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Jiacan Yuan, Benkui Tan, Steven B. Feldstein, and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The teleconnections of the wintertime North Pacific are examined from the continuum perspective with self-organizing map (SOM) analysis. Daily ERA-Interim data for the 1979–2011 period are used. It is found that most of the North Pacific teleconnections can be grouped into several Pacific–North American (PNA)-like, western Pacific (WP)-like, and east Pacific (EP)-like SOM patterns. Each of the SOM patterns has an e-folding time scale of 7–10 days.

The WP-like SOM patterns undergo a decline in their frequency from early to late winter, and vice versa for the EP-like SOM patterns, corresponding to an eastward seasonal shift of the North Pacific teleconnections. This seasonal shift is observed for both phases of the WP and EP patterns, and is only weakly sensitive to the phase of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. It is shown that the interannual variability of the PNA, WP, and EP can be interpreted as arising from interannual changes in the frequency of the corresponding SOM patterns. The WP- and EP-like SOM patterns are found to be associated with statistically significant sea ice cover anomalies over the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. The low-level wind and temperature anomalies associated with these patterns are consistent with the changes in sea ice arising from both wind-driven sea ice motion and freezing and/or melting of sea ice due to horizontal temperature advection. Furthermore, widespread precipitation anomalies over the North Pacific are found for all three patterns.

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Jiacan Yuan, Steven B. Feldstein, Sukyoung Lee, and Benkui Tan

Abstract

Boreal winter jet variability over the North Atlantic is investigated using 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data, where the variability is defined by the first EOF of the zonal wind on seven vertical levels. The principal component time series of this EOF is referred to as the jet index. A pattern correlation analysis indicates that the jet index more accurately describes intraseasonal North Atlantic zonal wind variability than does the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A series of composite calculations of the jet index based on events of intraseasonal convective precipitation over the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans reveals the following statistically significant relationships: 1) negative jet events lead enhanced Indian Ocean precipitation, 2) positive jet events lag enhanced Indian Ocean precipitation, 3) positive jet events lead enhanced western Pacific Ocean precipitation, and 4) negative jet events lag enhanced western Pacific Ocean precipitation. These intraseasonal relationships are found to be linked through the circumglobal teleconnection pattern (CTP). Implications of the sign of the CTP being opposite to that of the jet index suggest that relationships 1 and 3 may arise from cold air surges associated with the CTP over these oceans. On interdecadal time scales, a much greater increase in the frequency of precipitation events from 1958 to 1979 (P1) to 1980 to 2001 (P2) was found for the Indian Ocean relative to the western Pacific Ocean. This observation, combined with relationships 2 and 4, leads to the suggestion that this change in the frequency of intraseasonal Indian Ocean precipitation events may make an important contribution to the excitation of interdecadal variability of the North Atlantic jet.

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Ying Dai, Steven B. Feldstein, Benkui Tan, and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The mechanisms that drive the Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern with and without its canonical tropical convection pattern are investigated with daily ERA-Interim and NOAA OLR data (the former pattern is referred to as the convective PNA, and the latter pattern is referred to as the nonconvective PNA). Both the convective and nonconvective positive PNA are found to be preceded by wave activity fluxes associated with a Eurasian wave train. These wave activity fluxes enter the central subtropical Pacific, a location that is favorable for barotropic wave amplification, just prior to the rapid growth of the PNA. The wave activity fluxes are stronger for the positive nonconvective PNA, suggesting that barotropic amplification plays a greater role in its development. The negative convective PNA is also preceded by a Eurasian wave train, whereas the negative nonconvective PNA grows from the North Pacific contribution to a circumglobal teleconnection pattern. Driving by high-frequency eddy vorticity fluxes is largest for the negative convective PNA, indicating that a positive feedback may be playing a more dominant role in its development.

The lifetimes of convective PNA events are found to be longer than those of nonconvective PNA events, with the former (latter) persisting for about three (two) weeks. Furthermore, the frequency of the positive (negative) convective PNA is about 40% (60%) greater than that of the positive (negative) nonconvective PNA.

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Benkui Tan, Jiacan Yuan, Ying Dai, Steven B. Feldstein, and Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The eastern Pacific (EP) pattern is a recently detected atmospheric teleconnection pattern that frequently occurs during late winter. Through analysis of daily ERA-Interim data and outgoing longwave radiation data for the period of 1979–2011, it is shown here that the formation of the EP is preceded by an anomalous tropical convection dipole, with one extremum located over the eastern Indian Ocean–Maritime Continent and the other over the central Pacific. This is followed by the excitation of two quasi-stationary Rossby wave trains. Departing from the subtropics, north of the region of anomalous convection, one Rossby wave train propagates eastward along the East Asian jet from southern China toward the eastern Pacific. The second wave train propagates northward from east of Japan toward eastern Siberia and then turns southeastward to the Gulf of Alaska. Both wave trains are associated with wave activity flux convergence where the EP pattern develops. The results from an examination of the E vector suggest that the EP undergoes further growth with the aid of positive feedback from high-frequency transient eddies. The frequency of occurrence of the dipole convection anomaly increases significantly from early to late winter, a finding that suggests that it is the seasonal change in the convection anomaly that accounts for the EP being more dominant in late winter.

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