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Variability and Trends of Precipitation in Quelimane, Central Mozambique, and Their Relation to El Niño Southern Oscillation

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Understanding precipitation variability and trends is very important for sustainable water management. In this paper, we used 65 years (1951-2016) long- term precipitation data to evaluate the precipitation variability and trends in Quelimane, and their relation to El Ni&#241o Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The analysis includes annual, inter-annual inter-decadal variations, Mann-Kendall trend test, and drought frequency. The study also evaluated the relationship between Oceanic Ni&#241o Index (ONI) and precipitation patterns during ENSO positive, normal and negative phases. The results show two distinct seasons of precipitation in Quelimane, the wet season extending between December and April and the dry season extending from May to November. ENSO was found to influence the inter-annual variations of precipitation during the wet season, with warm ENSO (El Ni&#241o) and cold (La Ni&#241a) events tending to reduce and increase the precipitation amounts, respectively. Decreasing trends in inter-annual variations of precipitation and increase of drought frequency and severity are highlighted in this study. Both decreasing trend of inter-annual variations and increasing of drought frequency and severity have intensified after the 1970s climate shift. These intensifications seem to be associated with the strengthening of ENSO after the 1970s climate shift. The results of the present study may be useful for the design of the climate change adaptation plans in central Mozambique.

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