Madden-Julian oscillation and the winter rainfall in Taiwan

Chih Wen Hung*, Ho Jiunn Lin, Huang Hsiung Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study discusses major impacts of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) on the winter (November- April) rainfall in Taiwan. The results show that Taiwan has more rainfall in MJO phases 3 and 4 (MJO convectively active phase in the Indian Ocean and the western part of the Maritime Continent), and less rainfall in phases 7 and 8 (the western Pacific warm pool area). Mechanisms associated with the MJO are suggested as follows. 1) The tropics to midlatitude wave train: when the MJO moves to the middle Indian Ocean, a Matsuno-Gill-type pattern is induced. The feature of this tropical atmospheric response to the MJO diabatic heating is a pair of upper-level anomalous anticyclones symmetric about the equator to the west of the heating. The northern anomalous anticyclone over the Arabian Sea and northern India induces a northeastward-propagating wave train to the midlatitudes. The wave pattern consists of a cyclonic anomaly centered at East Asia that enhances the winter rainfall in Taiwan. 2) Increase of moisture supply from the South China Sea: when the MJO convection approaches Sumatra and Java of the Maritime Continent, the eastward penetration of equatorial convection enhances a low-level southerly flow that transports the moisture northward to Taiwan and southern China. As a consequence, with the increase of moisture supply from the south, more winter monsoon rainfall is observed in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4521-4530
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Monsoons, Intraseasonal variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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