The Synoptic Climatology of Monthly Mean Surface Temperature in the United States during Winter Relative to the Surrounding 700 mb Height Field

William H. Klein Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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Joann M. Kline Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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Abstract

The synoptic climatology of monthly mean surface temperature in the contiguous United-States is obtained by analysing and summarizing fields of simple linear correlation between the temperature anomaly at 109 stations during 102 winter months and the simultaneous anomaly of monthly mean 700 mb height at 133 grid points over North America and adjacent oceans. In addition, the correlation fields are multiplied by the standard deviation of height anomaly at each grid point to produce composite maps for warm (cold) temperatures at each station. On the basis of these correlation fields and composite maps, inferences are drawn concerning the relations between surface temperature and the surrounding 700 mb circulation, and geographical differences are highlighted. Schematic models are constructed showing preferred locations of above and below normal 700 mb heights for opposite extremes of winter temperature in each of several climatologically similar regions into which the United States can be divided.

Abstract

The synoptic climatology of monthly mean surface temperature in the contiguous United-States is obtained by analysing and summarizing fields of simple linear correlation between the temperature anomaly at 109 stations during 102 winter months and the simultaneous anomaly of monthly mean 700 mb height at 133 grid points over North America and adjacent oceans. In addition, the correlation fields are multiplied by the standard deviation of height anomaly at each grid point to produce composite maps for warm (cold) temperatures at each station. On the basis of these correlation fields and composite maps, inferences are drawn concerning the relations between surface temperature and the surrounding 700 mb circulation, and geographical differences are highlighted. Schematic models are constructed showing preferred locations of above and below normal 700 mb heights for opposite extremes of winter temperature in each of several climatologically similar regions into which the United States can be divided.

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