Variability of Mexican hydroclimate, with special attention to persistent drought, is examined using observations, model simulations forced by historical sea surface temperature (SST), tree ring reconstructions of past climate and model simulations and projections of naturally and anthropogenically forced climate change. During the winter half year, hydroclimate across México is influenced by the state of the tropical Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic playing little role. Mexican winters tend to be wetter during El Niño conditions. In the summer half year northern México is also wetter when El Niño conditions prevail, but southern México is drier. A warm tropical North Atlantic Ocean makes northern México dry and southern México wet. These relationships are reasonably well reproduced in ensembles of atmosphere model simulations forced by historical SST for the period from 1856 to 2002. Large ensembles of 100 day long integrations are used to examine the day to day evolution of the atmospheric circulation and precipitation in response to a sudden imposition of a El Niño SST anomaly in the summer half year. Kelvin waves propagate east and immediately cause increased column-integrated moisture divergence and reduced precipitation over the tropical Americas and Intra-America Seas.
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