Ohio River Valley Winter Moisture Conditions Associated with the Pacific–North American Teleconnection Pattern

Jill S. M. Coleman Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Search for other papers by Jill S. M. Coleman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Jeffrey C. Rogers Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Search for other papers by Jeffrey C. Rogers in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

The relationship between the Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern and Ohio River Valley (ORV) winter precipitation and hydrology is described. The PNA is significantly linked to moisture variability in an area extending from southeastern Missouri, northeastward over states adjacent to the Ohio River through Ohio. Maximum correlation between the PNA index and station precipitation peaks in southern Indiana at r = −0.71, making the circulation/climate teleconnection one of the strongest in the Northern Hemisphere. The North Pacific index (NPI), a Pacific basin sea level pressure index that is highly correlated to the PNA, confirms a strong circulation–ORV precipitation relationship extending back to 1899. In contrast, measures such as the Tahiti–Darwin Southern Oscillation index (SOI) and Niño-3.4 (5°S–5°N, 120°–170°W) sea temperatures are not significantly correlated to ORV winter precipitation. Wettest (driest) winters occur with zonal (meridional) flow with the PNA negative (positive) and North Pacific sea level pressure anomalously high (low). Moisture flux convergence extends much farther north from the Gulf of Mexico in the wet winters, compared to dry, and excess of precipitation over evaporation (moisture budget) is over 100 mm larger throughout much of the ORV. Wet winters, particularly those of 1949 and 1950 changed the ORV hydrology to one of extensive wet conditions, as measured by the Palmer hydrologic drought index (PHDI). Unusually dry winters, however, appear to have less impact on the index; many ORV climate divisions remain moist through the winter despite low precipitation. Winter mean streamflow along the Ohio River and its tributaries varies significantly between PNA extremes, with river discharges up to 100% higher in PNA-negative winters as opposed to PNA-positive winters.

Corresponding author address: Jill S. M. Coleman, Dept. of Geography, The Ohio State University, 1035 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1361. Email: coleman.227@osu.edu

Abstract

The relationship between the Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern and Ohio River Valley (ORV) winter precipitation and hydrology is described. The PNA is significantly linked to moisture variability in an area extending from southeastern Missouri, northeastward over states adjacent to the Ohio River through Ohio. Maximum correlation between the PNA index and station precipitation peaks in southern Indiana at r = −0.71, making the circulation/climate teleconnection one of the strongest in the Northern Hemisphere. The North Pacific index (NPI), a Pacific basin sea level pressure index that is highly correlated to the PNA, confirms a strong circulation–ORV precipitation relationship extending back to 1899. In contrast, measures such as the Tahiti–Darwin Southern Oscillation index (SOI) and Niño-3.4 (5°S–5°N, 120°–170°W) sea temperatures are not significantly correlated to ORV winter precipitation. Wettest (driest) winters occur with zonal (meridional) flow with the PNA negative (positive) and North Pacific sea level pressure anomalously high (low). Moisture flux convergence extends much farther north from the Gulf of Mexico in the wet winters, compared to dry, and excess of precipitation over evaporation (moisture budget) is over 100 mm larger throughout much of the ORV. Wet winters, particularly those of 1949 and 1950 changed the ORV hydrology to one of extensive wet conditions, as measured by the Palmer hydrologic drought index (PHDI). Unusually dry winters, however, appear to have less impact on the index; many ORV climate divisions remain moist through the winter despite low precipitation. Winter mean streamflow along the Ohio River and its tributaries varies significantly between PNA extremes, with river discharges up to 100% higher in PNA-negative winters as opposed to PNA-positive winters.

Corresponding author address: Jill S. M. Coleman, Dept. of Geography, The Ohio State University, 1035 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1361. Email: coleman.227@osu.edu

Save
  • Coleman, J. S. M., 2000: Ohio River Valley winter moisture conditions associated with Pacific atmospheric teleconnections. M.A. thesis, Geography Department, Ohio State University, 93 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dickson, R. R., and J. Namias, 1976: North American influences on the circulation and climate of the North Atlantic sector. Mon. Wea. Rev., 104 , 12551265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Douglas, A. V., D. R. Cayan, and J. Namias, 1982: Large-scale changes in North Pacific and North American weather patterns in recent decades. Mon. Wea. Rev., 110 , 18511862.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gershunov, A., 1998: ENSO influence on intraseasonal extreme rainfall and temperature frequencies in the contiguous United States: Implications for long-range predictability. J. Climate, 11 , 31923203.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grover, N. C., 1938: Floods of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, January–February 1937. U.S. Government Printing Office, U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 838, 874 pp.

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

  • Karl, T. R., 1983: Some spatial characteristics of drought duration in the United States. J. Climate Appl. Meteor., 22 , 13561366.

  • Karl, T. R., and A. J. Koscielny, 1982: Drought in the United States: 1895–1981. J. Climatol., 2 , 313329.

  • Karl, T. R., F. Quinlan, and D. S. Ezell, 1987: Drought termination and amelioration: Its climatological probability. J. Climate Appl. Meteor., 26 , 11981209.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kawamura, R., M. Sugi, and N. Sato, 1995: Interdecadal and interannual variability in the northern extratropical circulation simulated with the JMA global model. Part I: Wintertime leading mode. J. Climate, 8 , 30063019.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kiladis, G. N., and H. F. Diaz, 1989: Global climatic anomalies associated with extremes in the Southern Oscillation. J. Climate, 2 , 10691090.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leathers, D. J., B. Yarnal, and M. A. Palecki, 1991: The Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern and the United States climate. Part I: Regional temperature and precipitation associations. J. Climate, 4 , 517528.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marshall, L., 1913: Our National Calamity of Flood, Fire, and Tornado. L. T. Myers, 352 pp.

  • Montroy, D. L., 1997: Linear relation to central and eastern North American precipitation to tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. J. Climate, 10 , 541558.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Montroy, D. L., M. B. Richman, and P. J. Lamb, 1998: Observed nonlinearities of monthly teleconnections between tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies and central and eastern North American precipitation. J. Climate, 11 , 18121835.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Palmer, W. C., 1965: Meteorological drought. Research Paper 45, U.S. Weather Bureau, 58 pp.

  • Rodionov, S., and R. Assel, 2001: A new look at the Pacific/North American index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28 , 15191522.

  • Rogers, J. C., and R. V. Rohli, 1991: Florida citrus freezes and polar anticyclones in the Great Plains. J. Climate, 4 , 11031113.

  • Rogers, J. C., and M. N. Raphael, 1992: Meridional eddy sensible heat fluxes in the atmosphere in the extremes of the Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern. J. Climate, 5 , 127139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C. F., and M. S. Halpert, 1986: North American precipitation and temperature patterns associated with the ENSO. Mon. Wea. Rev., 114 , 23522362.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C. F., and M. S. Halpert, 1989: Precipitation patterns associated with the high index phase of the Southern Oscillation. J. Climate, 2 , 268284.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Serreze, M. C., M. P. Clark, D. L. McGinnis, and D. A. Robinson, 1998: Characteristics of snowfall over the eastern half of the United States and relationships with principal modes of low-frequency atmospheric variability. J. Climate, 11 , 234250.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shukla, J., and J. M. Wallace, 1983: Numerical simulation of the atmospheric response to equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. J. Atmos. Sci., 40 , 16131630.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., 1990: Recent observed interdecadal climate changes in the Northern Hemisphere. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 71 , 988993.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., and D. A. Paolino, 1980: The Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure dataset: Trends, errors, and discontinuities. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108 , 855872.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., and J. W. Hurrell, 1995: Decadal climate variations in the Pacific. Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales, National Academy Press, 472–481.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Loon, H., and J. C. Rogers, 1978: The seesaw in winter temperatures between Greenland and northern Europe. Part I: General description. Mon. Wea. Rev., 106 , 310325.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wallace, J. M., and D. S. Gutzler, 1981: Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109 , 787812.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walsh, J. E., M. B. Richman, and D. A. Allen, 1982: Spatial coherence of monthly precipitation in the United States. Mon. Wea. Rev., 110 , 272286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilhite, D. A., and M. H. Glantz, 1985: Understanding the drought phenomenon: The role of definitions. Water Inter., 10 , 111120.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 653 191 23
PDF Downloads 404 127 11