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Title: Observed and Simulated Spring and Summer Dryness in the United States: The Impact of the Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and Beyond

Abstract

This study characterizes major modes of variability in the spring and summer U.S. dryness, as measured by the seasonal total number of dry (no-precipitation) days, and assesses the impact of the Pacific sea surface temperature. The most severe spring and summer dry conditions typically occur in the western United States. Maximum covariance analysis reveals that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is the primary driver of interannual variability in the U.S. dryness. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) also contributes in part (especially during spring). Beyond the PDO and ENSO impact, interannual variations in spring dryness exhibit a meridional dipole structure, while variations during summer are related to a northwest-southeast (NW-SE) oriented dipole. The spring meridional dipole is associated with circulation anomalies resembling the West Pacific teleconnection pattern, while the summer NW-SE dipole is a downstream manifestation of a quasi-stationary wave train. A parallel analysis of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project's fifth phase models' historical simulations demonstrates that such models generally capture the relation between U.S. dryness and the PDO, albeit with varying degrees of accuracy. The models also show reasonable skill in simulating the residual meridional dipole in spring dryness variability but have difficulty representing the NW-SE oriented dipole occurring during summer. Themore » model shortcomings isolated here largely arise from a misrepresentation of the corresponding large-scale circulation and moisture transport anomalies. These model biases suggest that great challenges exist in our ongoing pursuit of reliable projections of the U.S. hydroclimate variability.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1537320
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464538
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012554; DE‐SC0012554
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Zhao, Siyu, Deng, Yi, and Black, Robert X. Observed and Simulated Spring and Summer Dryness in the United States: The Impact of the Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and Beyond. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017jd027279.
Zhao, Siyu, Deng, Yi, & Black, Robert X. Observed and Simulated Spring and Summer Dryness in the United States: The Impact of the Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and Beyond. United States. doi:10.1002/2017jd027279.
Zhao, Siyu, Deng, Yi, and Black, Robert X. Fri . "Observed and Simulated Spring and Summer Dryness in the United States: The Impact of the Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and Beyond". United States. doi:10.1002/2017jd027279. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1537320.
@article{osti_1537320,
title = {Observed and Simulated Spring and Summer Dryness in the United States: The Impact of the Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and Beyond},
author = {Zhao, Siyu and Deng, Yi and Black, Robert X.},
abstractNote = {This study characterizes major modes of variability in the spring and summer U.S. dryness, as measured by the seasonal total number of dry (no-precipitation) days, and assesses the impact of the Pacific sea surface temperature. The most severe spring and summer dry conditions typically occur in the western United States. Maximum covariance analysis reveals that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is the primary driver of interannual variability in the U.S. dryness. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) also contributes in part (especially during spring). Beyond the PDO and ENSO impact, interannual variations in spring dryness exhibit a meridional dipole structure, while variations during summer are related to a northwest-southeast (NW-SE) oriented dipole. The spring meridional dipole is associated with circulation anomalies resembling the West Pacific teleconnection pattern, while the summer NW-SE dipole is a downstream manifestation of a quasi-stationary wave train. A parallel analysis of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project's fifth phase models' historical simulations demonstrates that such models generally capture the relation between U.S. dryness and the PDO, albeit with varying degrees of accuracy. The models also show reasonable skill in simulating the residual meridional dipole in spring dryness variability but have difficulty representing the NW-SE oriented dipole occurring during summer. The model shortcomings isolated here largely arise from a misrepresentation of the corresponding large-scale circulation and moisture transport anomalies. These model biases suggest that great challenges exist in our ongoing pursuit of reliable projections of the U.S. hydroclimate variability.},
doi = {10.1002/2017jd027279},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 23,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

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