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Interannual Variability of Asian Monsoon Precipitation, 1953-1982, Using Instrumental Records

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Instrumental records were used to assess the interannual variability of precipitation for the greater Asian monsoon region (50°N-15°S, 60°E-150°E). Correlation analysis shows intriguing teleconnections between subtropical and midlatitude precipitation regions. Principal components analyses show that ENSO (EI Niño-Southern Oscillation) is the dominant factor associated with recent interannual variation of precipitation in the region. The strongest relationships between ENSO and boreal summer precipitation were found in subtropical regions, as weIl as North Central China and southeastern Kazakhstan; boreal winter precipitation in the tropics and subtropics also exhibited strong relationships with ENSO. Scenarios for reconstructing spatial and temporal patterns of Asian monsoon precipitation variation were generated by selecting individual records based on 1) correlation with regional time series and 2) length of record. Spatial patterns were highly dependent on the type of record selected; however, temporal patterns were reasonably weIl reproduced regardless of station selection criteria. The implication of the latter result is that the dominant modes of boreal summer and winter precipitation for East Asia might be reconstructed using relatively few sites.


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