Identification of three dominant rainfall regions within Indonesia and their relationship to sea surface temperature


  • Edvin Aldrian,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstrasse 55, Hamburg 20146, Germany
    • Max Planck Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstrasse 55, Hamburg 20146, Germany
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    • On leaving the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, BPP Teknologi, Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • R. Dwi Susanto

    1. Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964-8000, USA
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The characteristics of climatic rainfall variability in Indonesia are investigated using a double correlation method. The results are compared with empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and rotated EOF methods. In addition, local and remote responses to sea-surface temperature (SST) are discussed. The results suggest three climatic regions in Indonesia with their distinct characteristics. Region A is located in southern Indonesia from south Sumatera to Timor island, southern Kalimantan, Sulawesi and part of Irian Jaya. Region B is located in northwest Indonesia from northern Sumatra to northwestern Kalimantan. Region C encompasses Maluku and northern Sulawesi. All three regions show both strong annual and, except Region A, semi-annual variability. Region C shows the strongest El Niño–southern oscillation (ENSO) influence, followed by Region A. In Region B, the ENSO-related signal is suppressed. Except for Region B, there are significant correlations between SST and the rainfall variabilities, indicating a strong possibility for seasonal climate predictions. March to May is the most difficult season to predict the rainfall variability. From June to November, there are significant responses of the rainfall pattern to ENSO in Regions A and C. A strong ENSO influence during this normally dry season (June to September) is hazardous in El Niño years, because the negative response means that higher SST in the NIÑO3 of the Pacific region will lower the rainfall amount over the Indonesian region. Analyses of Indonesian rainfall variability reveal some sensitivities to SST variabilities in adjacent parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Copyright © 2003 Royal Meteorological Society