The effect of the MJO on the North American monsoon

  • Lorenz D
  • Hartmann D
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The effect of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) in the eastern Pacific
on the North American monsoon is documented using NCEP-NCAR reanalysis
and daily mean precipitation data from 1958 to 2003. It is found that
positive zonal wind anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific lead to
above-normal precipitation in northwest Mexico and Arizona from several
days to over a week later. This connection between the tropical Pacific
and monsoon precipitation appears to be limited to regions influenced by
moisture surges from the Gulf of California as a similar connection does
not exist for New Mexico precipitation. The evidence suggests that the
MJO might affect monsoon precipitation by modulating the strength of
low-level easterly waves off the coast of Mexico, which in turn triggers
the development of a gulf surge.

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  • David J. Lorenz

  • Dennis L. Hartmann

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