An asymmetric rainfall response to ENSO in East Asia

Ching Ho Justin Ng, Gabriel Andres Vecchi, Ángel G. Muñoz, Hiroyuki Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study explores the impact of El Niño and La Niña events on precipitation and circulation in East Asia. The results are based on statistical analysis of various observational datasets and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s (GFDL’s) global climate model experiments. Multiple observational datasets and certain models show that in the southeastern coast of China, precipitation exhibits a nonlinear response to Central Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies during boreal deep fall/early winter. Higher mean rainfall is observed during both El Niño and La Niña events compared to the ENSO-Neutral phase, by an amount of approximately 0.4–0.5 mm/day on average per o C change. We argue that, in October to December, while the precipitation increases during El Niño are the result of anomalous onshore moisture fluxes, those during La Niña are driven by the persistence of terrestrial moisture anomalies resulting from earlier excess rainfall in this region. This is consistent with the nonlinear extreme rainfall behavior in coastal southeastern China, which increases during both ENSO phases and becomes more severe during El Niño than La Niña events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2303-2318
Number of pages16
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'An asymmetric rainfall response to ENSO in East Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this