• Adams, D. K., and A. C. Comrie, 1997: The North American monsoon. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78, 21972213.

  • Anderson, B. T., H. Kanamaru, and J. O. Roads, 2004: The summertime atmospheric hydrologic cycle over the southwestern United States. J. Hydrometeor., 5, 679692.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barlow, M., S. Nigam, and E. H. Berbery, 1998: Evolution of the North American monsoon system. J. Climate, 11, 22382257.

  • Carleton, A. M., D. A. Carpenter, and P. J. Weser, 1990: Mechanisms of interannual variability of the southwest United States summer rainfall maximum. J. Climate, 3, 9991015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Castro, C. L., T. B. McKee, and R. A. Pielke, 2001: The relationship of the North American monsoon to tropical and North Pacific sea surface temperatures as revealed by observational analyses. J. Climate, 14, 44494473.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Castro, C. L., R. A. Pielke, J. O. Adegoke, S. D. Schubert, and P. J. Pegion, 2007: Investigation of the summer climate of the contiguous United States and Mexico using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). Part II: Model climate variability. J. Climate, 20, 38663887.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Collier, J. C., and G. J. Zhang, 2006: Simulation of the North American monsoon by the NCAR CCM3 and its sensitivity to convection parameterization. J. Climate, 19, 28512866.

    • 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
  • Cook, B. I., R. L. Miller, and R. Seager, 2008: Dust and sea surface temperature forcing of the 1930’s “Dust Bowl” drought. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08710, doi:10.1029/2008GL033486.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Douglas, A. V., and P. J. Englehart, 1995: An analysis of the starting date for the summer monsoon in western Mexico and southeast Arizona. Proc. 20th Annual Climate Diagnostics Workshop, Seattle, WA, U.S. Department of Commerce, 207–211.

  • Douglas, A. V., and P. J. Englehart, 2007: A climatological perspective of transient synoptic features during NAME 2004. J. Climate, 20, 19471954.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Douglas, M. W., R. A. Maddox, K. Howard, and S. Reyes, 1993: The Mexican monsoon. J. Climate, 6, 16651677.

  • Efron, B., 1979: Bootstrap methods: Another look at the jackknife. Ann. Stat., 7, 126.

  • Enfield, D. B., A. M. Mestas-Nuñez, and P. J. Trimble, 2001: The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its relationship to rainfall and river flows in the continental U.S. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 20772080.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gochis, D. J., L. Brito-Castillo, and W. J. Shuttleworth, 2006: Hydroclimatology of the North American monsoon region in northwest Mexico. J. Hydrol., 316, 5370.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grantz, K., B. Rajagopalan, M. Clark, and E. Zagona, 2007: Seasonal shifts in the North American monsoon. J. Climate, 20, 19231935.

  • Gutzler, D. S., 2004: An index of interannual precipitation variability in the core of the North American monsoon region. J. Climate, 17, 44734480.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harrington, J. A., R. S. Cerveny, and R. C. Balling, 1992: Impact of the Southern Oscillation on the North American monsoon. Phys. Geogr., 13, 318330.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., and W. Shi, 2000: Dominant factors responsible for interannual variability of the summer monsoon in the southwestern United States. J. Climate, 13, 759776.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., and W. Shi, 2001: Intercomparison of the principal modes of interannual and intraseasonal variability of the North American monsoon system. J. Climate, 14, 403417.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., Y. Yao, X. L. Wang, 1997: Influence of the North American monsoon system on the U.S. summer precipitation regime. J. Climate, 10, 26002622.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., K. C. Mo, and Y. Yao, 1998: Interannual variability of the U.S. summer precipitation regime with emphasis on the southwestern monsoon. J. Climate, 11, 25822606.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., Y. Chen, and A. V. Douglas, 1999: Interannual variability of the North American warm season precipitation regime. J. Climate, 12, 653680.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Higgins, R. W., W. Shi, E. Yarosh, and R. Joyce, 2000: Improved United States Precipitation Quality Control System and Analysis. NCEP/Climate Prediction Center Atlas 7, 40 pp.

  • Hu, Q., and S. Feng, 2008: Variation of the North American summer monsoon regimes and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. J. Climate, 21, 23712383.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hu, Q., and S. Feng, 2010: Influence of the Arctic Oscillation on central United States summer rainfall. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D01102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011805.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437471.

  • Katz, R. W., M. B. Parlange, and C. Tebaldi, 2003: Stochastic modeling of the effects of large-scale circulation on daily weather in the southeastern US. Climatic Change, 60, 189216.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly, P., and B. E. Mapes, 2011: Zonal mean wind, the Indian monsoon, and July drying in the western Atlantic subtropics. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D00Q07, doi:10.1029/2010JD015405.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kolmogorov, A. N., 1933: Sulla determinazione empirica di una legge di distribuzione. G. Inst. Ital. Attuari, 4, 8391.

  • Kushnir, Y., R. Seager, M. Ting, N. Naik, and J. Nakamura, 2010: Mechanisms of tropical Atlantic SST influence on North American hydroclimate variability. J. Climate, 23, 56105628.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, M.-I., and Coauthors, 2007: Sensitivity to horizontal resolution in the AGCM simulations of warm season diurnal cycle of precipitation over the United States and northern Mexico. J. Climate, 20, 18621881.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Li, W., and R. Fu, 2004: Transition of the large-scale atmospheric and land surface conditions from the dry to the wet season over Amazonia as diagnosed by the ECMWF Re-Analysis. J. Climate, 17, 26372651.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Li, W., L. Li, R. Fu, Y. Deng, and H. Wang, 2011: Changes of the North Atlantic subtropical high and its role in the intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States. J. Climate, 24, 14991506.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, J. L., B. E. Mapes, K. M. Weickmann, G. N. Kiladis, S. D. Schubert, M. J. Suarez, J. T. Bacmeister, and M. I. Lee, 2008: North American monsoon and convectively coupled equatorial waves simulated by IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs. J. Climate, 21, 29192937.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCabe, G. J., M. A. Palecki, and J. L. Betancourt, 2004: Pacific and Atlantic Ocean influences on multidecadal drought frequency in the United States. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, 41364141.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., 2010: Interdecadal modulation of the impact of ENSO on precipitation and temperature over the United States. J. Climate, 23, 36393656.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., and J. N. Paegle, 2000: Influence of sea surface temperature anomalies on the precipitation regimes over the southwest United States. J. Climate, 13, 35883598.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., J. N. Paegle, and R. W. Higgins, 1997: Atmospheric processes associated with summer floods and droughts in the central United States. J. Climate, 10, 30283046.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., J. E. Schemm, and S. H. Yoo, 2009: ENSO and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation on drought over the United States. J. Climate, 22, 59625982.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Myoung, B., and J. W. Nielsen-Gammon, 2010: Sensitivity of monthly convective precipitation to environmental conditions. J. Climate, 23, 166188.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reynolds, R. W., 1988: A real-time global sea surface temperature analysis. J. Climate, 1, 7586.

  • Rodionov, S. N., 2004: A sequential algorithm for testing climate regime shifts. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L09204, doi:10.1029/2004GL019448.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodionov, S. N., and J. E. Overland, 2005: Application of a sequential regime shift detection method to the Bering Sea ecosystem. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 62, 328332.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schubert, S. D., M. J. Suarez, P. J. Pegion, R. D. Koster, and J. T. Bacmeister, 2004: On the cause of the 1930s dust bowl. Science, 303, 18551859.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schubert, S. D., and Coauthors, 2009: A U.S. CLIVAR project to assess and compare the responses of global climate models to drought-related SST forcing patterns: Overview and results. J. Climate, 22, 52515272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seager, R., N. Harnik, W. A. Robinson, Y. Kushnir, M. Ting, H. P. Huang, and J. Velez, 2005: Mechanisms of ENSO-forcing of hemispherically symmetric precipitation variability. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 131, 15011527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stensrud, D. J., R. L. Gall, S. L. Mullen, and K. W. Howard, 1995: Model climatology of the Mexican monsoon. J. Climate, 8, 17751794.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ting, M., Y. Kushnir, R. Seager, and C. Li, 2009: Forced and internal twentieth-century SST trends in the North Atlantic. J. Climate, 22, 14691481.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Turrent, C., and T. Cavazos, 2009: Role of the land-sea thermal contrast in the interannual modulation of the North American monsoon. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L02808, doi:10.1029/2008GL036299.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vera, C., and Coauthors, 2006: Toward a unified view of the American monsoon systems. J. Climate, 19, 49775000.

  • Yang, Z.-L., D. Gochis, and W. J. Shuttleworth, 2001: Evaluation of the simulations of the North American monsoon in the NCAR CCM3. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 12111214.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zeng, X., and E. Lu, 2004: Globally unified monsoon onset and retreat indexes. J. Climate, 17, 22412248.

  • Zhang, R., 2007: Anticorrelated multidecadal variations between surface and subsurface tropical North Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L12713, doi:10.1029/2007GL030225.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhu, C., T. Cavazos, and D. P. Lettenmaier, 2007: Role of antecedent land surface conditions in warm season precipitation over northwestern Mexico. J. Climate, 20, 17741791.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 220 95 9
PDF Downloads 173 70 7

Decadal Variation of Rainfall Seasonality in the North American Monsoon Region and Its Potential Causes

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, and Grupo de Ingeniería y Gestión Ambiental, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
  • | 2 Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • | 3 Climate Prediction Center, Camp Springs, Maryland
Restricted access

Abstract

This study shows that the North American monsoon system’s (NAMS) strength, onset, and retreat over northwestern Mexico exhibit multidecadal variations during the period 1948–2009. Two dry regimes, associated with late onsets, early retreats, and weaker rainfall rates, occurred in 1948–70 and 1991–2005, whereas a strong regime, associated with early onsets, late retreats, and stronger rainfall rates, occurred in 1971–90. A recovery of the monsoon strength was observed after 2005. This multidecadal variation is linked to the sea surface temperature anomalies’ (SSTAs) variability, which is a combination of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) and the warming SST trends. These SST modes appear to cause an anomalous cyclonic circulation and enhanced rainfall over the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico, which in turn increases the atmospheric stability over the monsoon region. However, these SST modes cannot fully explain the circulation and rainfall anomalies observed during the early-retreat monsoons. An expansion of the North Atlantic surface high (NASH) in recent decades also contributes to the anomalous circulation associated with the early retreats of the NAMS. A northwestward expansion of the NASH further enhances the anomalous cyclonic circulation and rainfall over the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico. Its associated northwestward shift of the subtropical jets over the western United States enhances subsidence over the NAMS region. The combined effects of the AMO, the warming trends, and the NASH expansion on atmospheric circulation contribute to a stronger and more persistent earlier retreat during the recent dry regime (1991–2005), while the earlier dry regime (1948–70) appears to be only influenced by the positive phase of the AMO.

Corresponding author address: Paola A. Arias, Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin A.A 1226 Colombia. E-mail: paoariasg@gmail.com

Abstract

This study shows that the North American monsoon system’s (NAMS) strength, onset, and retreat over northwestern Mexico exhibit multidecadal variations during the period 1948–2009. Two dry regimes, associated with late onsets, early retreats, and weaker rainfall rates, occurred in 1948–70 and 1991–2005, whereas a strong regime, associated with early onsets, late retreats, and stronger rainfall rates, occurred in 1971–90. A recovery of the monsoon strength was observed after 2005. This multidecadal variation is linked to the sea surface temperature anomalies’ (SSTAs) variability, which is a combination of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) and the warming SST trends. These SST modes appear to cause an anomalous cyclonic circulation and enhanced rainfall over the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico, which in turn increases the atmospheric stability over the monsoon region. However, these SST modes cannot fully explain the circulation and rainfall anomalies observed during the early-retreat monsoons. An expansion of the North Atlantic surface high (NASH) in recent decades also contributes to the anomalous circulation associated with the early retreats of the NAMS. A northwestward expansion of the NASH further enhances the anomalous cyclonic circulation and rainfall over the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico. Its associated northwestward shift of the subtropical jets over the western United States enhances subsidence over the NAMS region. The combined effects of the AMO, the warming trends, and the NASH expansion on atmospheric circulation contribute to a stronger and more persistent earlier retreat during the recent dry regime (1991–2005), while the earlier dry regime (1948–70) appears to be only influenced by the positive phase of the AMO.

Corresponding author address: Paola A. Arias, Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin A.A 1226 Colombia. E-mail: paoariasg@gmail.com
Save