The impact of Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) upon extreme rainfall in southern China was studied using the Real-time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index and daily precipitation data from high-resolution stations in China. The probability-distribution function (PDF) of November–March rainfall in southern China was found to be skewed toward larger (smaller) values in phases 2–3 (6–7) of MJO, during which the probability of extreme rainfall events increased (reduced) by 30–50% (20–40%) relative to all days in the same season. Physical analysis indicated that the favorable conditions for generating extreme rainfall are associated with southwesterly moisture convergence and vertical moisture advection over southern China, while the direct contributions from horizontal moisture advection are insignificant. Based on the above results, the model-based predictability for extreme rainfall in winter was examined using hindcasts from the Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) of NOAA. It is shown that the modulations of MJO on extreme rainfall are captured and forecasted well by CFSv2, despite the existence of a relatively small bias. This study suggests the feasibility of deriving probabilistic forecasts of extreme rainfall in southern China based on RMM indices.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited