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Observed Relationship of Boreal Winter South Pacific Tripole SSTA with Eastern China Rainfall during the Following Boreal Spring

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  • 1 College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 2 College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, and LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3 College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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Abstract

The present study investigates the relationships between the December–February (DJF) South Pacific tripole (SPT) sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) pattern and the following March–May (MAM) rainfall over eastern China based on multiple datasets. It is found that the relationships between the DJF SPT and the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are modulated by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). When the ENSO signal is removed, the positive DJF SPT is significantly associated with more rainfall over eastern China during the following boreal spring. However, such significant relationships disappear if ENSO is considered. After removing ENSO impacts, the possible mechanisms through which the DJF SPT impacts the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are investigated. The positive DJF SPT is associated with the significantly positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, which can persist to the following MAM. In response to the positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, a wave-like train in the low-level troposphere extends from the tropical western Pacific (an anomalous cyclone) to the western North Pacific (an anomalous anticyclone) during the following MAM. The anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific enhances the anomalous southwesterly over eastern China, which can bring more moisture and favor anomalous increased rainfall. It should be pointed out that La Niña (El Niño) could induce an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) over the western North Pacific, which offsets the MAM anomalous anticyclone (cyclone) caused by the positive (negative) SPT in the preceding DJF and thus weakens the relationship between the SPT and the rainfall over eastern China.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xin Wang, State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Rd., Guangzhou 510301, China. E-mail: wangxin@scsio.ac.cn

Abstract

The present study investigates the relationships between the December–February (DJF) South Pacific tripole (SPT) sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) pattern and the following March–May (MAM) rainfall over eastern China based on multiple datasets. It is found that the relationships between the DJF SPT and the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are modulated by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). When the ENSO signal is removed, the positive DJF SPT is significantly associated with more rainfall over eastern China during the following boreal spring. However, such significant relationships disappear if ENSO is considered. After removing ENSO impacts, the possible mechanisms through which the DJF SPT impacts the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are investigated. The positive DJF SPT is associated with the significantly positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, which can persist to the following MAM. In response to the positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, a wave-like train in the low-level troposphere extends from the tropical western Pacific (an anomalous cyclone) to the western North Pacific (an anomalous anticyclone) during the following MAM. The anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific enhances the anomalous southwesterly over eastern China, which can bring more moisture and favor anomalous increased rainfall. It should be pointed out that La Niña (El Niño) could induce an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) over the western North Pacific, which offsets the MAM anomalous anticyclone (cyclone) caused by the positive (negative) SPT in the preceding DJF and thus weakens the relationship between the SPT and the rainfall over eastern China.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xin Wang, State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Rd., Guangzhou 510301, China. E-mail: wangxin@scsio.ac.cn
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