Dynamics of Precipitation Anomalies in Tropical South America

Mario Córdova, Rolando Célleri, Aarnout van Delden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this study, precipitation in Tropical South America in the 1931–2016 period is investigated by means of Principal Component Analysis and composite analysis of circulation fields.The associated dynamics are analyzed using the 20th century ERA-20C reanalysis. It is foundthat the main climatic processes related to precipitation anomalies in Tropical South America are: (1) the intensity and position of the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ); (2) El Niño SouthernOscillation (ENSO); (3) the meridional position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is found to be related to Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies; and (4) anomalies in the strength of the South American Monsoon System, especially the South American Low-Level Jet
(SALLJ). Interestingly, all of the analyzed anomalies are related to processes that operate from the Atlantic Ocean, except for ENSO. Results from the present study are in agreement with the state of the art literature about precipitation anomalies in the region. However, the added strength of the longer dataset and the larger study area improves the knowledge and gives new insights into how
climate variability and the resulting dynamics are related to precipitation in Tropical South America.
Original languageEnglish
Article number972
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • rainfall
  • tropics
  • principal component analysis
  • ENSO
  • monsoon
  • SACZ
  • convergence zone
  • ERA-20C


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