The influence of recurrent modes of climate variability on the occurrence of winter and summer extreme temperatures over North America

Paul C. Loikith, Anthony J. Broccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The influence of the Pacific-North American (PNA) pattern, the northern annular mode (NAM), and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on extreme temperature days and months over North America is examined. Associations between extreme temperature days and months are strongest with the PNA and NAM andweaker for ENSO. In general, the associationwith extremes tends to be stronger onmonthly than daily time scales and for winter as compared to summer. Extreme temperatures are associated with the PNAandNAMin the vicinity of the centers of action of these circulation patterns; however, many extremes also occur on days when the amplitude and polarity of these patterns do not favor their occurrence. In winter, synoptic-scale, transient weather disturbances are important drivers of extreme temperature days; However, many of these smaller-scale events are concurrent with amplified PNA or NAM patterns. Associations are weaker in summer when other physicalmechanisms affecting the surface energy balance, such as anomalous soilmoisture content, also influence the occurrence of extreme temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1618
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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