A Pan–North Pacific Wintertime Surface Air Temperature Pattern Influenced by the SST Anomalies over the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension

Zhihui Che aCollege of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
bCollege of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China

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Lin Mu aCollege of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China

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Linhao Zhong cNational Institute of Natural Hazards, Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, China

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Abstract

A new wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) pattern, called the Asia–Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension–North America (AKNA) pattern, is identified over the pan–North Pacific region (85°E–85°W, 25°–65°N) based on NCEP reanalysis data. The AKNA pattern is likely to influence the climate of the extratropical area of Asia and North America via two SAT dipoles and has a significant impact on the wintertime extremely cold weather along the eastern coastal regions of East Asia. Simulations using an atmospheric general circulation model indicate that wintertime sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa) in the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension (KOE) region can force an equivalent barotropic atmospheric ridge downstream and weaken the Siberian high and Alaska atmospheric ridge, resulting in the formation of the AKNA pattern. This circulation pattern tends to intensify the midlatitude (40°–60°N) westerlies over East Asia, which inhibits the southward invasion of the cold air into southern East Asia. Further diagnostic analysis indicates that the KOE SSTa can modulate the variation of storm track and westerlies by affecting baroclinic instability and eddy–mean flow interaction. Moreover, the KOE SSTa can provide a favorable environment for the development of the local atmospheric ascending motion and secondary circulation across the KOE SSTa, thereby affecting variability of the free atmosphere.

Significance Statement

This study aims to build a connection between the wintertime extratropical climate and the variation of the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension. This work isolated a new wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) pattern over mid–high-latitude Asia and North America, which explains a considerable proportion of cold extremes over the eastern regions of East Asia. The reanalysis data and model simulations indicate that the temporal variability of the SAT pattern is influenced by the change of sea surface temperature in the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension. These findings emphasize the important role of midlatitude air–sea interaction in the modulation of the mid–high-latitude climate.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the Climate Implications of Frontal Scale Air-Sea Interaction Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Lin Mu, mulin@szu.edu.cn

Abstract

A new wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) pattern, called the Asia–Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension–North America (AKNA) pattern, is identified over the pan–North Pacific region (85°E–85°W, 25°–65°N) based on NCEP reanalysis data. The AKNA pattern is likely to influence the climate of the extratropical area of Asia and North America via two SAT dipoles and has a significant impact on the wintertime extremely cold weather along the eastern coastal regions of East Asia. Simulations using an atmospheric general circulation model indicate that wintertime sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa) in the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension (KOE) region can force an equivalent barotropic atmospheric ridge downstream and weaken the Siberian high and Alaska atmospheric ridge, resulting in the formation of the AKNA pattern. This circulation pattern tends to intensify the midlatitude (40°–60°N) westerlies over East Asia, which inhibits the southward invasion of the cold air into southern East Asia. Further diagnostic analysis indicates that the KOE SSTa can modulate the variation of storm track and westerlies by affecting baroclinic instability and eddy–mean flow interaction. Moreover, the KOE SSTa can provide a favorable environment for the development of the local atmospheric ascending motion and secondary circulation across the KOE SSTa, thereby affecting variability of the free atmosphere.

Significance Statement

This study aims to build a connection between the wintertime extratropical climate and the variation of the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension. This work isolated a new wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) pattern over mid–high-latitude Asia and North America, which explains a considerable proportion of cold extremes over the eastern regions of East Asia. The reanalysis data and model simulations indicate that the temporal variability of the SAT pattern is influenced by the change of sea surface temperature in the Kuroshio and Oyashio Extension. These findings emphasize the important role of midlatitude air–sea interaction in the modulation of the mid–high-latitude climate.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the Climate Implications of Frontal Scale Air-Sea Interaction Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Lin Mu, mulin@szu.edu.cn
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