A Possible Relationship between Some “Severe” Winters in North America and Enhanced Convective Activity over the Tropical West Pacific

T. N. Palmer Meteorological Office, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SZ, U.K.

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J. A. Owen Meteorological Office, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SZ, U.K.

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Abstract

From observations and a variety of general circulation modeling evidence, it is suggested that the exceptionally cold weather experienced over much of the United States during some recent winter months (e.g., January 1985, December 1976–February 1977) was associated with enhanced latent heat release over the tropical West Pacific. The mechanism associated with such enhancement may not be unique.

Abstract

From observations and a variety of general circulation modeling evidence, it is suggested that the exceptionally cold weather experienced over much of the United States during some recent winter months (e.g., January 1985, December 1976–February 1977) was associated with enhanced latent heat release over the tropical West Pacific. The mechanism associated with such enhancement may not be unique.

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