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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 36, Issue 3–4, pp 607–621 | Cite as

Predictability of Northwest Pacific climate during summer and the role of the tropical Indian Ocean

  • Jasti Sriranga Chowdary
  • Shang-Ping Xie
  • Jing-Jia Luo
  • Jan Hafner
  • Swadhin Behera
  • Yukio Masumoto
  • Toshio Yamagata
Article

Abstract

A seasonal forecast system based on a global, fully coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model is used to (1) evaluate the interannual predictability of the Northwest Pacific climate during June–August following El Niño [JJA(1)], and (2) examine the contribution from the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) variability. The model retrospective forecast for 1983–2006 captures major modes of atmospheric variability over the Northwest Pacific during JJA(1), including a rise in sea level pressure (SLP), an anomalous anticyclone at the surface, and a reduction in subtropical rainfall, and increased rainfall to the northeast over East Asia. The anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) for the leading principal components (PCs) of SLP and rainfall stays above 0.5 for lead time up to 3–4 months. The predictability for zonal wind is slightly better. An additional experiment is performed by prescribing the SST climatology over the TIO. In this run, designated as NoTIO, the Northwest Pacific anticyclone during JJA(1) weakens considerably and reduces its westward extension. Without an interactive TIO, the ACC for PC prediction drops significantly. To diagnose the TIO effect on the circulation, the differences between the two runs (Control minus NoTIO) are analyzed. The diagnosis shows that El Nino causes the TIO SST to rise and to remain high until JJA(1). In response to the higher than usual SST, precipitation increases over the TIO and excites a warm atmospheric Kelvin wave, which propagates into the western Pacific along the equator. The decrease in equatorial SLP drives northeasterly wind anomalies, induces surface wind divergence, and suppresses convection over the subtropical Northwest Pacific. An anomalous anticyclone forms in the Northwest Pacific, and the intensified moisture transport on its northwest flank causes rainfall to increase over East Asia. In the NoTIO experiment, the Northwest Pacific anticyclone weakens but does not disappear. Other mechanisms for maintaining this anomalous circulation are discussed.

Keywords

ENSO Tropical Indian Ocean Atmospheric Kelvin wave Northwest Pacific climate Seasonal forecast 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). We thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that helped to improve our manuscript and H. Annamalai, and J. P. McCreary for helpful discussions. We acknowledge M. Izumi, and G. Speidel for careful editing of the revised manuscript. The authors also thank Nat Johnson and Edwin K. Schneider for helpful comments and corrections. Figures are prepared in Grads. IPRC/SOEST publication 640/7823.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasti Sriranga Chowdary
    • 1
  • Shang-Ping Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jing-Jia Luo
    • 3
  • Jan Hafner
    • 1
  • Swadhin Behera
    • 3
  • Yukio Masumoto
    • 3
    • 4
  • Toshio Yamagata
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.International Pacific Research Center, SOESTUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Frontier Research Center for Global ChangeJAMSTECYokohamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Earth and Planetary ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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