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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3102895, 11 pages
Research Article

Association of Taiwan’s Rainfall Patterns with Large-Scale Oceanic and Atmospheric Phenomena

1Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, 2 Pei-Ning Road, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
2Center of Excellence for Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, 2 Pei-Ning Road, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
3Taiwan Group on Earth Observations, Zhubei, Hsinchu County 30274, Taiwan
4Research and Development Center, Central Weather Bureau, Taipei, Taiwan

Received 30 January 2015; Revised 27 April 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Jean-Pierre Barriot

Copyright © 2016 Yi-Chun Kuo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 50-year (1960–2009) monthly rainfall gridded dataset produced by the Taiwan Climate Change Projection and Information Platform Project was presented in this study. The gridded data (5 × 5 km) displayed influence of topography on spatial variability of rainfall, and the results of the empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) analysis revealed the patterns associated with the large-scale sea surface temperature variability over Pacific. The first mode (65%) revealed the annual peaks of large rainfall in the southwestern mountainous area, which is associated with southwest monsoons and typhoons during summertime. The second temporal EOF mode (16%) revealed the rainfall variance associated with the monsoon and its interaction with the slopes of the mountain range. This pattern is the major contributor to spatial variance of rainfall in Taiwan, as indicated by the first mode (40%) of spatial variance EOF analysis. The second temporal EOF mode correlated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In particular, during the autumn of the La Niña years following the strong El Niño years, the time-varying amplitude was substantially greater than that of normal years. The third temporal EOF mode (7%) revealed a north-south out-of-phase rainfall pattern, the slowly evolving variations of which were in phase with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Because of Taiwan’s geographic location and the effect of local terrestrial structures, climate variability related to ENSO differed markedly from other regions in East Asia.