Each year, extreme rainfall events cause devastation around the globe. For example, extreme rainfall has led to particularly severe flashfloods and mudslides in North India and Pakistan in recent years. “We unravel a global teleconnection pattern that governs the occurrence of extreme rainfall events, and identify specific types of atmospheric waves as their likely main cause. The gained insights into atmospheric dynamics and the relation to extreme rainfall events will help increase our capability to predict such events,” says Niklas Boers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Imperial College London, lead-author of the new study.
Links between the Asian Monsoon and events for example in Europe
“The new technique applied to satellite data shows very surprising relationships between extreme rainfall events in different regions around the world,” says co-author Brian Hoskins, chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College.
“For example, extreme events in the South Asian Summer Monsoon are, on average, linked to events in the East Asian, African, European and North American regions. Although rains in Europe do not cause the rain in Pakistan and India, they belong to the same atmospheric wave pattern, with the European rains being triggered first. This should provide a strong test for weather and climate models and gives promise of better predictions.”