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Hydroclimate variability and its statistical links to the large-scale climate indices for the Upper Chao Phraya River Basin, Thailand

Singhrattna N., Babel M.S., Perret S.. 2009. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 6 (5) : p. 6659-6690.

DOI: 10.5194/hessd-6-6659-2009

The local hydroclimates get impacts from the large-scale atmospheric variables via atmospheric circulation. The developing of their relationships could enhance the understanding of hydroclimate variability. This study focuses on the Upper Chao Phraya River Basin in Thailand in which rainfall is influenced by the Indian Ocean and tropical Pacific Ocean atmospheric circulation. The Southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean to Thailand is strengthened by the temperature gradient between land and ocean. Thus, the anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) is systematically correlated with the monthly rainfall and identified as the best predictor based on the significant relation ships revealed by cross-correlation analysis. It is found that rainfall, especially during the monsoon season in the different zones of study basin, corresponds to the different SST indices. This suggests that the region over the ocean which develops the temperature gradient plays a role in strengthening the monsoon. The enhanced gradient with the SST over the South China Sea is related to rainfall in High Rainfall Zone (HRZ); however, the anomalous SST over the Indian Ocean and the equatorial Pacific Ocean are associated with rainfall in Normal and Low Rainfall Zone (NRZ and LRZ) in the study area. Moreover, the identified predictors are related to the rainfall with lead periods of 1-4 months for the pre-monsoon rainfall and 6-12 months for the monsoon and dry season rainfall. The study results are very useful in developing rainfall forecasting models and consequently in the management of water resources and extreme events.

Mots-clés : thaïlande

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