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Title: A decadal precession of atmospheric pressures over the North Pacific

Here, sustained droughts over the Northwestern U.S. can alter water availability to the region’s agricultural, hydroelectric, and ecosystem service sectors. Here we analyze decadal variations in precipitation across this region and reveal their relation to the slow (~10 year) progression of an atmospheric pressure pattern around the North Pacific, which we term the Pacific Decadal Precession (PDP). Observations corroborate that leading patterns of atmospheric pressure variability over the North Pacific evolve in a manner consistent with the PDP and manifest as different phases in its evolution. Further analysis of the data indicates that low-frequency fluctuations of the tropical Pacific Ocean state energize one phase of the PDP and possibly the other through coupling with the polar stratosphere. Evidence that many recent climate variations influencing the North Pacific/North American sector over the last few years are consistent with the current phase of the PDP confirms the need to enhance our predictive understanding of its behavior.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Boston Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
  3. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Boston Univ., MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; climate variability; precipitation; North Pacific
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1402363