Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 9–10, pp 3523–3536 | Cite as

Amplified contiguous United States summer rainfall variability induced by East Asian monsoon interdecadal change

  • Zhiwei Zhu
  • Tim Li


The strength of the dominant variability of contiguous United States (CONUS) summer rainfall during 1960–2013 experiences an interdecadal change in the early 1990s. Before the early 1990s, the variation in CONUS summer rainfall is relatively small in amplitude (standard deviation: 0.64 mm day−1), whereas after it amplifies remarkably, with its standard deviation (1.31 mm day−1) roughly doubling. Observational diagnoses and simulation results show that enhanced East Asian subtropical monsoon variability plays a direct role in strengthening the CONUS summer rainfall dipole variability. Besides, a northward shift of the East Asian summer monsoon is also responsible for the amplification of the CONUS summer rainfall variability. This northward shift of the East Asian rain belt pushes the rainfall perturbation farther to the north, much closer to the subtropical East Asian upper-level westerly jet stream. As a result, the East Asian subtropical monsoon heating induces the upper-level Asia–North America teleconnection pattern more effectively, leading to the larger amplitude of CONUS summer rainfall variability.


Contiguous United States summer rainfall Rainfall variability Interdecadal change Asia–North America teleconnection Upper-level westerly jet stream 



Comments from two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. This work was supported by NSFC Grant 41630423, National Key Research Projects 2017YFA0603802 and 2015CB453200, NSFC Grant 41605035, NSF Grants AGS-1643297 and AGS-1565653, Jiangsu projects BK20150062 and R2014SCT001, and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD). This paper is SOEST contribution number 10108, IPRC contribution number 1279, and ESMC contribution number 171.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change (ILCEC)/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, International Pacific Research Center, IPRC, SOESTUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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