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Ming Cai
,
Yueyue Yu
,
Yi Deng
,
Huug M. van den Dool
,
Rongcai Ren
,
Suru Saha
,
Xingren Wu
, and
Jin Huang

Abstract

Extreme weather events such as cold-air outbreaks (CAOs) pose great threats to human life and the socioeconomic well-being of modern society. In the past, our capability to predict their occurrences has been constrained by the 2-week predictability limit for weather. We demonstrate here for the first time that a rapid increase of air mass transported into the polar stratosphere, referred to as the pulse of the stratosphere (PULSE), can often be predicted with a useful degree of skill 4–6 weeks in advance by operational forecast models. We further show that the probability of the occurrence of continental-scale CAOs in midlatitudes increases substantially above normal conditions within a short time period from 1 week before to 1–2 weeks after the peak day of a PULSE event. In particular, we reveal that the three massive CAOs over North America in January and February of 2014 were preceded by three episodes of extreme mass transport into the polar stratosphere with peak intensities reaching a trillion tons per day, twice that on an average winter day. Therefore, our capability to predict the PULSEs with operational forecast models, in conjunction with its linkage to continental-scale CAOs, opens up a new opportunity for 30-day forecasts of continental-scale CAOs, such as those occurring over North America during the 2013/14 winter. A real-time forecast experiment inaugurated in the winter of 2014/15 has given support to the idea that it is feasible to forecast CAOs 1 month in advance.

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Jin-Yi Yu
,
Pei-ken Kao
,
Houk Paek
,
Huang-Hsiung Hsu
,
Chih-wen Hung
,
Mong-Ming Lu
, and
Soon-Il An

Abstract

The ocean–atmosphere coupling in the northeastern subtropical Pacific is dominated by a Pacific meridional mode (PMM), which spans between the extratropical and tropical Pacific and plays an important role in connecting extratropical climate variability to the occurrence of El Niño. Analyses of observational data and numerical model experiments were conducted to demonstrate that the PMM (and the subtropical Pacific coupling) experienced a rapid strengthening in the early 1990s and that this strengthening is related to an intensification of the subtropical Pacific high caused by a phase change of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). This PMM strengthening favored the development of more central Pacific (CP)-type El Niño events. The recent shift from more conventional eastern Pacific (EP) to more CP-type El Niño events can thus be at least partly understood as a Pacific Ocean response to a phase change in the AMO.

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Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Arun Kumar
,
Bohua Huang
,
Jieshun Zhu
,
Michelle L’Heureux
,
Michael J. McPhaden
, and
Jin-Yi Yu

Abstract

Following the interdecadal shift of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) properties that occurred in 1976/77, another regime shift happened in 1999/2000 that featured a decrease of variability and an increase in ENSO frequency. Specifically, the frequency spectrum of Niño-3.4 sea surface temperature shifted from dominant variations at quasi-quadrennial (~4 yr) periods during 1979–99 to weaker fluctuations at quasi-biennial (~2 yr) periods during 2000–18. Also, the spectrum of warm water volume (WWV) index had almost no peak in 2000–18, implying a nearly white noise process. The regime shift was associated with an enhanced zonal gradient of the mean state, a westward shift in the atmosphere–ocean coupling in the tropical Pacific, and an increase in the static stability of the troposphere. This shift had several important implications. The whitening of the subsurface ocean temperature led to a breakdown of the relationship between WWV and ENSO, reducing the efficacy of WWV as a key predictor for ENSO and thus leading to a decrease in ENSO prediction skill. Another consequence of the higher ENSO frequency after 1999/2000 was that the forecasted peak of sea surface temperature anomaly often lagged that observed by several months, and the lag increased with the lead time. The ENSO regime shift may have altered ENSO influences on extratropical climate. Thus, the regime shift of ENSO in 1999/2000 as well as the model default may account for the higher false alarm and lower skill in predicting ENSO since 1999/2000.

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I.-I. Lin
,
Robert F. Rogers
,
Hsiao-Ching Huang
,
Yi-Chun Liao
,
Derrick Herndon
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Ya-Ting Chang
,
Jun A. Zhang
,
Christina M. Patricola
,
Iam-Fei Pun
, and
Chun-Chi Lien

Abstract

Devastating Japan in October 2019, Supertyphoon (STY) Hagibis was an important typhoon in the history of the Pacific. A striking feature of Hagibis was its explosive rapid intensification (RI). In 24 h, Hagibis intensified by 100 knots (kt; 1 kt ≈ 0.51 m s−1), making it one of the fastest-intensifying typhoons ever observed. After RI, Hagibis’s intensification stalled. Using the current typhoon intensity record holder, i.e., STY Haiyan (2013), as a benchmark, this work explores the intensity evolution differences of these two high-impact STYs. We found that the extremely high prestorm sea surface temperature reaching 30.5°C, deep/warm prestorm ocean heat content reaching 160 kJ cm−2, fast forward storm motion of ∼8 m s−1, small during-storm ocean cooling effect of ∼0.5°C, significant thunderstorm activity at its center, and rapid eyewall contraction were all important contributors to Hagibis’s impressive intensification. There was 36% more air–sea flux for Hagibis’s RI than for Haiyan’s. After its spectacular RI, Hagibis’s intensification stopped, despite favorable environments. Haiyan, by contrast, continued to intensify, reaching its record-breaking intensity of 170 kt. A key finding here is the multiple pathways that storm size affected the intensity evolution for both typhoons. After RI, Hagibis experienced a major size expansion, becoming the largest typhoon on record in the Pacific. This size enlargement, combined with a reduction in storm translational speed, induced stronger ocean cooling that reduced ocean flux and hindered intensification. The large storm size also contributed to slower eyewall replacement cycles (ERCs), which prolonged the negative impact of the ERC on intensification.

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Antonietta Capotondi
,
Andrew T. Wittenberg
,
Matthew Newman
,
Emanuele Di Lorenzo
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Pascale Braconnot
,
Julia Cole
,
Boris Dewitte
,
Benjamin Giese
,
Eric Guilyardi
,
Fei-Fei Jin
,
Kristopher Karnauskas
,
Benjamin Kirtman
,
Tong Lee
,
Niklas Schneider
,
Yan Xue
, and
Sang-Wook Yeh

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring mode of tropical Pacific variability, with global impacts on society and natural ecosystems. While it has long been known that El Niño events display a diverse range of amplitudes, triggers, spatial patterns, and life cycles, the realization that ENSO’s impacts can be highly sensitive to this event-to-event diversity is driving a renewed interest in the subject. This paper surveys our current state of knowledge of ENSO diversity, identifies key gaps in understanding, and outlines some promising future research directions.

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Justin Sheffield
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Rong Fu
,
Qi Hu
,
Xianan Jiang
,
Nathaniel Johnson
,
Kristopher B. Karnauskas
,
Seon Tae Kim
,
Jim Kinter
,
Sanjiv Kumar
,
Baird Langenbrunner
,
Eric Maloney
,
Annarita Mariotti
,
Joyce E. Meyerson
,
J. David Neelin
,
Sumant Nigam
,
Zaitao Pan
,
Alfredo Ruiz-Barradas
,
Richard Seager
,
Yolande L. Serra
,
De-Zheng Sun
,
Chunzai Wang
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Tao Zhang
, and
Ming Zhao

Abstract

This is the second part of a three-part paper on North American climate in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) that evaluates the twentieth-century simulations of intraseasonal to multidecadal variability and teleconnections with North American climate. Overall, the multimodel ensemble does reasonably well at reproducing observed variability in several aspects, but it does less well at capturing observed teleconnections, with implications for future projections examined in part three of this paper. In terms of intraseasonal variability, almost half of the models examined can reproduce observed variability in the eastern Pacific and most models capture the midsummer drought over Central America. The multimodel mean replicates the density of traveling tropical synoptic-scale disturbances but with large spread among the models. On the other hand, the coarse resolution of the models means that tropical cyclone frequencies are underpredicted in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific. The frequency and mean amplitude of ENSO are generally well reproduced, although teleconnections with North American climate are widely varying among models and only a few models can reproduce the east and central Pacific types of ENSO and connections with U.S. winter temperatures. The models capture the spatial pattern of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) variability and its influence on continental temperature and West Coast precipitation but less well for the wintertime precipitation. The spatial representation of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is reasonable, but the magnitude of SST anomalies and teleconnections are poorly reproduced. Multidecadal trends such as the warming hole over the central–southeastern United States and precipitation increases are not replicated by the models, suggesting that observed changes are linked to natural variability.

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