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Hai Lin

Abstract

In this study, a new index is defined to capture the prominent northward propagation of the intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) in boreal summer in the East Asian and western North Pacific (EAWNP) region. It is based on the first two modes of empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the combined fields of daily anomalies of zonally averaged outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and 850-hPa zonal wind (U850) in the EAWNP region. These two EOFs are well separated from the rest of the modes, and their principal components (PCs) capture the intraseasonal variability. They are nearly in quadrature in both space and time and their combination reasonably well represents the northward propagation of the ISO. As no future information beyond the current date is required as in conventional time filtering, this ISO index can be used in real-time applications. This index is applied to the output of the 24-yr historical hindcast experiment using the Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) model of Environment Canada to evaluate the forecast skill of the ISO of the EAWNP summer monsoon.

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Hai Lin

Abstract

Pentad (5-day averaged) forecast skill over the Arctic region in boreal winter is evaluated for the subseasonal to seasonal prediction (S2S) systems from three operational centers: the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The results indicate that for a lead time longer than about 10 days the forecast skill of 2-m air temperature and 500-hPa geopotential height in the Arctic area is low compared to the tropical and midlatitude regions. The three S2S systems have comparable forecast skill in the northern polar region. Relatively high skill is observed in the Arctic sector north of the Bering Strait in pentads 4–6. Possible sources of S2S predictability in the polar region are explored. The polar forecast skill is found to be dependent on the phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) in the initial condition; that is, forecasts initialized with the negative AO are more skillful than those starting from the positive AO. This is likely due to the influence of the stratospheric polar vortex. The tropical MJO is found to also influence the prediction skill in the polar region. Forecasts starting from MJO phases 6–7, which correspond to suppressed convection in the equatorial eastern Indian Ocean and enhanced convection in the tropical western Pacific, tend to be more skillful than those initialized from other MJO phases. To improve the polar prediction on the subseasonal time scale, it is important to have a well-represented stratosphere and tropical MJO and their associated teleconnections in the model.

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Hai Lin

Abstract

The predictability of atmospheric mean-seasonal conditions in the absence of externally varying forcing is examined. A perfect-model approach is adopted, in which a global T21 three-level quasigeostrophic atmospheric model is integrated over 21 000 days to obtain a reference atmospheric orbit. The model is driven by a time-independent forcing, so that the only source of time variability is the internal dynamics. The forcing is set to perpetual winter conditions in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and perpetual summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

A significant temporal variability in the NH 90-day mean states is observed. The component of that variability associated with the higher-frequency motions, or climate noise, is estimated using a method developed by Madden. In the polar region, and to a lesser extent in the midlatitudes, the temporal variance of the winter means is significantly greater than the climate noise, suggesting some potential predictability in those regions.

Forecast experiments are performed to see whether the presence of variance in the 90-day mean states that is in excess of the climate noise leads to some skill in the prediction of these states. Ensemble forecast experiments with nine members starting from slightly different initial conditions are performed for 200 different 90-day means along the reference atmospheric orbit. The serial correlation between the ensemble means and the reference orbit shows that there is skill in the 90-day mean predictions. The skill is concentrated in those regions of the NH that have the largest variance in excess of the climate noise. An EOF analysis shows that nearly all the predictive skill in the seasonal means is associated with one mode of variability with a strong axisymmetric component.

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Hai Lin

Abstract

Global teleconnections associated with the Asian summer monsoon convective activities are investigated based on monthly data of 29 Northern Hemisphere summers defined as June–September (JJAS). Two distinct teleconnection patterns are identified that are associated respectively with variabilities of the Indian summer monsoon and the western North Pacific summer monsoon. The Indian summer monsoon convective activity is associated with a global pattern that has a far-reaching connection in both hemispheres, whereas the western North Pacific summer monsoon convective activity is connected to a Southern Hemisphere wave train that influences the high-latitude South Pacific and South America. A global primitive equation model is utilized to assess the cause of the global circulation anomalies. The model responses to anomalous heatings of both monsoon systems match the general features of the observed circulation anomalies well, and they are mainly controlled by linear processes. The response patterns are largely determined by the summertime large-scale background mean flow and the location of the heating anomaly relative to the upper easterly jet in the monsoon region.

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Hai Lin and Gilbert Brunet

Abstract

Using the homogenized Canadian historical daily surface air temperature (SAT) for 210 relatively evenly distributed stations across Canada, the lagged composites and probability of the above- and below-normal SAT in Canada for different phases of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) in the winter season are analyzed. Significant positive SAT anomalies and high probability of above-normal events in the central and eastern Canada are found 5–15 days following MJO phase 3, which corresponds to an enhanced precipitation over the Indian Ocean and Maritime Continent and a reduced convective activity near the tropical central Pacific. On the other hand, a positive SAT anomaly appears over a large part of northern and northeastern Canada about 5–15 days after the MJO is detected in phase 7. An analysis of the evolution of the 500-hPa geopotential height and sea level pressure anomalies indicates that the Canadian SAT anomaly is a result of a Rossby wave train associated with the tropical convection anomaly of the MJO. Hence, the MJO phase provides useful information for the extended-range forecast of Canadian winter surface air temperature. This result also provides an important reference for numerical model verifications.

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Hai Lin and Zhiwei Wu

Abstract

Predicting surface air temperature (T) is a major task of North American (NA) winter seasonal prediction. It has been recognized that variations of the NA winter T’s can be associated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). This study presents observed evidence that variability in snow cover over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and its adjacent areas in prior autumn (September–November) is significantly correlated with the first principal component (PC1) of the NA winter T’s, which features a meridional seesaw pattern over the NA continent. The autumn TP snow cover anomaly can persist into the following winter through a positive feedback between snow cover and the atmosphere. A positive TP snow cover anomaly may induce a negative sea level pressure and geopotential height anomaly over the eastern North Pacific, a positive geopotential height anomaly over Canada, and a negative anomaly over the southeastern United States—a structure very similar to the positive phase of the Pacific–North America (PNA) pattern. This pattern usually favors the occurrence of a warm–north, cold–south winter over the NA continent. When a negative snow cover anomaly occurs, the situation tends to be opposite. Since the autumn TP snow cover shows a weak correlation with ENSO, it provides a new predictability source for NA winter T’s.

Based on the above results, an empirical model is constructed to predict PC1 using a combination of autumn TP snow cover and other sea surface temperature anomalies related to ENSO and the NAO. Hindcasts and real forecasts are performed for the 1972–2003 and 2004–09 periods, respectively. Both show a promising prediction skill. As far as PC1 is concerned, the empirical model hindcast performs better than the ensemble mean of four dynamical models from the Canadian Meteorological Centre. Particularly, the real forecast of the empirical model exhibits a better performance in predicting the extreme phases of PC1—that is, the extremely warm winter over Canada in 2009/10—should the model include the autumn TP snow cover impacts. Since all these predictors can be readily monitored in real time, this empirical model provides a real-time forecast tool for NA winter climate.

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Hai Lin and Gilbert Brunet

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) has a global impact that may provide an important source of skill for subseasonal predictions. The extratropical response was found to be the strongest when the tropical diabatic heating has a dipole structure with convection anomaly centers of opposite sign in the eastern Indian Ocean and the western Pacific. A positive (negative) MJO dipole heating refers to that with heating (cooling) in the eastern Indian Ocean and cooling (heating) in the western Pacific. In this study, two aspects of the extratropical response to the MJO are examined: 1) nonlinearity, which answers the question of whether the response to a positive MJO dipole heating is the mirror image of that to a negative MJO, and 2) sensitivity to the initial state, which explores the dependence of the extratropical response on the initial condition of the westerly jet.

Ensemble integrations using a primitive-equation global atmospheric circulation model are performed with anomalous tropical thermal forcings that resemble a positive MJO (+MJO) and a negative MJO (−MJO). The response in the first week is largely linear. After that, significant asymmetry is found between the response in the positive MJO and the negative MJO. The 500-hPa negative geopotential height response in the North Pacific of the −MJO run is located about 30° east of the positive height response of the +MJO run. There is also an eastward shift of the extratropical wave train in the Pacific–North American region. This simulated nonlinearity is in agreement with the observations. The two leading response patterns among the ensemble members are identified by an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. EOF1 represents an eastward shift of the wave train, which is positively correlated with strengthening of the East Asian subtropical upper-troposphere westerly jet in the initial condition. On the other hand, EOF2 represents an amplification of the response, which is associated with a southward shift of the westerly jet in the initial state.

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Xiaojing Jia and Hai Lin

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The seasonality of the influence of the tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST)-forced large-scale atmospheric patterns on the surface air temperature (SAT) over China is investigated for the period from 1969 to 2001. Both observations and output from four atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) involved in the second phase of the Canadian Historical Forecasting Project (HFP) are used. The large-scale atmospheric patterns are obtained by applying a singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis between 500-hPa geopotential height (Z500) in the Northern Hemisphere and SST in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Temporal correlations between the SAT over China and the expansion coefficients of the leading SVD modes show that SAT over China can be significantly influenced by these large-scale atmospheric patterns, especially by the second SVD mode. The relationship between the SAT over China and the leading atmospheric patterns in the observations is partly captured by the HFP models.

Furthermore, seasonal forecasts of SAT over China are postprocessed using a statistical approach. This statistical approach is designed based on the relationship between the forecast Z500 and the observed SST to calibrate the SAT forecasts. Results show that the forecast skill of the postprocessed SAT over China can be improved in all seasons to some extent, with that in fall having the most significant improvement. Possible mechanisms behind the improvement of the forecast are investigated.

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XiaoJing Jia and Hai Lin

Abstract

The climate trend in a dynamical seasonal forecasting system is examined using 33-yr multimodel ensemble (MME) forecasts from the second phase of the Canadian Historical Forecasting Project (HFP2). It is found that the warming trend of the seasonal forecast in March–May (MAM) over the Eurasian continent is in a good agreement with that in the observations. However, the seasonal forecast failed to reproduce the observed pronounced surface air temperature (SAT) trend in December–February (DJF). The possible reasons responsible for the different behaviors of the HFP2 models in MAM and DJF are investigated. Results show that the initial conditions used for the HFP2 forecast system in MAM have a warming trend over the Eurasian continent, which may come from high-frequency weather systems, whereas the initial conditions for the DJF seasonal forecast do not have such a trend. This trend in the initial condition contributes to the trend of the seasonal forecast in the first month. On the other hand, an examination of the lower boundary SST anomaly forcing shows that the SST trend in MAM has a negative SST anomaly along the central equatorial Pacific, which is favorable for a positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation atmospheric response and a warming over the Eurasian continent. The long-term SST trend used for the seasonal forecast in DJF, however, has a negative trend in the tropical eastern Pacific, which is associated with a Pacific–North American pattern–like atmospheric response that has little contribution to a warming in the Eurasian continent.

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Hai Lin and Jacques Derome

Abstract

A primitive equations dry atmospheric model is used to investigate the atmospheric response to a tropical diabatic forcing pattern and explore how the atmospheric response changes as a function of the amplitude of the forcing. The forcing anomaly represents a linear fit of the model forcing to a tropical SST pattern of an El Niño/La Niña type. The time-averaged 500-hPa geopotential height anomaly responses of two long integrations, with forcing anomalies of equal amplitudes but opposite signs, show an asymmetric feature that is similar to observations and to previous modeling results related to El Niño and La Niña. Ensemble experiments with 61 different amplitudes of this forcing pattern are conducted. An EOF analysis of the ensemble mean of the 90-day-averaged 500-hPa height for different amplitudes of forcings shows that the leading mode of the forced variability resembles the Pacific–North American (PNA) pattern, while the second mode is a wave train across the North Atlantic to Eurasia. The relationship between the amplitude of the PNA mode and the amplitude of the forcing is linear, while the amplitude of the Atlantic/Eurasian mode has a nearly parabolic relationship with the amplitude of the forcing. A set of linear experiments with forcing perturbations and eddy flux anomalies associated with the positive and negative amplitudes of forcing conditions indicates that the nonlinearity of the extratropical response primarily results from the modification of the “basic state” caused by the large-amplitude forcing and the subsequent sensitivity of the response to that modified basic flow. A La Niña–type basic state yields a stronger response in the North Atlantic to the tropical Pacific forcing than does an El Niño–type basic state.

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