Climate Dynamics

, Volume 41, Issue 7–8, pp 1835–1852 | Cite as

Are the teleconnections of Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific El Niño distinct in boreal wintertime?

  • C. I. Garfinkel
  • M. M. Hurwitz
  • D. W. Waugh
  • A. H. Butler


A meteorological reanalysis dataset and experiments of the Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry-Climate Model, Version 2 (GEOS V2 CCM) are used to study the boreal winter season teleconnections in the Pacific-North America region and in the stratosphere generated by Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific El Niño. In the reanalysis data, the sign of the North Pacific and stratospheric response to Central Pacific El Niño is sensitive to the composite size, the specific Central Pacific El Niño index used, and the month or seasonal average that is examined, highlighting the limitations of the short observational record. Long model integrations suggest that the response to the two types of El Niño are similar in both the extratropical troposphere and stratosphere. Namely, both Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific El Niño lead to a deepened North Pacific low and a weakened polar vortex, and the effects are stronger in late winter than in early winter. However, the long experiments do indicate some differences between the two types of El Niño events regarding the latitude of the North Pacific trough, the early winter polar stratospheric response, surface temperature and precipitation over North America, and globally averaged surface temperature. These differences are generally consistent with, though smaller than, those noted in previous studies.


Central Pacific ENSO Teleconnections Stratospheric dynamics 



This work was supported by the NASA grant number NNX06AE70G and NASA’s ACMAP program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. I. Garfinkel
    • 1
  • M. M. Hurwitz
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. W. Waugh
    • 1
  • A. H. Butler
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary ScienceJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR)Morgan State UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  4. 4.Climate Prediction CenterNCEP, NOAACamp SpringsUSA

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