During boreal winters, perturbations of the convection by the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) peak over three basins distributed in longitude south of the Equator: the eastern Indian Ocean (IO), the south of the Maritime Continent (MC) and the western Pacific Ocean (PO). We use the observed Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) and low-level wind to identify and characterize all wintertime MJO events between 1979 and 2010. There is a large event-to-event variability with some MJO events organized at the planetary-scale having their amplitude well distributed over the 3 basins and some showing only basin-scale organization with a convective perturbation peaking over one or two basins. The average of the MJO amplitude for the three basins shows an intriguing decadal variability consistent for both OLR and low-level wind. The disparity between the 3 basins is dominated by an alternation between MJO amplitude peaking on either the Indian or the Pacific Ocean. This Indo-Pacific alternation, depicted by an Indo-Pacific Index (IPI), is partly related to ENSO. In El Niño conditions, there is not only an extension of the MJO perturbation further east, but also an increase of the MJO perturbation over the western Pacific and a diminution of the MJO perturbation over the eastern Indian Ocean.
Geophysical Research Letters
- Pub Date:
- April 2012
- Global Change: Climate variability (1635;
- Atmospheric Processes: Climatology (1616;
- Atmospheric Processes: Tropical meteorology