A Teleconnection Study of Interannual Sea Surface Temperature Fluctuations in the Northern North Atlantic and Precipitation and Runoff over Western Siberia

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  • 1 Centre for Climate and Global Change Research and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Abstract

The spatial distributions of northern North Atlantic sea surface temperature and the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure anomalies averaged over six consecutive warm SST winters (1951–1956) and six consecutive cold SST winters (1971–1976) are examined. Three SLP anomaly difference (i.e., warm - cold winters) centers, significant at the 5% level, are observed over the northern North Atlantic, Europe, and western Siberia. This anomaly pattern is consistent in principle with what was identified in a related analyses by Palmer and Sun, who used composite data from selected winter months.

The SLP difference centers over the northern North Atlantic and western Siberia are in phase. The impact of the latter center upon the runoff from the underlying Oh and Yenisey rivers and especially the teleconnection between SST anomalies in the northern North Atlantic and runoff of those two rivers via the atmosphere are investigated. The temporal cross-correlation analyses of 50 years (1930–1979) of records of SST, precipitation, and runoff anomalies indicate that the winter SST anomalies in the northern North Atlantic are significantly correlated with the winter and following summer runoff fluctuations of the Ob and Yenisey rivers. Positive (negative) northern North Atlantic SST anomalies are related to less (more) precipitation, and hence, less (more) runoff, over western Siberia.

Discussions of possible physical mechanisms and process that lead to the above relationships are attempted. The analyses of spatial distributions of precipitation in the warm and cold SST winters suggest that precipitation fluctuations over Europe and western Siberia may be affected by shifts of cyclone tracks associated with the SST variations in the northern North Atlantic.

Abstract

The spatial distributions of northern North Atlantic sea surface temperature and the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure anomalies averaged over six consecutive warm SST winters (1951–1956) and six consecutive cold SST winters (1971–1976) are examined. Three SLP anomaly difference (i.e., warm - cold winters) centers, significant at the 5% level, are observed over the northern North Atlantic, Europe, and western Siberia. This anomaly pattern is consistent in principle with what was identified in a related analyses by Palmer and Sun, who used composite data from selected winter months.

The SLP difference centers over the northern North Atlantic and western Siberia are in phase. The impact of the latter center upon the runoff from the underlying Oh and Yenisey rivers and especially the teleconnection between SST anomalies in the northern North Atlantic and runoff of those two rivers via the atmosphere are investigated. The temporal cross-correlation analyses of 50 years (1930–1979) of records of SST, precipitation, and runoff anomalies indicate that the winter SST anomalies in the northern North Atlantic are significantly correlated with the winter and following summer runoff fluctuations of the Ob and Yenisey rivers. Positive (negative) northern North Atlantic SST anomalies are related to less (more) precipitation, and hence, less (more) runoff, over western Siberia.

Discussions of possible physical mechanisms and process that lead to the above relationships are attempted. The analyses of spatial distributions of precipitation in the warm and cold SST winters suggest that precipitation fluctuations over Europe and western Siberia may be affected by shifts of cyclone tracks associated with the SST variations in the northern North Atlantic.

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