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Role of Subtropical Precipitation Anomalies in Maintaining the Summertime Meridional Teleconnection over the Western North Pacific and East Asia

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  • 1 National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, and Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

The meridional teleconnection patterns over the western North Pacific and East Asia (WNP–EA) during summer have a predominant role in affecting East Asian climate on the interannual time scale. A well-known seesaw pattern of tropical–subtropical precipitation is associated with the meridional teleconnection, and the subtropical precipitation anomaly has been previously viewed as a result of anomalous circulations associated with the teleconnection.

In this study, however, the authors suggest that subtropical precipitation anomalies, in turn, can significantly affect large-scale circulations and may be crucial for maintenance of the meridional teleconnection. Diagnosis by using observational and reanalysis data indicates that the meridional teleconnection patterns are clearer in summers when the subtropical rainfall anomalies are greater. The simulated results by a linear baroclinic model indicate that a subtropical heat source, which is equivalent to the diagnosed positive subtropical precipitation anomaly, induces zonally elongated zonal wind anomalies that resemble the diagnosed ones in both the upper and lower troposphere over the extratropical WNP–EA. The simulated results also indicate that the horizontal and vertical structures of circulation responses are insensitive to the locations and shapes of imposed subtropical heat anomalies, which implies the important role of basic flow in circulation responses. This study suggests that, for confidential dynamical seasonal forecasting in East Asia, general circulation models should be required to capture the features of interannual subtropical rainfall variability and basic-state flows in WNP–EA.

Corresponding author address: Riyu Lu, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. Email: lr@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The meridional teleconnection patterns over the western North Pacific and East Asia (WNP–EA) during summer have a predominant role in affecting East Asian climate on the interannual time scale. A well-known seesaw pattern of tropical–subtropical precipitation is associated with the meridional teleconnection, and the subtropical precipitation anomaly has been previously viewed as a result of anomalous circulations associated with the teleconnection.

In this study, however, the authors suggest that subtropical precipitation anomalies, in turn, can significantly affect large-scale circulations and may be crucial for maintenance of the meridional teleconnection. Diagnosis by using observational and reanalysis data indicates that the meridional teleconnection patterns are clearer in summers when the subtropical rainfall anomalies are greater. The simulated results by a linear baroclinic model indicate that a subtropical heat source, which is equivalent to the diagnosed positive subtropical precipitation anomaly, induces zonally elongated zonal wind anomalies that resemble the diagnosed ones in both the upper and lower troposphere over the extratropical WNP–EA. The simulated results also indicate that the horizontal and vertical structures of circulation responses are insensitive to the locations and shapes of imposed subtropical heat anomalies, which implies the important role of basic flow in circulation responses. This study suggests that, for confidential dynamical seasonal forecasting in East Asia, general circulation models should be required to capture the features of interannual subtropical rainfall variability and basic-state flows in WNP–EA.

Corresponding author address: Riyu Lu, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. Email: lr@mail.iap.ac.cn

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