Understanding the teleconnections between hydro-meteorological data and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation cycle (ENSO) is an important step towards developing flood early warning systems. In this study, the concept of mutual information (MI
) was applied using marginal and joint information entropy to quantify the linear and non-linear relationship between annual streamflow, extreme precipitation indices over Mekong river basin, and ENSO. We primarily used Pearson correlation as a linear association metric for comparison with mutual information. The analysis was performed at four hydro-meteorological stations located on the mainstream Mekong river basin. It was observed that the nonlinear correlation information is comparatively higher between the large-scale climate index and local hydro-meteorology data in comparison to the traditional linear correlation information. The spatial analysis was carried out using all the grid points in the river basin, which suggests a spatial dependence structure between precipitation extremes and ENSO. Overall, this study suggests that mutual information approach can further detect more meaningful connections between large-scale climate indices and hydro-meteorological variables at different spatio-temporal scales. Application of nonlinear mutual information metric can be an efficient tool to better understand hydro-climatic variables dynamics resulting in improved climate-informed adaptation strategies.
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