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Jinqing Zuo, Hong-Li Ren, and Weijing Li


In the boreal winter, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) evidently acts to influence surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies in China. This study reveals a large intraseasonal variation in the relationship between the winter AO and southern China SAT anomalies. Specifically, a weak in-phase relationship occurs in December, but a significant out-of-phase relationship occurs in January and February. The authors show that the linkage between the AO and southern China SAT anomalies strongly depends on the AO-associated changes in the Middle East jet stream (MEJS) and that such an AO–MEJS relationship is characterized by a significant difference between early and middle-to-late winter. In middle-to-late winter, the Azores center of high pressure anomalies in the positive AO phase usually extends eastward and yields a significantly anomalous upper-level convergence over the Mediterranean Sea, which can excite a Rossby wave train spanning the Arabian Sea and intensify the MEJS. In early winter, however, the Azores center of the AO is apparently shifted westward and is mainly confined to the Atlantic Ocean; in this case, the associated change in the MEJS is relatively weak. Both observational diagnoses and experiments based on a linearized barotropic model suggest that the MEJS is closely linked to the AO only when the latter generates considerable upper-level convergence anomalies over the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, the different impacts of the AO on the MEJS and the southern China SAT anomalies between early and middle-to-late winter are primarily attributed to the large intraseasonal zonal migrations of the Azores center of the AO.

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Jinqing Zuo, Hong-Li Ren, Weijing Li, and Lei Wang


Interdecadal variations in the relationship between the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and surface air temperature in China are investigated using observational and reanalysis data. Focus is on south-central China, in which temperature variability is strongly related to the NAO. It is revealed that the relationship shows clear interdecadal variations in midwinter during 1951–2015. A relatively weak in-phase relationship occurs before the early 1970s (P1), but a significant out-of-phase relationship dominates in the last two decades of the twentieth century (P2), though it is clearly weaker from the late 1990s onward. Observational evidence shows that such interdecadal variations are related mainly to variations in the spatial pattern and amplitude of the NAO. The northern center of the NAO shifted eastward over the second half of the twentieth century. In addition, the amplitude of the center strengthened from P1 to P2, resulting in a perturbation in the atmospheric circulation response pattern over Eurasian mid-to-high latitudes. During P2, the eastward shift and amplitude intensification of the NAO favored a north–south dipole structure in circulation anomalies over the Asian continent, which tended to produce cold temperature anomalies in south-central China during the positive NAO phase and warm anomalies during the negative phase. However, in the past two decades the northern center of the NAO has weakened and retreated westward. This was concurrent with a weakening relationship between the NAO and temperature anomalies in south-central China and northern Eurasia, indicating weaker downstream impacts of the NAO in midwinter.

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Shaobo Qiao, Meng Zou, Ho Nam Cheung, Jieyu Liu, Jinqing Zuo, Qingxiang Li, Guolin Feng, and Wenjie Dong


This study investigates the prediction of southern China surface air temperature (SAT) in January and February using hindcast and forecast dataset from the second version of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System, version 2 (NCEP CFSv2), for the period of 1983–2017. The observed January and February SAT in southern China is teleconnected with the Euro-Atlantic dipole (EAD) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), respectively. The February SAT is also teleconnected with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) via the bridge with the Philippine Sea anticyclone. The CFSv2 better predicts southern China SAT in February than January, where the temporal correlation coefficients between the observed and predicted regional-mean SAT in February and January are +0.81 and +0.27 (+0.32 and +0.04), respectively, for the one-month (two month) ahead prediction. The better prediction in February coincides with 1) accurate responses of the Eurasian circulation and the Philippine Sea anticyclone to the NAO and the ENSO, respectively, and 2) a strong ENSO–NAO linkage. The poorer prediction in January is related to a stronger linkage of the predicted January SAT with the NAO rather than the EAD, as well as a weak ENSO–EAD linkage. These results advance our understanding of the subseasonal prediction of the winter temperature in southern China.

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