Interannual Seesaw between the Somali and the Australian Cross-Equatorial Flows and its Connection to the East Asian Summer Monsoon

Chen Li College of Atmospheric Sciences, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu, and Climate Change Research Center and Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Shuanglin Li Climate Change Research Center and Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China

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Abstract

The correlations among the summer, low-level, cross-equatorial flows (CEFs) over the Indian–west Pacific Ocean region on the interannual time scale are investigated by using both the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis and 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) datasets. A significant negative correlation (seesaw) has been illustrated between the Somali CEF and the three CEFs north of Australia (the South China Sea, Celebes Sea, and New Guinea; they are referred to in combination as the Australian CEF). A seesaw index is thus defined with a higher (lower) value representing an intensified (weakened) Somali CEF but a weakened (intensified) Australian CEF. The connection of the seesaw with the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) is then investigated. The results suggest that an enhanced seesaw corresponds to an intensified EASM with more rainfall in north China, the Yellow River valley, and the upper reach of the Yangtze River. The seesaw reflects the opposite covariability between the two atmospheric action centers in the Southern Hemisphere, Mascarene subtropical high, and Australian subtropical high. Whether the seesaw–EASM connection is influenced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the Indian Ocean SST dipole mode (IOD) is analyzed. The results remain unchanged when the ENSO- or IOD-related signals are excluded, although ENSO exerts a significant influence. This implies an additional predictability for the EASM from the CEF seesaw.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Shuanglin Li, NZC/IAP/CAS, P. O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: shuanglin.li@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The correlations among the summer, low-level, cross-equatorial flows (CEFs) over the Indian–west Pacific Ocean region on the interannual time scale are investigated by using both the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis and 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) datasets. A significant negative correlation (seesaw) has been illustrated between the Somali CEF and the three CEFs north of Australia (the South China Sea, Celebes Sea, and New Guinea; they are referred to in combination as the Australian CEF). A seesaw index is thus defined with a higher (lower) value representing an intensified (weakened) Somali CEF but a weakened (intensified) Australian CEF. The connection of the seesaw with the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) is then investigated. The results suggest that an enhanced seesaw corresponds to an intensified EASM with more rainfall in north China, the Yellow River valley, and the upper reach of the Yangtze River. The seesaw reflects the opposite covariability between the two atmospheric action centers in the Southern Hemisphere, Mascarene subtropical high, and Australian subtropical high. Whether the seesaw–EASM connection is influenced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the Indian Ocean SST dipole mode (IOD) is analyzed. The results remain unchanged when the ENSO- or IOD-related signals are excluded, although ENSO exerts a significant influence. This implies an additional predictability for the EASM from the CEF seesaw.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Shuanglin Li, NZC/IAP/CAS, P. O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: shuanglin.li@mail.iap.ac.cn
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