Influence of the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave upon New Zealand Temperature and Precipitation during Autumn–Winter

Warren B. White Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California

Search for other papers by Warren B. White in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Neil J. Cherry Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

Search for other papers by Neil J. Cherry in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

Autumn–winter temperature and precipitation records at 34 stations over New Zealand from 1982 to 1995 are found by empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis to fluctuate together with 3–6-yr quasi periodicity similar to that associated with the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW), which propagates slowly eastward past New Zealand in its global traverse around the Southern Ocean. By allowing these EOF time sequences to represent New Zealand temperature and precipitation indices, both the positive temperature index related to warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies around New Zealand and the positive precipitation index related to warm (cool) SST anomalies north and east (south and west) of New Zealand are found. These warm (cool) SST anomalies are associated with poleward (equatorward) meridional surface wind (MSW) anomalies, the same as observed in association with the ACW. When warm (cool) SST and poleward (equatorward) MSW anomalies are located north (south) of New Zealand, then anomalous low-level wind convergence occurs over New Zealand, and when they are located east (west) of New Zealand, then anomalous cyclonicity occurs over New Zealand, both during years of anomalously high autumn–winter precipitation over New Zealand. Regular eastward propagation of the ACW past New Zealand suggests that covarying SST and MSW anomalies (and New Zealand autumn–winter temperature and precipitation) can be predicted 1–2 yr into the future. The authors test for this by utilizing the eastward propagation of the ACW contained in the dominant extended EOF mode of SST anomalies upstream from New Zealand to predict SST indices in the western South Pacific that are linked statistically to New Zealand temperature and precipitation indices. At 0-yr lead, this statistical climate prediction system nowcasts the observed sign of New Zealand temperature (precipitation) indices 12 (12) years out of the 14-yr record, explaining 50% (62%) of the interannual variance for each index. At 1-yr lead, it hindcasts the observed sign of New Zealand temperature (precipitation) indices 12 (13) years out the 14-yr record, explaining 24% (74%) of the interannual variance. At 2-yr lead, hindcasting is insignificant. This hindcast skill at 1-yr lead suggests that prediction of interannual climate variability over New Zealand may depend more upon predicting the amplitude and phase of the ACW than upon predicting it for tropical ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Warren B. White, Physical Oceanography Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0230.

Email: wbwhite@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Autumn–winter temperature and precipitation records at 34 stations over New Zealand from 1982 to 1995 are found by empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis to fluctuate together with 3–6-yr quasi periodicity similar to that associated with the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW), which propagates slowly eastward past New Zealand in its global traverse around the Southern Ocean. By allowing these EOF time sequences to represent New Zealand temperature and precipitation indices, both the positive temperature index related to warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies around New Zealand and the positive precipitation index related to warm (cool) SST anomalies north and east (south and west) of New Zealand are found. These warm (cool) SST anomalies are associated with poleward (equatorward) meridional surface wind (MSW) anomalies, the same as observed in association with the ACW. When warm (cool) SST and poleward (equatorward) MSW anomalies are located north (south) of New Zealand, then anomalous low-level wind convergence occurs over New Zealand, and when they are located east (west) of New Zealand, then anomalous cyclonicity occurs over New Zealand, both during years of anomalously high autumn–winter precipitation over New Zealand. Regular eastward propagation of the ACW past New Zealand suggests that covarying SST and MSW anomalies (and New Zealand autumn–winter temperature and precipitation) can be predicted 1–2 yr into the future. The authors test for this by utilizing the eastward propagation of the ACW contained in the dominant extended EOF mode of SST anomalies upstream from New Zealand to predict SST indices in the western South Pacific that are linked statistically to New Zealand temperature and precipitation indices. At 0-yr lead, this statistical climate prediction system nowcasts the observed sign of New Zealand temperature (precipitation) indices 12 (12) years out of the 14-yr record, explaining 50% (62%) of the interannual variance for each index. At 1-yr lead, it hindcasts the observed sign of New Zealand temperature (precipitation) indices 12 (13) years out the 14-yr record, explaining 24% (74%) of the interannual variance. At 2-yr lead, hindcasting is insignificant. This hindcast skill at 1-yr lead suggests that prediction of interannual climate variability over New Zealand may depend more upon predicting the amplitude and phase of the ACW than upon predicting it for tropical ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Warren B. White, Physical Oceanography Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0230.

Email: wbwhite@ucsd.edu

Save
  • Barnett, T. P., and Coauthors, 1994: Forecasting global ENSO-related climate anomalies. Tellus,46A, 381–397.

  • Basher, R., and C. S. Thompson, 1996: Relationship of air temperature in New Zealand to regional anomalies in sea surface temperature and atmospheric circulation. Int. J. Climatol.,16, 405–425.

  • Frankignoul, C., and R. W. Reynolds, 1983: Testing a dynamical model for middle latitude sea surface temperature anomalies. J. Phys. Oceanogr.,13, 1131–1145.

  • Gordon, N. D., 1986: The Southern Oscillation and New Zealand weather. Mon. Wea. Rev.,114, 371–387.

  • Graham, N. E., J. Michaelson, and T. P. Barnett, 1987: An investigation of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation cycle with statistical models. I, Predictor field characteristics. J. Geophys. Res.,92, 14 251–14 270.

  • Haney, R. L., 1986: Some SST anomalies I have known; thanks to J. Namias. Namias Symposium, J. Roads, Ed., SIO Reference Series, Vol. 86-17, 148–159.

  • Hoskins, B. J., and D. Karoly, 1981: The steady linear response of a spherical atmosphere to thermal and orographic forcing. J. Atmos. Sci.,38, 1179–1196.

  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,77, 437–471.

  • Kaylor, R. E., 1977: Filtering and decimation of digital time series. Institute of Physical Science and Technology Tech. Rep. BN 850, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 14 pp.

  • Kidson, J. W., and N. D. Gordon, 1986: Interannual variations in New Zealand temperature and precipitation patterns. N.Z. J. Geol. Geophys.,29, 363–375.

  • Kraus, E. B., and R. E. Morrision, 1966: Local interactions between the sea and the air at monthly and annual time scales. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc.,92, 114–127.

  • Moss, M. E., C. P. Pearson, and A. I. McKerchar, 1994: The Southern Oscillation index as a predictor of the probability of low streamflows in New Zealand. Water Resour. Res.,30, 2717–2723.

  • Namias, J., 1972: Experiments in objectively predicting some atmospheric and oceanic variables for the winter of 1971–72. J. Appl. Meteor.,11, 1164–1174.

  • ——, 1985: Remarks on the potential for long-range forecasting. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,66, 165–173.

  • Palmer, T. N., and Z. Sun, 1985: A modeling and observational study of the relationship between sea surface temperature in the northwest Atlantic and the atmospheric general circulation. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc.,111, 947–975.

  • Peterson, R., and W. B. White, 1998: Slow oceanic teleconnections linking the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave with the tropical El Niño–South Oscillation. J. Geophys. Res.,103, 24 573–24 583.

  • Preisendorfer, R. W., and C. D. Mobley, 1988: Principal Component Analysis in Meteorology and Oceanography. Elsevier, 425 pp.

  • Qiu, B., and F.-F. Jin, 1997: Antarctic circumpolar wave: An indication of ocean-atmosphere coupling in the extratropics. Geophys. Res. Lett.,24, 2585–2588.

  • Reynolds, R. W., and D. C. Marsico, 1993: An improved real-time global sea surface temperature analysis. J. Climate,6, 114–119.

  • Salinger, M. J., 1980a: New Zealand climate: I. Precipitation patterns. Mon. Wea. Rev.,108, 1892–1904.

  • ——, 1980b: New Zealand climate: II. Temperature patterns. Mon. Wea. Rev.,108, 1905–1912.

  • Smagorinsky, J., 1953: The dynamical influence of large-scale heat sources and sinks on the quasi-stationary mean motions in the atmosphere. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc.,79, 342–366.

  • Snedecor, G. W., and W. G. Cochran, 1980: Statistical Methods. Iowa State University Press, 507 pp.

  • Sturman, A., and N. Tapper, 1996: The Weather and Climate of Australia and New Zealand. Oxford University Press, 476 pp.

  • Wallace, J. M., and Q.-R. Jiang, 1987: On the observed structure of the interannual variability of the observed ocean/atmosphere climate system. Atmospheric and Oceanic Variability, H. Cattle, Ed., Royal Meteorological Society, 17–43.

  • White, W. B., and R. Peterson, 1996: An Antarctic circumpolar wave in surface pressure, wind, temperature, and sea ice extent. Nature,380, 699–702.

  • ——, S.-C. Chen, and R. Peterson, 1998: The Antarctic Circumpolar Wave: A beta-effect in ocean–atmosphere coupling over the southern Ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr.,28, 2345–2361.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 364 103 4
PDF Downloads 105 42 8