Climate Dynamics

, Volume 37, Issue 9–10, pp 1727–1743 | Cite as

Rotational atmospheric circulation during North Atlantic-European winter: the influence of ENSO

  • J. García-Serrano
  • B. Rodríguez-Fonseca
  • I. Bladé
  • P. Zurita-Gotor
  • A. de la Cámara
Article

Abstract

The dominant variability modes of the North Atlantic-European rotational flow are examined by applying a principal component analysis (PCA/EOF) to the 200 hPa streamfunction mid-winter anomalies (Jan–Feb monthly means). The results reveal that, when this norm is used, the leading mode (EOF1) does not correspond to the traditional North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO, which appears in our analysis as the second leading mode, EOF2) but is the local manifestation of the leading hemispheric streamfunction EOF. The regression of this regional mode onto the global SST field exhibits a clear El Niño signature, with no signal over the Atlantic, while the associated upper height anomalies resemble the Tropical/Northern Hemisphere (TNH) pattern. East of North America, this TNH-like wavetrain produces a meridional dipole-like pattern at lower levels. Although in some ways this pattern resembles the NAO (EOF2), the dynamics of these two modes are very different in that only EOF2 is associated with a latitudinal shift of the North Atlantic stormtrack. Thus, the choice of the streamfunction norm in the EOF analysis allows the separation of two different phenomena that can produce similar dipolar surface pressure anomalies over the North Atlantic but that have different impact on European climate. These two modes also differ on their contribution to variability at lower levels: while NAO-EOF2 is mostly confined to the North Atlantic, TNH-EOF1 has a more annular, global character. At upper levels NAO-EOF2 also produces a global pattern but with no annular structure, reminiscent of the “circumglobal” teleconnection.

Keywords

Rotational circulation Atmospheric teleconnection ENSO NAO 

References

  1. Alexander MA, Bladé I, Newman M, Lanzante JR, Lau N-C, Scott JD (2002) The atmospheric bridge: the influence of ENSO teleconnections on air-sea interaction over the global oceans. J Clim 15:2205–2231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambaum MHP, Hoskins BJ, Stephenson DB (2001) Arctic oscillation or North Atlantic Oscillation? J Clim 14:3495–3507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ambrizzi T, Hoskins BJ, Hsu H-H (1995) Rossby wave propagation and teleconnection patterns in the austral winter. J Atmos Sci 52:3661–3672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews DG, Holton JR, Leovy CB (1987) Middle atmospheric dynamics. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnston AG, Livezey RE (1987) Classification, seasonality and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric circulation patterns. Mon Wea Rev 115:1083–1126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell CJ, Gray LJ, Charlton-Perez AJ, Joshi MM, Scaife AA (2009) Stratospheric communication of El Niño teleconnections to European winter. J Clim 22:4083–4096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bladé I, Newman M, Alexander MA, Scott JD (2008) The late fall extratropical response to ENSO: sensitivity to coupling and convection in the tropical West Pacific. J Clim 21:6101–6118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Branstator G (1983) Horizontal energy propagation in a barotropic atmosphere with meridional and zonal structure. J Atmos Sci 40:1689–1708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Branstator G (2002) Circumglobal teleconnections, the jetstream waveguide, and the North Atlantic Oscillation. J Clim 15:1893–1910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brönnimann S (2007) The impact of El Niño/Southern Oscillation on European climate. Rev Geophys 45:RG3003. doi:10.1029/2006RG000199
  11. Cagnazzo C, Manzini E (2009) Impact of the stratosphere on the winter tropospheric teleconnections between ENSO and the North Atlantic and European region. J Clim 22:1223–1238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cassou C, Terray L (2001a) Oceanic forcing of the wintertime low-frequency atmospheric variability in the North Atlantic European sector: a study with the ARPEGE model. J Clim 14:4266–4291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cassou C, Terray L (2001b) Dual influence of Atlantic and Pacific SST anomalies on the North Atlantic/Europe winter climate. Geophys Res Lett 28:3195–3198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chang EKM, Fu Y (2002) Interdecadal variations in Northern Hemisphere winter storm track intensity. J Clim 15:642–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deser C (2000) On the teleconnectivity of the “Arctic Oscillation”. Geophys Res Lett 27:779–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DeWeaver E, Nigam S (2000) Do stationary waves drive the zonal-mean jet anomalies of the Northern winter? J Clim 13:2160–2176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DeWeaver E, Nigam S (2002) Linearity in ENSO’s atmospheric response. J Clim 15:2446–2461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Drévillon M, Cassou C, Terray L (2003) Model study of the North Atlantic region atmospheric response to autumn tropical Atlantic sea-surface-temperature anomalies. Q J R Meteorol Soc 129:2591–2611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fyfe JC, Boer GJ, Flato GM (1999) The Arctic and Antarctic oscillations and their projected changes under global warming. Geophys Res Lett 26:1601–1604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. García-Serrano J, Losada T, Rodríguez-Fonseca B, Polo I (2008) Tropical Atlantic variability modes (1979–2002). Part II: time-evolving atmospheric circulation related to SST-forced tropical convection. J Clim 21:6476–6497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. García-Serrano J, Losada T, Rodríguez-Fonseca B (2010) Extratropical atmospheric response to the Atlantic Niño decaying phase. J Clim (JCLI-3640, in press). http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3640.1
  22. Gerber EP, Vallis GK (2009) On the zonal structure of the North Atlantic Oscillation and annular modes. J Atmos Sci 66:332–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gouirand I, Moron V (2003) Variability of the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation on sea-level pressure anomalies over the North Atlantic in January to March (1874–1996). Int J Climatol 23:1549–1566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gouirand I, Moron V, Zorita E (2007) Teleconnections between ENSO and North Atlantic in an ECHO-G simulation of the 1000–1990. Geophys Res Lett 34:L06705. doi:10.1029/2006GL028852 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Haarsma RJ, Hazeleger W (2007) Extratropical atmospheric response to equatorial Atlantic cold tongue anomalies. J Clim 20:2076–2091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Horel JD, Wallace MJ (1981) Planetary scale atmospheric phenomena associated with the Southern Oscillation. Mon Wea Rev 109:813–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoskins BJ, Ambrizzi T (1993) Rossby wave propagation on a realistic longitudinally varying flow. J Atmos Sci 50:1661–1671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hoskins BJ, Karoly DJ (1981) The steady linear response of a spherical atmosphere to thermal and orographic forcing. J Atmos Sci 38:1179–1196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hoskins BJ, Valdes PJ (1990) On the existence of storm-tracks. J Atmos Sci 47:1854–1864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hoskins BJ, James IN, White GH (1983) The shape, propagation and mean-flow interaction of large-scale weather systems. J Atmos Sci 40:1595–1612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hsu H-H, Lin S-H (1992) Global teleconnections in the 250-mb streamfunction field during the North Hemisphere winter. Mon Wea Rev 120:1169–1190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hsu H-H, Wallace JM (1985) Vertical structure of wintertime teleconnection patterns. J Atmos Sci 42:1693–1710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hurrell JW (1995) Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: regional temperatures and precipitation. Science 269:676–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hurrell JW, van Loon H (1997) Decadal variations in climate associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Clim Chang 36:301–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ineson S, Scaife AA (2008) The role of the stratosphere in the European climate response to ENSO. Nat Geosci. doi:10.1038/NGEO381
  36. Itoh H (2002) True versus apparent Arctic Oscillation. Geophys Res Lett 29:1268. doi:10.1029/2001GL013978 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kang I-S, Lau N-C (1986) Principal modes of atmospheric variability in model atmospheres with and without anomalous sea surface temperature forcing in the tropical Pacific. J Atmos Sci 43:2719–2735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Karoly DJ, Plumb RA, Ting M (1989) Examples of the horizontal propagation of quasi-stationary waves. J Atmos Sci 46:2802–2811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kidson JW (1999) Principal modes of Southern Hemisphere low-frequency variability obtained from NCEP–NCAR reanalyses. J Clim 12:2808–2830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kidson JW, Revell MJ, Bhaskaran B, Mullan AB, Renwick JA (2002) Convection patterns in the Tropical Pacific and their influence on the atmospheric circulation at higher latitudes. J Clim 15:137–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lau N-C (1979) The observed structure of the tropospheric stationary waves and the local balances of vorticity and heat. J Atmos Sci 36:996–1016Google Scholar
  42. Legates DR, Willmott CJ (1990) Mean seasonal and spatial variability global surface air temperature. Theor Appl Climatol 41:11–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lin H, Derome J (2004) Nonlinearity of the extratropical response to tropical forcing. J Clim 17:2597–2608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Livezey RE, Mo KC (1987) Tropical-extratropical teleconnections during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Part II: relationships between monthly mean Northern Hemisphere circulation patterns and proxies for tropical convection. Mon Wea Rev 115:3115–3132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Manzini E, Giorgetta MA, Esch M, Kornblueh L, Roeckner E (2006) The influence of sea surface temperature on the Northern winter stratosphere: ensembles simulations with the MAECHAM5 model. J Clim 19:3863–3881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Merkel U, Latif M (2002) A high resolution AGCM study of the El Niño impact on the North Atlantic/European sector. Geophys Res Lett 29:1291. doi:10.1029/2001GL013726 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mo KC, Livezey RE (1986) Tropical-extratropical geopotential height teleconnections during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon Wea Rev 114:2488–2515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Moron V, Guirand I (2003) Seasonal modulation of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation relationship with sea level pressure anomalies over the North Atlantic in October–March 1873–1996. Int J Climatol 23:143–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. North GR, Bell TL, Cahalan RF, Moeng FJ (1982) Sampling errors in the estimation of empirical orthogonal functions. Mon Wea Rev 110:699–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Peng S, Robinson WA, Li S, Hoerling MP (2005) Tropical Atlantic SST forcing of coupled North Atlantic seasonal responses. J Clim 18:480–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Plumb RA (1985) On the three-dimensional propagation of stationary waves. J Atmos Sci 42:217–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pohlmann H, Latif M (2005) Atlantic versus Indo-Pacific influence on Atlantic-European climate. Geophys Res Lett 32:L05707. doi:10.1029/2004GL021316 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pozo-Vázquez D, Esteban-Parra MJ, Rodrigo FS, Castro-Díez Y (2001) The association between ENSO and winter atmospheric circulation and temperature in the North Atlantic region. J Clim 14:3408–3420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Quadrelli R, Wallace JM (2002) Dependence of the structure of the Northern Hemisphere annular mode on the polarity of ENSO. Geophys Res Lett 29:2132. doi:10.1029/2002GL015807 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Revell MJ, Kidson JW, Kiladis GN (2001) Interpreting low-frequency modes of Southern Hemisphere atmospheric variability as the rotational response to divergent forcing. Mon Wea Rev 129:2416–2425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Robertson AW, Ghil M (1999) Large-scale weather regimes and local climate over the western United States. J Clim 12:1796–1813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rodwell MJ, Folland CK (2002) Atlantic air-sea interaction and seasonal predictability. Q J R Meteorol Soc 128:1413–1443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rogers JC (1990) Patterns of low-frequency monthly sea level pressure variability (1899–1986) and associated wave cyclone frequencies. J Clim 3:1364–1379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rogers JC (1997) North Atlantic storm track variability and its association to the North Atlantic Oscillation and climate variability of northern Europe. J Clim 10:1635–1647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sardeshmukh PD, Hoskins BJ (1987) On the derivation of the divergent flow from the rotational flow: the χ problem. Q J R Meteorol Soc 113:339–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sardeshmukh PD, Hoskins BJ (1988) The generation of global rotational flow by steady idealized tropical divergence. J Atmos Sci 45:1228–1251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shaman J, Tziperman E (2005) The effect of ENSO on Tibetan Plateau snow depth: a stationary wave teleconnection mechanism and implications for the South Asian monsoons. J Clim 18:2067–2079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shukla J, Wallace JM (1983) Numerical simulation of the atmospheric response to equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. J Atmos Sci 40:1613–1630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Smith TM, Reynolds RW (2003) Extended reconstruction of global sea surface temperatures based on COADS data (1854–1997). J Clim 16:1495–1510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Straus DM, Shukla J (2002) Does ENSO force the PNA? J Clim 15:2340–2358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sutton RT, Norton WA, Jewson SP (2000) The North Atlantic Oscillation—what role for the ocean? Atmos Sci Lett 1:89–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Terray L, Cassou C (2002) Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature forcing of quasi-decadal climate variability over the North Atlantic-Europe region. J Clim 15:3170–3187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (1998) The Arctic Oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys Res Lett 25:1297–1300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (2000) Annular modes in the extratropical circulation. Part I: month-to-month variability. J Clim 13:1000–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Thompson DWJ, Lee S, Baldwin MP (2003) Atmospheric processes governing the Northern Hemisphere Annular mode/North Atlantic Oscillation. In: Hurrell JW, Kushnir Y, Ottersen G, Visbeck M (eds) The North Atlantic Oscillation: climate significance and environmental impact. Geophys Monogr Ser 134:81–112Google Scholar
  71. Toniazzo T, Scaife AA (2006) The influence of ENSO on winter North Atlantic climate. Geophys Res Lett 33:L24704. doi:10.1029/2006GL027881 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Trenberth KE (1986) An assessment of the impact of transient eddies on the zonal flow during a blocking episode using localized Eliassen-Palm flux diagnostics. J Atmos Sci 43:2070–2087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Trenberth KE, Branstator GW, Karoly D, Kumar A, Lau N-C, Ropelewski C (1998) Progress during TOGA in understanding and modeling global teleconnections associated with tropical seas surface temperatures. J Geophys Res 103:14291–14324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Uppala SM et al (2005) The ERA-40 re-analysis. Q J R Meteorol Soc 131:2961–3012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Vallis GK, Gerber EP (2008) Local and hemispheric dynamics of the North Atlantic Oscillation, annular patterns and the zonal index. Dyn Atmos Ocean 44:184–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. van Loon H, Rogers JC (1978) The seesaw in winter temperatures between Greenland and northern Europe. Part I: general descriptions. Mon Wea Rev 106:296–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. van Oldenborgh GJ, Burgers G, Klein Tank A (2000) On the El Niño teleconnection to spring precipitation in Europe. Int J Climatol 20:565–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Visbeck M, Chassignet EP, Curry RG, Delworth TL, Dickson RR, Krahmann G (2003) The ocean’s response to North Atlantic Oscillation variability. In: Hurrell JW, Kushnir Y, Ottersen G, Visbeck M (eds) The North Atlantic Oscillation: climate significance and environmental impact. Geophys Monogr Ser 134:113–145Google Scholar
  79. von Storch H, Zwiers FW (2001) Statistical analysis in climate research. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  80. Wallace JM (2000) North Atlantic Oscillation/annular mode: two paradigms-one phenomenon. Q J R Meteorol Soc 126:791–805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wallace JM, Thompson DW (2002) The Pacific center of action of the Northern Hemisphere Annular Mode: real or artifac? J Clim 15:1987–1991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wallace JM, Lim GH, Blackmon ML (1988) Relationship between cyclone tracks, anticyclone tracks and baroclinic waveguides. J Atmos Sci 45:439–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wang C (2002) Atmospheric circulation cells associated with the El niño-Southern Oscillation. J Clim 15:399–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wang C (2005) ENSO, Atlantic climate variability and the Walker and Hadley circulations. In: Diaz HF, Bradley RS (eds) The hadley circulation: present, past and future. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp 173–202Google Scholar
  85. Webster PJ (1981) Mechanisms determining the atmospheric response to sea surface temperature anomalies. J Atmos Sci 38:554–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wu A, Hsieh WW (2004) The nonlinear association between ENSO and the Euro-Atlantic winter sea level pressure. Clim Dyn 23:859–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Yamazaki K, Shinya Y (1999) Analysis of the Arctic Oscillation simulated by AGCM. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 77:1287–1298Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. García-Serrano
    • 1
    • 3
  • B. Rodríguez-Fonseca
    • 1
  • I. Bladé
    • 2
  • P. Zurita-Gotor
    • 1
  • A. de la Cámara
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Geofísica y MeteorologíaUCMMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departament d’Astronomia i MeteorologiaUBBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institut Catala de Ciencies del Clima (IC3)BarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations