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Nathaniel C. Johnson, Dan C. Collins, Steven B. Feldstein, Michelle L. L’Heureux, and Emily E. Riddle


Previous work has shown that the combined influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) significantly impacts the wintertime circulation over North America for lead times up to at least 4 weeks. These findings suggest that both the MJO and ENSO may prove beneficial for generating a seamless prediction link between short-range deterministic forecasts and longer-range seasonal forecasts. To test the feasibility of this link, wintertime (December–March) probabilistic 2-m temperature (T2m) forecasts over North America are generated solely on the basis of the linear trend and statistical relationships with the initial state of the MJO and ENSO. Overall, such forecasts exhibit substantial skill for some regions and some initial states of the MJO and ENSO out to a lead time of approximately 4 weeks. In addition, the primary ENSO T2m regions of influence are nearly orthogonal to those of the MJO, which suggests that the MJO and ENSO generally excite different patterns within the continuum of large-scale atmospheric teleconnections. The strong forecast skill scores for some regions and initial states confirm the promise that information from the MJO and ENSO may offer forecasts of opportunity in weeks 3 and 4, which extend beyond the current 2-week extended-range outlooks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), and an intraseasonal link to longer-range probabilistic forecasts.

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Jiaxin Black, Nathaniel C. Johnson, Stephen Baxter, Steven B. Feldstein, Daniel S. Harnos, and Michelle L. L’Heureux


The Pacific–North American pattern (PNA), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and Arctic Oscillation (AO) are three dominant teleconnection patterns known to strongly affect December–February surface weather in the Northern Hemisphere. A partial least squares regression (PLSR) method is adopted in this study to generate wintertime two-week statistical forecasts of these three teleconnection pattern indices for lead times of up to five weeks over the 1980–2013 period. The PLSR approach generates forecasts for the teleconnection pattern indices by maximizing the variance explained by predictor indices determined as linear combinations of predictor fields, which include gridded outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), 300-hPa geopotential height (Z300), and 50-hPa geopotential height (Z50). Overall, the PLSR models yield statistically significant skill at all lead times up to five weeks. In particular, cross-validated correlations between the combined weeks 3–4 PLSR forecasts and verification for the PNA, NAO, and AO indices are 0.34, 0.28, and 0.41, respectively. The PLSR approach also allows the authors to isolate a small number of predictor patterns that help shed light on the sources of prediction skill for each teleconnection pattern. As expected, the results reveal the importance of tropical convection (OLR) for forecast skill in weeks 3–4, but the initial atmospheric flow (Z300) accounts for a substantial fraction of the skill as well. Overall, the results of this study provide promise for improving subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasts and the physical understanding of predictability on these time scales.

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G. Alexander Sokolowsky, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Cory F. Baggett, Sukyoung Lee, Steven B. Feldstein, Edwin W. Eloranta, Maria P. Cadeddu, Nitin Bharadwaj, and Karen L. Johnson


Intrusions of warm, moist air into the Arctic during winter have emerged as important contributors to Arctic surface warming. Previous studies indicate that temperature, moisture, and hydrometeor enhancements during intrusions all make contributions to surface warming via emission of radiation down to the surface. Here, datasets from instrumentation at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement User Facility in Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) for the six months from November through April for the six winter seasons of 2013/14–2018/19 were used to quantify the atmospheric state. These datasets subsequently served as inputs to compute surface downwelling longwave irradiances via radiative transfer computations at 1-min intervals with different combinations of constituents over the six winter seasons. The computed six winter average irradiance with all constituents included was 205.0 W m−2, close to the average measured irradiance of 206.7 W m−2, a difference of −0.8%. During this period, water vapor was the most important contributor to the irradiance. The computed average irradiance with dry gas was 71.9 W m−2. Separately adding water vapor, liquid, or ice to the dry atmosphere led to average increases of 2.4, 1.8, and 1.6 times the dry atmosphere irradiance, respectively. During the analysis period, 15 episodes of warm, moist air intrusions were identified. During the intrusions, individual contributions from elevated temperature, water vapor, liquid water, and ice water were found to be comparable to each other. These findings indicate that all properties of the atmospheric state must be known in order to quantify the radiation coming down to the Arctic surface during winter.

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