Classification of Regional Climate Variability in the State of California

John T. Abatzoglou Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

Search for other papers by John T. Abatzoglou in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kelly T. Redmond Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

Search for other papers by Kelly T. Redmond in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Laura M. Edwards Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

Search for other papers by Laura M. Edwards in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

A novel approach is presented to objectively identify regional patterns of climate variability within the state of California using principal component analysis on monthly precipitation and temperature data from a network of 195 climate stations statewide and an ancillary gridded database. The confluence of large-scale circulation patterns and the complex geography of the state result in 11 regional modes of climate variability within the state. A comparison between the station and gridded analyses reveals that finescale spatial resolution is needed to adequately capture regional modes in complex orographic and coastal settings. Objectively identified regions can be employed not only in tracking regional climate signatures, but also in improving the understanding of mechanisms behind regional climate variability and climate change. The analysis has been incorporated into an operational tool called the California Climate Tracker.

Corresponding author address: Dr. John T. Abatzoglou, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512-1095. Email: john.abatzoglou@dri.edu

Abstract

A novel approach is presented to objectively identify regional patterns of climate variability within the state of California using principal component analysis on monthly precipitation and temperature data from a network of 195 climate stations statewide and an ancillary gridded database. The confluence of large-scale circulation patterns and the complex geography of the state result in 11 regional modes of climate variability within the state. A comparison between the station and gridded analyses reveals that finescale spatial resolution is needed to adequately capture regional modes in complex orographic and coastal settings. Objectively identified regions can be employed not only in tracking regional climate signatures, but also in improving the understanding of mechanisms behind regional climate variability and climate change. The analysis has been incorporated into an operational tool called the California Climate Tracker.

Corresponding author address: Dr. John T. Abatzoglou, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512-1095. Email: john.abatzoglou@dri.edu

Save
  • Alfaro, E. J., A. Gershunov, D. Cayan, A. Steinemann, D. Pierce, and T. Barnett, 2004: A method for prediction of California summer air surface temperature. Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 85 , 553558.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alfaro, E. J., A. Gershunov, and D. Cayan, 2006: Prediction of summer maximum and minimum temperature over the central and western United States: The roles of soil moisture and sea surface temperature. J. Climate, 19 , 14071421.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arndt, D. S., and K. T. Redmond, 2004: Toward an automated tool for detecting relationship changes within series of observations. Preprints, 14th Conf. on Applied Climatology, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 7.1. [Available online at http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/72826.pdf].

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buell, C. E., 1979: On the physical interpretation of empirical orthogonal functions. Preprints, Sixth Conf. on Probability and Statistics in Atmospheric Sciences, Banff, AB, Canada, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 112–117.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Christy, J. R., W. B. Norris, K. Redmond, and K. P. Gallo, 2006: Methodology and results of calculating central California surface temperature trends: Evidence of human-induced climate change? J. Climate, 19 , 548563.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Comrie, A. C., and E. C. Glenn, 1998: Principal components-based regionalization of precipitation regimes across the Southwest United States and Northern Mexico, with an application to monsoon precipitation variability. Climate Res., 10 , 201215.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Conrad, V., and L. W. Pollak, 1950: Methods in Climatology. 2nd ed. Harvard University Press, 459 pp.

  • Daly, C., W. P. Gibson, G. H. Taylor, G. L. Johnson, and P. Pasteris, 2002: A knowledge-based approach to the statistical mapping of climate. Climate Res., 22 , 99113.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeGaetano, A. T., 2006: Attributes of several methods for detecting discontinuities in mean temperature series. J. Climate, 19 , 838853.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fovell, R. G., and M-Y. C. Fovell, 1993: Climate zones of the conterminous United States defined using cluster analysis. J. Climate, 6 , 21032135.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guttman, N. B., and R. G. Quayle, 1996: A historical perspective of U.S. climate divisions. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77 , 293303.

  • Holets, S., and R. N. Swanson, 1981: High-inversion fog episodes in central California. J. Appl. Meteor., 20 , 890899.

  • Hubbard, K. G., N. B. Guttman, J. You, and Z. Chen, 2007: An improved QC process for temperature in the daily cooperative weather observations. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 24 , 206213.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karl, T. R., A. J. Koscielny, and H. F. Diaz, 1982: Potential errors in the application of principal component (eigenvector) analysis to geophysical data. J. Appl. Meteor., 21 , 11831186.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kohler, M. A., 1949: Double-mass analysis for testing the consistency of records for making adjustments. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 30 , 188189.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lebassi, B., J. Gonzalez, D. Fabris, E. Maurer, N. Miller, C. Milesi, P. Switzer, and R. Bornstein, 2009: Observed 1970–2005 cooling of summer daytime temperatures in coastal California. J. Climate, 22 , 35583573.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lobell, D. B., and C. Bonfils, 2008: The effect of irrigation on regional temperatures: A spatial and temporal analysis of trends in California, 1934–2002. J. Climate, 21 , 20632071.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lundquist, J. D., and D. R. Cayan, 2007: Surface temperature patterns in complex terrain: Daily variations and long-term change in the central Sierra Nevada, California. J. Geophys. Res., 112 , D11124. doi:10.1029/2006JD007561.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Menne, M. J., and C. N. Williams Jr., 2005: Detection of undocumented changepoints using multiple test statistics and composite reference series. J. Climate, 18 , 42714286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NRC, 1998: Future of the National Weather Service Cooperative Network. National Academies Press, 65 pp.

  • Peterson, T. C., and Coauthors, 1998: Homogeneity adjustments of in situ atmospheric climate data: A review. Int. J. Climatol., 18 , 14931517.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Redmond, K. T., and R. W. Koch, 1991: Surface climate and streamflow variability in the western United States and their relationship to large scale circulation indices. Water Resour. Res., 27 , 23812399.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Richman, M. B., 1986: Rotation of principal components. J. Climatol., 6 , 293335.

  • Smith, T. M., and R. W. Reynolds, 2005: A global merged land–air–sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880–1997). J. Climate, 18 , 20212036.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, M. Marquis, K. Averyt, M. M. B. Tignor, H. L. Miller Jr., and Z. Chen, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Cambridge University Press, 996 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vincent, L. A., 1998: A technique for the identification of inhomogeneities in Canadian temperature series. J. Climate, 11 , 10941104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • White, D., M. Richman, and B. Yarnal, 1991: Climate regionalisation and rotation of principal components. Int. J. Climatol., 11 , 125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Willmott, C. J., 1977: A component analytic approach to precipitation regionalization in California. Arch. Meteor. Geophys. Bioklimatol., 24 , 269281.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolter, K. E., and D. Allured, 2007: New climate divisions for monitoring and predicting climate in the U.S. Intermountain West Climate Summary. [Available online at http://www.climas.arizona.edu/forecasts/articles/climatedivisions_July07.pdf].

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zaremba, L. L., and J. J. Carroll, 1999: Summer wind flow regimes over the Sacramento Valley. J. Appl. Meteor., 38 , 14631473.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1081 472 19
PDF Downloads 567 138 14