Decadal predictability of river discharge with climate oscillations over the 20th and early 21st century

Niko Wanders, Yoshihide Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Long-term hydrological forecasts are important to increase our resilience and preparedness to extreme hydrological events. The skill in these forecasts is still limited due to large uncertainties inherent in hydrological models and poor predictability of long-term meteorological conditions. Here we show that strong (lagged) correlations exist between four different major climate oscillation modes and modeled and observed discharge anomalies over a 100 year period. The strongest correlations are found between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation signal and river discharge anomalies all year round, while North Atlantic Oscillation and Antarctic Oscillation time series are strongly correlated with winter discharge anomalies. The correlation signal is significant for periods up to 5 years for some regions, indicating a high added value of this information for long-term hydrological forecasting. The results suggest that long-term hydrological forecasting could be significantly improved by including the climate oscillation signals and thus improve our preparedness for hydrological extremes in the near future.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10689-10695
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-18


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