The influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Modoki on eastern U.S. streamflow

Authors: Jill Coleman*, Ball State University, Dagmar Budikova, Illinois State University, Wondwosen Seyoum, Illinois State University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: teleconnections, el nino, streamflow, climatology
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bayside B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Relationships between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North American hydroclimatological variables are well known. Yet, traditional ENSO response patterns have altered in this century with an increased frequency of pseudo-ENSO events termed ENSO Modoki. Described using a Japanese term meaning “a similar but different thing”, positive (negative) ENSO Modoki events stem from anomalous warming (cooling) of the central equatorial Pacific flanked by colder (warmer) sea surface temperatures on either side, thus creating an uncharacteristic two-cell Walker Circulation over the equatorial Pacific. The resulting tri-pole pressure pattern modifies conventional regional ENSO teleconnections and ensuing impacts, including the timing, magnitude and location of abnormal moisture conditions. We focus here on the monthly and seasonal streamflow response to ENSO Modoki events over the eastern United States. In particular, we investigate the association between ENSO Modoki and streamflow distribution (e.g., measures of central tendency, frequency of extreme days) and examine the spatiotemporal differences with traditional ENSO.

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