated. Fore-knowledge of rainfall distribution at decadal time scale in specific zones is critical for planning purposes. Both rainfall and SST data that covers a period of 1950–2008 were subjected to a ‘low-pass filter’ in order to suppress the high frequency oscillations. VARIMAX-Rotated Principal Component Analysis (RPCA) was employed to delineate the region into decadal rainfall zones while Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) techniques was used to examine potential linkages of these zones to various areas of the tropical global oceans. Ten-year distinct decadal signals, significant at 95% confidence level, are dominant when observed in-situ rainfall time series are subjected to spectral analysis. The presence of variability at El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-related timescales, combined with influences in the 10–12 year and 16–20 year bands were also prevalent. Nine and seven homogeneous decadal rainfall zones for long rainfall season i.e. March-May (MAM) and the short rainfall season i.e. October-December (OND), respectively, are delineated. The third season of June–August (JJA), which is mainly experienced in western and Coastal sub-regions had eight homogenous zones delineated. The forcing of decadal rainfall in the region is linked to the equatorial central Pacific Ocean, the tropical and South Atlantic Oceans, and the Southwest Indian Ocean. The high variability of these modes highlighted the significant roles of all the global oceans in forcing decadal rainfall variability over the region.
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