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Interferential Impact of ENSO and PDO on Dry and Wet Conditions in the US Great Plains

TitleInterferential Impact of ENSO and PDO on Dry and Wet Conditions in the US Great Plains
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHu, Z. Z., and B. H. Huang
Journal of Climate
Volume22
Pagination6047-6065
CENTRAL UNITED-STATES PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION WINTER PRECIPITATION DROUGHT CLIMATE SUMMER VARIABILITY RAINFALL TELECONNECTIONS MODULATION
Abstract

The influence of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) interference on the dry and wet conditions in the Great Plains of the United States has been examined using monthly observational datasets. It is shown that both ENSO and PDO can generate a similar pattern of atmospheric and oceanic anomalies over the eastern part of the North Pacific and western North America that has significant impact on the climate over the Great Plains. Furthermore, the relationship between ENSO-PDO and climate anomalies in the Great Plains is intensified when ENSO and PDO are in phase (El Nino and warm PDO or La Nina and cold PDO). On average, anomalies over the Great Plains favor wet (dry) conditions when both ENSO and PDO are in the positive (negative) phase. However, when ENSO and PDOare out of phase, the relationship is weakened and the anomalies over the Great Plains tend toward neutral. Without ENSO, PDO alone does not affect the North American climate significantly. The relationship is quite robust for different seasons, with the strongest effects for the months of spring and the weakest effects for the months of autumn, whereas the months of winter and summer fall in between. The seasonality of the relationship may be associated with the seasonal dependence of the anomalies of general circulation and the pattern of mean seasonal cycle in the North Pacific. The contrasting impact of the interference of ENSO and PDO on the climate anomalies in the Great Plains is associated with differences in the ocean-atmosphere anomalies. When ENSO and PDO are in phase, the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies extend from the equatorial Pacific to the higher latitudes of the North Pacific via the eastern ocean. The distribution of the corresponding anomalies of sea level pressure (SLP) and the wind at 1000 hPa form an ellipse with a southeast-northwest orientation of the long axis because the SST anomalies promote coherent changes in SLP in the central North Pacific. In the upper troposphere, a similar teleconnection pattern with the same sign generated by ENSO and PDO is overlapped and enhanced, which favors anomaly (dry and wet) conditions in the Great Plains. However, when ENSO and PDO are out of phase, the SST anomalies have the same sign in the tropical and central North Pacific, which is opposite to the anomalies near the west coast of North America. The anomalously cyclonic circulation over the North Pacific is weaker in the out-of-phase situation than in the in-phase situation. The distribution of the anomalies of SLP and the wind at 1000 hPa resembles a circle. Meanwhile, in the upper troposphere, ENSO and PDO generate a similar teleconnection pattern with opposite sign, causing cancellation of the anomalous circulation and favoring neutral climate in the Great Plains.

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