Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Extreme Temperature Regimes during the Cool Season and their Associated Large-Scale Circulations

Friday, December 18, 2015 - 08:00 to 12:20
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In the cool season (November-March), extreme temperature events (ETEs) always hit the continental United States (US) and provide significant societal impacts. According to the anomalous amplitudes of the surface air temperature (SAT), there are two typical types of ETEs, e.g. cold waves (CWs) and warm waves (WWs). This study used cluster analysis to categorize both CWs and WWs into four distinct regimes respectively and investigated their associated large-scale circulations on intra-seasonal time scale.

Most of the CW regimes have large areal impact over the continental US. However, the distribution of cold SAT anomalies varies apparently in four regimes. In the sea level, the four CW regimes are characterized by anomalous high pressure over North America (near and to west of cold anomaly) with different extension and orientation. As a result, anomalous northerlies along east flank of anomalous high pressure convey cold air into the continental US. To the middle troposphere, the leading two groups feature large-scale and zonally-elongated circulation anomaly pattern, while the other two regimes exhibit synoptic wavetrain pattern with meridionally elongated features. As for the WW regimes, there are some patterns symmetry and anti-symmetry with respect to CW regimes. The WW regimes are characterized by anomalous low pressure and southerlies wind over North America. The first and fourth groups are affected by remote forcing emanating from North Pacific, while the others appear mainly locally forced.

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