Interannual variation of the late fall rainfall in central Vietnam

Tsing Chang Chen, Jenq Dar Tsay, Ming Cheng Yen, Jun Matsumoto

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72 Scopus citations


The heavy rainfall/flood (HRF) event in central Vietnam usually occurs in October-November, the maximum rainfall season. This rainfall maximum undergoes a distinct interannual variation, opposite the interannual variation of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies averaged over the NOAA Niño-3.4 area-ΔSST(Niño-3.4)-but coincident with the intensification (weakening) of the low-level easterlies at 158N and westerlies at 5°N. The changes of low-level zonal winds reflect the strengthening (weakening) of the tropical cyclonic shear flow in tropical South/Southeast Asia in response to the tropical Pacific SST anomalies. Because the rainfall maximum in central Vietnam is primarily produced by the HRF cyclone, the interannual rainfall variation in this region should be attributed to the HRF cyclone activity-a new perspective of the climate change in precipitation. On average, one HRF cyclone occurs in each cold late fall. The population of the HRFcyclone may not be an important factor causing the interannual rainfall variation in central Vietnam. During the cold late fall, the rain-producing efficiency of the individual HRF cyclone is statistically almost twice those during warm and normal late falls and the most crucial factor leading to the interannual rainfall variation in central Vietnam. It is shown by further hydrological analysis that the increase (decrease) of the HRF cyclone's rain-producing efficiency is determined by the large-scale environmental flow through the enhancement (weakening) of the regional convergence of water vapor flux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-413
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Asia
  • Climate variability
  • Hydrologic cycle
  • Monsoons
  • Rainfall
  • Water budget


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