The summer precipitation from June to September in the source region of the Yellow River accounts for about 70% of the annual total, and its decrease would cause further water shortage problems. Consequently, the objectives of this study are to improve the understanding of the linkages between the precipitation in the source region of the Yellow River and global teleconnection patterns, and to predict the summer precipitation based on revealed teleconnections. Spatial variability of precipitation was investigated based on three homogeneous sub-regions. Principal component analysis and singular value decomposition were used to find significant relationships between the precipitation and global teleconnection patterns using climate indices. A back-propagation neural network was developed to predict the summer precipitation using significantly correlated climate indices. It was found that precipitation in the study area is positively related to North Atlantic Oscillation, West Pacific Pattern and El Niño Southern Oscillation, and inversely related to Polar Eurasian pattern. Summer precipitation was overall well predicted. The Pearson correlation coefficient between predicted and observed summer precipitation was, in general, larger than 0.6. The results can be used to predict the summer precipitation and to improve integrated water resources management in the Yellow River basin.

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