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Covariability of climate and streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande from interannual to interdecadal timescales

Madeleine Anne Pascolini-Campbell; Richard Seager; Ariane Pinson; Benjamin I. Cook

Title:
Covariability of climate and streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande from interannual to interdecadal timescales
Author(s):
Pascolini-Campbell, Madeleine Anne
Seager, Richard
Pinson, Ariane
Cook, Benjamin I.
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Volume:
13
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies
Geographic Area:
North America--Rio Grande
Abstract:
Study region: The Upper Rio Grande (URG) flows from its headwaters in Colorado, U.S., and provides an important source of water to millions of people in the U.S. states of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and also Mexico. Study focus: We reassess the explanatory power of the relationship of sea surface temperatures (SST) on URG streamflow variability on interannual to interdecadal timescales. We find a significant amount of the variance of spring-summer URG streamflow cannot be fully explained by SST. New hydrological insights: We find that the interdecadal teleconnection between SST and streamflow is more clear than on interannual timescales. The highest ranked years tend to be clustered during positive phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). During the periods of decadal high flow (1900–1920, and 1979–1995), Pacific SST resembles a positive PDO pattern and the Atlantic a negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) pattern; an interbasin pattern shown in prior studies to be conducive to high precipitation and streamflow. To account for the part of streamflow variance not explained by SST, we analyze atmospheric Reanalysis data for the months preceding the highest spring-summer streamflow events. A variety of atmospheric configurations are found to precede the highest flow years through anomalous moisture convergence. This lack of consistency suggests that, on interannual timescales, weather and not climate can dominate the generation of high streamflow events.
Subject(s):
Hydrology
Streamflow
Climatic changes
Rivers
Publisher DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.07.007
Item views
30
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Madeleine Anne Pascolini-Campbell, Richard Seager, Ariane Pinson, Benjamin I. Cook, , Covariability of climate and streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande from interannual to interdecadal timescales, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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