• Open Access

On the relationship between the Mediterranean Oscillation and winter precipitation in the Southern Levant



Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis was applied to 25 homogenous precipitation series in the Southern Levant covering the years 1960–1993. The EOF-1 explained 60–71% of variance and exhibited a significant correlation with a particular Mediterranean Oscillation Index (MOI) in December–February. It is shown that winter precipitation is associated with positive MOI phases and Cyprus lows. By fitting gamma distributions to monthly precipitation; it could furthermore be shown that during negative MOI phases, the probability of above average winter precipitation is 22%. During positive MOI phases, the corresponding probability is much higher, at around 59%.