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Synoptic components of rainfall variability and trends in southeast Australia


Risby, JS and McIntosh, PC and Pook, MJ, Synoptic components of rainfall variability and trends in southeast Australia, International Journal of Climatology, 33, (11) pp. 2459-2472. ISSN 0899-8418 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Royal Meteorological Society

DOI: doi:10.1002/joc.3597


This work examines the contributions of different synoptic types to rainfall variability and trends in southeast Australia, with a focus on the drought of 19962009. Rainfall in the Mallee region is used to characterize the southeast region. The reduction in rainfall in the Mallee region during the drought is about two-thirds composed of a reduction in rainfall from cutoff lows and about one-third due to a reduction in rainfall from frontal systems. The reduction in frontal rain is mostly due to a reduction in rain per frontal system, which is associated with a reduction of baroclinicity in the southeast and south of Australia. The reduction of cutoff rainfall is mostly due to a reduction in number of the most intense cutoff systems. The frequency of cutoff systems matches changes in blocking activity in the Tasman Sea region. Blocking has undergone a weak decline in the Tasman region over the period of the drought. Analysis of synoptic system contributions to the drought indicates that causal explanations of the drought should account for variation in cutoff systems and blocking.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:synoptic climatology, climate change, climate variability, drought, rainfall trends, blocking
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climatology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:McIntosh, PC (Dr Peter McIntosh)
UTAS Author:Pook, MJ (Dr Michael Pook)
ID Code:119346
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-07-31
Last Modified:2017-10-12

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