Covariabilities of Winter U. S. Precipitation and Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures

  • Wang H
  • Ting M
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The variability of winter average U.S. precipitation displays strong geographical dependence with large var- iability in the southeastern and northwestern United States. The covariance of the U.S. winter mean precipitation with Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) is examined in this study using the singular value decomposition (SVD) method. The first SVD mode indicates the U.S. precipitation pattern that is associated with the tropical El Nin ˜o/La Nin ˜a SST variation, while the second and third SVD modes relate the precipitation variability in the Pacific Northwest and southeast that is associated with the North Pacific SST variation. About 45% of the U.S. precipitation variabilities is related to the Pacific SST anomalies, among which, 35% is related to the North Pacific SST and 10% is related to the tropical Pacific SST. Each SVD precipitation pattern is associated with well-organized 500-mb height and zonal mean zonal wind anomalies. It is shown that the North Pacific SST anomalies associated with the U.S. precipitation are primarily driven by extratropical atmospheric circulation anomalies.

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  • Hui Wang

  • Mingfang Ting

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