The distinct influence of two Madden-Julian’s trajectory classes on the South American Dipole

Nicolás Díaz* (Corresponding Author), Marcelo Barreiro, Nicolás Rubido

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The South American Dipole (SAD) is the main mode of rainfall variability at the
intrasesasonal time-scale in South America. Its phases, determined by wet/dry conditions over the SACZ and SESA regions, have been related to extreme precipitation and droughts across South America, but are yet to be fully understood and predicted. In this work, we study the intraseasonal predictability of the SAD in relation with the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) in the DJFM
season. We show that significant predictability windows for the SAD’s extreme states emerge up to 10-20 days after the MJO is found in phase 2. In particular, we introduce a classification of MJO trajectories based on the 𝑅𝑀𝑀 index, defining Long and Intense (𝐿 𝐼𝑇) and Not Long and Intense (𝑁 𝐿 𝐼𝑇) sets of trajectories. These sets bear resemblance to MJO events that are able or unable to propagate beyond the Maritime Continent, respectively. Moreover, we show that they influence differently over the SAD’s predictability. While both sets present similar tropical extratropical teleconnections, the 𝐿 𝐼𝑇 set presents a more intense and persistence tropical-tropical teleconnection. Because of this, there is a set-independent predictability for the SESA region, influenced by both tropical and extratropical teleconnections, and a 𝐿 𝐼𝑇 dependency for the SACZ
predictability, influenced mainly by the presence of the tropical-tropical teleconnection. Overall, our work contributes to the intraseasonal predictability of SAD phases and understanding its relationship with MJO events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3493-3507
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of climate
Issue number21
Early online date20 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. N.D. thanks the Comisión Academica de Posgrado (CAP), Universidad de la República, Uruguay. N.R. acknowledges funds from the Comision Sectorial de Investigación Cientifíca (CSIC), Uruguay, group grant “CSIC2018–FID13–grupo ID 722”.


  • Climate prediction
  • Climate variability
  • Madden-Julian oscillation
  • Rainfall


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