Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 805–821 | Cite as

Teleconnection of rainfall time series in the central Nile Basin with sea surface temperature

  • H. YasudaEmail author
  • S. N. Panda
  • Mohamed A. M. Abd Elbasit
  • T. Kawai
  • T. Elgamri
  • A. A. Fenta
  • H. Nawata


We investigated teleconnections of rainfall time series in the central Nile Basin (Sudan and South Sudan) with localities in the global sea surface temperature (SST) field, using monthly rainfall data from 11 gauging stations from 1960 to 1999. Annual rainfall ranged from 100 mm in the north to more than 700 mm in the south, and all stations had a strong contrast between rainy and dry seasons with rainless dry periods of several months. Rainfall time series at the stations were categorized as strongly seasonal, with precipitation concentration index exceeding 16 and seasonality index exceeding 0.9. The rainfall stations were classified into four zones on the basis of annual rainfall, seasonality, and cross-correlations among the stations. We calculated cross-correlations of interannual rainfall time series in summer (July and August) with the global SST field. For short lag times (0 or 1 month), summer rainfall in Zones I and II (northern arid regions) had significant correlations with SST over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and southern Indian Ocean, summer rainfall in Zone III (semiarid region) had significant negative correlations with SST over the Indian Ocean, and summer rainfall in Zone IV (southern wet region) had significant correlations with SST over tropical areas and the southwestern Pacific Ocean. For long lag times (3–6 months), Nile Basin summer rainfall time series had significant correlations with SST in various regions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans but not the Pacific Ocean. Rainfall in Zones I and II had positive correlations (significance level < 0.01) with SST south of Greenland and around the Azores Islands and negative correlations with SST south of Madagascar; rainfall in Zone III had negative correlations with SST in parts of the Indian Ocean; and rainfall in Zone IV had significant positive correlations with SST southwest of South Africa and negative correlations with SST in the southwestern Indian Ocean. In sum, rainfall in three of the zones (I, II, and IV) had significant positive and negative correlations with SST in parts of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. For each of these zones, one positive correlation and one negative correlation were selected and correlations with the time series of the difference between the two SST records were calculated. Correlations of Nile Basin rainfall with the SST differences were stronger than the original positive and negative correlations. The resulting time series of SST difference were applied to an artificial neural network to predict summer rainfall, yielding satisfactory correlation coefficients between the observed and predicted summer rainfall (r > 0.70).


ANN Arid region Nile Basin Rainfall time series SST difference Teleconnection 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Science Research project of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 23404014) and the Joint Research Program of the Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University.


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental Conservation, Arid Land Research CenterTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and ResearchTaramani, ChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Institute for Soil, Climate, and Water-Agricultural Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Arid Land Research CenterTottori UniveristyTottoriJapan
  5. 5.Environment Natural Resources and Desertification Research InstituteKhartoumSudan
  6. 6.Faculty of International Resource SciencesAkita UniversityAkita CityJapan

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