Interannual Variations of Tropical Upper Tropospheric Divergence and Pacific Teleconnections during Northern Winter

  • Author(s): C.-P Chang, M. S. Openg, and J. S. Boyle
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.1990.1.4.337(A)
  • Keywords:
  • Citation: Chang, C.-P., and M. S. Openg, and J. S. Boyle, 1990: Interannual Variations of Tropical Upper Tropospheric Divergence and Pacific Teleconnections during Northern Winter. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 1, 337-362, doi: 10.3319/TAO.1990.1.4.337(A)

A 15-year (1974-1988) data set based on the US Navy's tropical global band analysis is used to study the interannual variations of 200 mb winter ow over the Paci c. The divergence elds are free from nu­ merical model prediction in uences that typically exist in operational. data sets, and agree well with the mean outgoing longwave radiation data. An out-of-phase variation between two major equatorial centers of large-scale divergence anomalies, one over the central Paci c and the other over the western extreme of the western Paci c (maritime conti­ nent ) , is most noticeable. A thit·d major center of divergence anomalies is located southwest of the Mexican coast. This center also shows an out-of-phase variation with that in the equatorial central Paci c. Com­ posite and single-point correlation studies support the notion that the teleconnection patterns are related to equatorial divergence anomalies. In particular, divergence rcing from the central Paci c appears im­ pOl'tant r the PNA pattern, and rcing from the maritime continent area appears important for a northeastward wave train pattern in the North Paci c. These two teleconnection patterns have streamfunction anomalies of the opposite sign over the northeastern Paci c. By exam­ ining the change of correlation patterns as the divergence base point is moved around the equatorial belt, the insensitivity of the teleconnec­ tion pattern with respect to tropical forcing locations as reported by several general circulation model simulations is observed only within limited regions. In the equatorial Paci c, the PNA correlation pattern changes slowly when the equatorial divergence base point is "within 150°E-120°W. The pattern changes rapidly when the base point is moved outside of this region.

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