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  • Author or Editor: S. Hameed x
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Bradford S. Barrett
and
Sultan Hameed

Abstract

Monthly precipitation in Chile (30°–55°S) was found to vary by intensity, latitude, and longitude of the South Pacific high (SPH). In austral winter, precipitation was higher when the SPH was weaker and when it was centered farther west. In austral spring, precipitation was higher when the SPH was weaker, similar to winter. However, spring precipitation was not found to be related to SPH longitude, and higher precipitation was found when the SPH was centered farther north. In austral summer, no relationship was found between precipitation and either SPH intensity or longitude, but positive correlations were found between precipitation and latitude of the SPH. In austral autumn, correlation patterns between precipitation and all three SPH metrics more closely resembled those seen in winter. The results of a multiple linear regression confirmed the importance of two SPH metrics (intensity and longitude) and the unimportance of a third SPH metric (latitude) in understanding variability in winter, summer, and autumn precipitation in central and southern Chile. In spring, regression results confirmed a relationship between precipitation and SPH intensity and latitude. Furthermore, the SPH intensity and longitude in winter combined to hindcast monthly precipitation with a better goodness of fit than five El Niño–Southern Oscillation metrics traditionally related to Chilean precipitation. Anomalies of lower-tropospheric circulation and vertical velocities were found to support the observed relationships between SPH and precipitation. Based on these results, a physical mechanism is proposed that employs the SPH as a metric to aid in understanding variability in precipitation in central and south-central Chile in all seasons.

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Meredith S. Croke
,
Robert D. Cess
, and
Sultan Hameed

Abstract

Land-based observations of cloud cover, for the period 1900–87 and averaged over three geographical regions of the United States (coastal southwest, coastal northeast, and southern plains), show strong positive correlations with one estimate of global mean surface temperature, a finding consistent with prior investigations that suggest cloud cover over land has increased during global warm periods relative to cold periods. It is also found that the strengths of three permanent high/low pressure systems (North Pacific high, Icelandic low, and Azores high) are negatively correlated with global mean surface temperature, suggesting a possible connection between regional cloud cover, for certain locations, and the strengths of adjacent high/low pressure systems. Specifically, for the regions considered it is suggested that the coastal southwest cloud cover is related to changes in the strength of the subtropical North Pacific high, that for the southern plains also to the strength of the North Pacific high, and that for the coastal northeast to the strength of the Icelandic low. Thus the climate-induced change in cloud cover for certain regions appears related, at least in part, to climate-induced change in the strengths of adjacent high/low pressure systems, and plausible physical explanations for this relation are provided for the three regions that have been studied. This does not, of course, provide a direct physical cause-and-effect explanation for the changes in regional cloud cover, because the mechanisms that cause the intensities of the high/low pressure systems to change are not understood.

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