Seasonal Dependence of the Pacific–North American Teleconnection Associated with ENSO and Its Interaction with the Annual Cycle

Suqiong Hu aCollaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change, Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Wenjun Zhang aCollaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change, Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Fei-Fei Jin bDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Li-Ciao Hong cResearch Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

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Feng Jiang aCollaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change, Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Malte F. Stuecker dDepartment of Oceanography and International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Abstract

The Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern is one of the prominent atmospheric circulation modes in the extratropical Northern Hemisphere, and its seasonal to interannual predictability is suggested to originate from El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Intriguingly, the PNA teleconnection pattern exhibits variance at near-annual frequencies, which is related to a rapid phase reversal of the PNA pattern during ENSO years, whereas the ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Pacific are evolving much slower in time. This distinct seasonal feature of the PNA pattern can be explained by an amplitude modulation of the interannual ENSO signal by the annual cycle (i.e., the ENSO combination mode). The ENSO-related seasonal phase transition of the PNA pattern is reproduced well in an atmospheric general circulation model when both the background SST annual cycle and ENSO SST anomalies are prescribed. In contrast, this characteristic seasonal evolution of the PNA pattern is absent when the tropical Pacific background SST annual cycle is not considered in the modeling experiments. The background SST annual cycle in the tropical Pacific modulates the ENSO-associated tropical Pacific convection response, leading to a rapid enhancement of convection anomalies in winter. The enhanced convection results in a fast establishment of the large-scale PNA teleconnection during ENSO years. The dynamics of this ENSO–annual cycle interaction fills an important gap in our understanding of the seasonally modulated PNA teleconnection pattern during ENSO years.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Wenjun Zhang, zhangwj@nuist.edu.cn; Fei-Fei Jin, jff@hawaii.edu

Abstract

The Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern is one of the prominent atmospheric circulation modes in the extratropical Northern Hemisphere, and its seasonal to interannual predictability is suggested to originate from El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Intriguingly, the PNA teleconnection pattern exhibits variance at near-annual frequencies, which is related to a rapid phase reversal of the PNA pattern during ENSO years, whereas the ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Pacific are evolving much slower in time. This distinct seasonal feature of the PNA pattern can be explained by an amplitude modulation of the interannual ENSO signal by the annual cycle (i.e., the ENSO combination mode). The ENSO-related seasonal phase transition of the PNA pattern is reproduced well in an atmospheric general circulation model when both the background SST annual cycle and ENSO SST anomalies are prescribed. In contrast, this characteristic seasonal evolution of the PNA pattern is absent when the tropical Pacific background SST annual cycle is not considered in the modeling experiments. The background SST annual cycle in the tropical Pacific modulates the ENSO-associated tropical Pacific convection response, leading to a rapid enhancement of convection anomalies in winter. The enhanced convection results in a fast establishment of the large-scale PNA teleconnection during ENSO years. The dynamics of this ENSO–annual cycle interaction fills an important gap in our understanding of the seasonally modulated PNA teleconnection pattern during ENSO years.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Wenjun Zhang, zhangwj@nuist.edu.cn; Fei-Fei Jin, jff@hawaii.edu
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