Limitations of Seasonal Predictability for Summer Climate over East Asia and the Northwestern Pacific

Yu Kosaka International Pacific Research Center, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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J. S. Chowdary Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India

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Shang-Ping Xie International Pacific Research Center, and Department of Meteorology, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Young-Mi Min APEC Climate Center, Busan, South Korea

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June-Yi Lee International Pacific Research Center, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Abstract

Predictability of summer climate anomalies over East Asia and the northwestern Pacific is investigated using observations and a multimodel hindcast ensemble initialized on 1 May for the recent 20–30 yr. Summertime East Asia is under the influence of the northwestern Pacific subtropical high (PASH). The Pacific–Japan (PJ) teleconnection pattern, a meridional dipole of sea level pressure variability, affects the northwestern PASH. The forecast models generally capture the association of the PJ pattern with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

The Silk Road pattern, a wave train along the summer Asian jet, is another dominant teleconnection that influences the northwestern PASH and East Asia. In contrast to the PJ pattern, observational analysis reveals a lack of correlations between the Silk Road pattern and ENSO. Coupled models cannot predict the temporal phase of the Silk Road pattern, despite their ability to reproduce its spatial structure as the leading mode of atmospheric internal variability. Thus, the pattern is rather unpredictable at monthly to seasonal lead, limiting the seasonal predictability for summer in East Asia.

The anomalous summer of 2010 in East Asia is a case in point, illustrating the interference by the Silk Road pattern. Canonical anomalies associated with a decayed El Niño and developing La Niña would have the PJ pattern bring a cold summer to East Asia in 2010. In reality, the Silk Road pattern overwhelmed this tendency, bringing a record-breaking hot summer instead. A dynamical model experiment indicates that European blocking was instrumental in triggering the Silk Road pattern in the 2010 summer.

International Pacific Research Center/School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Publication Number 889/8680.

Corresponding author address: Yu Kosaka, IPRC, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1680 East-West Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822. E-mail: ykosaka@hawaii.edu

Abstract

Predictability of summer climate anomalies over East Asia and the northwestern Pacific is investigated using observations and a multimodel hindcast ensemble initialized on 1 May for the recent 20–30 yr. Summertime East Asia is under the influence of the northwestern Pacific subtropical high (PASH). The Pacific–Japan (PJ) teleconnection pattern, a meridional dipole of sea level pressure variability, affects the northwestern PASH. The forecast models generally capture the association of the PJ pattern with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

The Silk Road pattern, a wave train along the summer Asian jet, is another dominant teleconnection that influences the northwestern PASH and East Asia. In contrast to the PJ pattern, observational analysis reveals a lack of correlations between the Silk Road pattern and ENSO. Coupled models cannot predict the temporal phase of the Silk Road pattern, despite their ability to reproduce its spatial structure as the leading mode of atmospheric internal variability. Thus, the pattern is rather unpredictable at monthly to seasonal lead, limiting the seasonal predictability for summer in East Asia.

The anomalous summer of 2010 in East Asia is a case in point, illustrating the interference by the Silk Road pattern. Canonical anomalies associated with a decayed El Niño and developing La Niña would have the PJ pattern bring a cold summer to East Asia in 2010. In reality, the Silk Road pattern overwhelmed this tendency, bringing a record-breaking hot summer instead. A dynamical model experiment indicates that European blocking was instrumental in triggering the Silk Road pattern in the 2010 summer.

International Pacific Research Center/School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Publication Number 889/8680.

Corresponding author address: Yu Kosaka, IPRC, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1680 East-West Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822. E-mail: ykosaka@hawaii.edu
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