Autumn and Winter Extreme Precipitation Events and their Relationship with ENSO, NAO and MJO Phases over the West of Iran

Document Type : Research


1 Ph.D. Student, Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center (ASMERC), Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Weather Hazards Warning, Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center (ASMERC), Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric Prospecting, Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center (ASMERC), Tehran, Iran

5 Professor, Department of Space Physics, Institute of Geophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Some extreme precipitations have occurred in Iran in recent years. This paper is devoted to the study of extreme precipitations in the west of Iran, affected by combination of atmospheric pressure patterns in the period of 1987–2016. At first, monthly precipitations for seven synoptic stations of the west of Iran in autumn and winter with positive anomalies greater than 100% were identified. Then, for statistical-dynamical analysis, the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) indices were used. Results showed that the extreme precipitations had occurred during moderate to strong El-Nino, while MJO was critical and strong, in phases 2 and 8, and NAO was in positive phase. The anomalies of the MJO index in case studies had positive values. The NAO for case studies has entered a positive phase from a strong negative phase a few days before extreme precipitation. Analyzing the relationship between the NAO and the MJO with lagged composites showed when the MJO leads the NAO, significant positive NAOs are found for phases 2, and negative NAOs for phases 8, indicating a significant influence of the MJO on NAO. The synoptic-dynamic analysis showed that three low pressure and one high pressure were the dominant systems that have been effective in producing extreme precipitation. Examination of the moisture fluxes revealed that the main humidity sources of the heavy precipitation were the Arabian Sea due to easterly winds that travel a long distance over the north west of Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea.


Main Subjects

Ahmadi Givi, F., Parhizkar, D. and Hajjam, S., 2009, The study of the ENSO's effect on the seasonal precipitation of Iran in the period 1971-2000, Journal of the Earth and Space Physics, 35, 95-113.
Ahmadi-Givi, F., Nasr-Esfahany, M. and Mohebalhojeh. A. R., 2013, Interaction of North Atlantic baroclinic wave packets and the Mediterranean storm track, Quarterly journal of the Royal Meteorology Society, 140, 754-765.
Alemzadeh, S., Ahmadi-Givi, F., Mohebalhojeh, A.R and Nasr-Esfahani, M.A., 2013, Statistical-dynamical analysis of the mutual effects of NAO and MJO, Iranian Journal of Geophysics, 7(4), 64-80.
Alizadeh-Choobari, O., Adibi, P. and Irannejad, P., 2018, Impact of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation on the climate of Iran using ERA-Interim data, Clim Dyn, 51, 2897–2911.
Alpert, P., Ziv, B. and Shafir, H., 2004, Semi‐objective classification for daily synoptic systems: Application to the eastern Mediterranean climate change, International Journal of Climatology, 24(8), 1001-1011.
Barnston, AG. and Livezey, RE., 1987, Classification, seasonality and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric circulation patterns, Monthly Weather Review, 115(6), 1083-1126.
Bahrami, F., Ranjbar, A., Meshkatee, A.H. and Kamali, G.A., 2018, Study of the Atlantic and Mediterranean storm track based on Rassbi wave activity flux in the dry and wet periods of spring 2018 and 2008 in Iran, Journal of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, 1,1-12.
Cassou, C., 2008, Intraseasonal interaction between the Madden–Julian Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, Nature, 455, 523-527.
Changnon, Stanley A., 2000, El Niño 1997-98 The Climate Event of the Century, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 35. ISBN 0-19-513552-0.
Corona, R. and Montaldo, N., 2017, On the Role of NAO-Driven Interannual Variability in Rainfall Seasonality on Water Resources and Hydrologic Design in a Typical Mediterranean Basin, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 19, 485-498.
Dehghani, M., Salehi, S., Mosavi, A., Nabipour, N., Shamshirband, S. and Ghamisi, P., 2020, Spatial Analysis of Seasonal Precipitation over Iran: Co-Variation with Climate Indices, ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf, 9, 73.
Farajzadeh, M., Ahmadi, M., Alijani, B., Qavidel Rahimi, Y., Mofidi, A. and Babaeian, I., 2013, Study on Variation of Major Teleconnection Patterns (MTP) associated with Iran’s Precipitation, Journal of Climate Research, 15, 31-45.
Ferranti, L., Palmer, TN., Molteni, F. and Klinker, E., 1990, Tropical-extratropical interaction associated with the 30–60-day oscillation and its impact on medium and extended range prediction, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 47(18), 2177-2199.
Flocas, HA., 2010, On cyclonic tracks over the eastern Mediterranean, Journal of Climate, 23(19), 5243-5257.
Henderson, SA., Maloney, ED. and Barnes, EA., 2016, The Influence of the Madden–Julian Oscillation on Northern Hemisphere Winter Blocking, Journal of Climate, 29, 4597-4616.
Higgins, RW. and Mo, KC., 1997, Persistent North Pacific circulation anomalies and the tropical intraseasonal oscillation, Journal of Climate, 10(2), 223-244.
Jolliffe, IT., 2002, Principal Component Analysis, second edition, New York, Springer-Verlag New York.
Kamimera, H., Mori, S., Yamanaka, M. D. and Syamsudin, F., 2012, Modulation of Diurnal Rainfall Cycle by the Madden−Julian Oscillation Based on One-Year Continuous Observations with a Meteorological Radar in West Sumatera, SOLA, 8, 111-114.
Knutson, TR. and Weickmann, KM., 1987, 30–60 day atmospheric oscillations: Composite life cycles of convection and circulation anomalies, Monthly Weather Review, 115(7), 1407-1436.
Lau, KM. and Phillips, TJ., 1986, Coherent fluctuations of extratropical geopotential height and tropical convection in intraseasonal time scales, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 43(11), 1164-1181.
Lau, N. and Nath, M. J., 2001, Impact of ENSO on SST variability in the North Pacific and North Atlantic: Seasonal dependence and role of extratropical sea–air coupling, J. Climate, 14, 2846–2866.
Laing, AG., 2004, Cases of heavy precipitation and flash floods in the Caribbean during El-Nino winters, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5(4), 577-594.
Lee, JCK., Lee, RW., Woolniugh, SJ. and Boxall, LJ., 2020, The links between the Madden-Julian Oscillation and European weather regimes, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 141, 567–586.
Lin, H. and Brunet, G., 2008, An observed connection between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Madden–Julian Oscillation, Journal of Climate, 22, 364-380.
Madden, RA. and Julian, PR., 1971, Detection of a 40-50-day oscillation in the zonal wind in the tropical Pacific, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 28(5), 702-708.
Maheras, P., Flocas, HA., Patrikas, I. and Anagnostopoulou, CHR., 2001, A 40-year objective climatology of surface cyclones in the Mediterranean region: spatial and temporal distribution, International Journal of Climatology, 21(1), 109-130.
Matthews, A. J., Hoskins, B. J. and Masutani, M., 2004, The global response to tropical heating in the Madden–Julian oscillation during Northern winter, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 130, 1991–2011.
Matsueda, S. and Takaya, Y., 2015, The global influence of the Madden–Julian oscillation on extreme temperature events, J Clim, 28(10), 4141– 4151.
Masato, G., Hoskins, B. and Woollong, T., 2013, Winter and summer Northern Hemisphere blocking in CMIP5 models, Journal of Climate, 26, 7044-7059.
Mohammadi, H., Fattahi, E., Shamsipour, A.A. and Akabari, M., 2012, Dynamic analysis of Sudanese systems and heavy precipitation in southwestern of Iran, Journal of Applied Researches in Geographical Sciences, 24, 7-24.
Nasuno, T., 2019, Moisture Transport over the Western Maritime Continent during the 2015 and 2017 YMC Sumatra Campaigns in Global Cloud-System-Resolving Simulations, SOLA, 15, 99-106.
Nazemosadat, M. J. and Ghasemi, A. R., 2004, Quantifying the ENSO-Related Shifts in the Intensity and Probability of Drought and Wet Periods in Iran, Journal of climate, 17, 4005-4018.
Nissen, K., Leckebusch, GC., Pinto, JG., Ulbrich, S. and Ulbrich, U., 2010, Cyclones causing wind storms in the Mediterranean: characteristics, trends and links to large-scale patterns, Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 10(7), 1379-1391.
Pagano, TC., Mahani, SH., Nazemosadat, MJ. and Sorooshian, S., 2003, Review of Middle Eastern hydroclimatology and seasonal teleconnections, Iran J. Sci. Technol, 27, 95-109.
Perdigon-Morales, J., Romero-Centeno, R., Barrett, BS. and Ordonez, P., 2019, Intraseasonal variability of summer precipitation in Mexico: MJO Influence on the midsummer drought, Journal of Climate, 32(8), 2313–2327.
Ropelewski, C.F. and Jones, P.D., 1987, An extension of the Tahiti-Darwin Southern Oscillation Index, Monthly Weather Review, 115, 2161-2165.
Ranjbar Saadatabadi, A. and Soori, M., 2016, A study of the impacts of the MJO on atmospheric circulations and winter precipitation in Iran, Iranian Journal of Geophysics, 11(1), 49-65.
Straub, K.H. 2013, MJO Initiation in the real-time multivariate MJO index, Journal of climate, 26, 1130-1151.
Shimizu, M.H., Ambrizzi, T. and Liebmann, B., 2016, Extreme precipitation events and their relationship with ENSO and MJO phases over northern South America, International Journal of Climatology, 37, 2977-2989.
Tartaglione, CA., Smith, SR. and O'Brien, JJ., 2003, ENSO impact on hurricane landfall probabilities for the Caribbean, J. Climate, 17, 2925-2931.
Takemi, T. and Unuma, T., 2019, Diagnosing Environmental Properties of the July 2018 Heavy Rainfall Event in Japan, SOLA, 15, 60-65.
Trigo, R., Xoplaki, E., Zorita, E., Luterbacher, J., Krichak, S., Alpert, P., Jacobeit, J., Saenz, J., Fernandez, J., Gonzalez, F., Herrera, F., Rodo, X., Brunetti, M., Nanni, T., Maugeri, M., Turkws, M., Gimeno, L. and Ribera, P., 2006, Relations between variability in the Mediterranean region and mid-latitude variability, Developments in Earth and Environmental Sciences, 4, 179-226.
Teng, KC., Malonet, E. and Barnes, E., 2019, The consistency of MJO teleconnection patterns: An explanation using linear Rossby wave theory, Journal of Climate, 32(2), 531-548.
Wallace, J.M. and Gutzler, D.S., 1981, Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter, Monthly Weather Review, 109(4), 784-812.
Wang, L., Li, T., Chen, L., Behera, S. K. and Nasuno, T., 2018a, Modulation of the MJO intensity over the equatorial western Pacific by two types of El Niño, Climate Dyn, 51, 687–700.
Wheeler, M.C. and Hendon, H.H., 2004, An all-season real-time multivariate MJO index: development of an index for monitoring and prediction, Monthly Weather Review, 132, 1917-1932.
Wu, Arbain, A. A., Mori, S., Hamada, J. I., Hattori, M., Syamsudin, F. and Yamanak, M. D., 2013, The Effects of an Active Phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on the Extreme Precipitation Event over Western Java Island in January 2013, SOLA, 9, 79-83.
Yadav, P. and Straus, DM., 2017, Circulation response to fast and slow MJO episodes, Mon Weather Rev, 145(5), 1577–1596.
Zhang, Q., Gu, X., Li, J., Shi, P. and Singh, V., 2018, The impact of tropical cyclones on extreme precipitation over coastal and inland areas of China and its association to ENSO, Journal of Climate, 31(5), 1865–1880.
Zhang, P., Wand, B. and Wu, Z., 2019, Weak El-Nino and winter climate in the mid-to high latitudes of Eurasia, Journal of Climate, 32(2), 405-421.