|Title||Explaining and forecasting interannual variability in the flow of the Nile River|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||M. S. Siam and E. A. B. Eltahir|
|Journal||Hydrology and Earth System Sciences|
The natural interannual variability in the flow of Nile River had a significant impact on the ancient civilizations and cultures that flourished on the banks of the river. This is evident from stories in the Bible and Koran, and from the numerous Nilometers dis-covered near ancient temples. Here, we analyze extensive data sets collected during the 20th century and define four modes of natural variability in the flow of Nile River, identifying a new significant potential for improving predictability of floods and droughts. Previous studies have identified a significant teleconnection between the Nile flow and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) explains about 25 % of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. Here, we identify, for the first time, a re- gion in the southern Indian Ocean with similarly strong teleconnection to the Nile flow. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the region (50–80◦ E and 25–35◦ S) explains 28 % of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. During those years with anomalous SST conditions in both Oceans, we estimate that indices of the SSTs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans can collectively explain up to 84 % of the interannual variability in the flow of Nile. Building on these findings, we use classical Bayesian theorem to develop a new hybrid forecasting algorithm that predicts the Nile flow based on global models predictions of indices of the SST in the Eastern Pacific and Southern Indian Oceans.