The relationship between ENSO and Paraná River flow
- Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil
Abstract. Several studies indicate that there is a relationship between the climatic variability in the South American continent and alterations of the position and intensity of the heat sources in the equatorial region. The El Niño phenomenon can influence the precipitation over some regions of South America such as the Brazilian Northeast, Amazonia, South of Brazil and Uruguay. Over 80% of Brazil's energy comes from hydropower, and decisions concerning future availability and pricing require forecasts of river flow, ideally several months in advance. In this work the relationship between the Paraná River flow and the ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation) mode is investigated and statistical forecasts of river flow are tested. An evaluation of the relationship between the Pacific sea surface temperature and the Paraná River flow indicates an ENSO pattern over the equatorial Pacific. The time series of the ENSO mode obtained by applying principal components analysis on the sea surface temperature (SST) were used as predictors for the Paraná River flow forecast. Improvement in the model forecast skill is also obtained by considering the lagged river flow time series as a predictor.