Recent Intensified Influence of the Winter North Pacific Sea Surface Temperature on the Mei-Yu Withdrawal Date
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Climate. 2021, 34 (10), 3869-3887. 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0768.1
The mei-yu withdrawal date (MWD) is a crucial indicator of flood/drought conditions over East Asia. It is characterized by a strong interannual variability, but its underlying mechanism remains unknown. We investigated the possible effects of the winter sea surface temperature (SST) in the North Pacific Ocean on the MWD on interannual to interdecadal time scales. Both our observations and model results suggest that the winter SST anomalies associated with the MWD are mainly contributed to by a combination of the first two leading modes of the winter SST in the North Pacific, which have a horseshoe shape (the NPSST). The statistical results indicate that the intimate linkage between the NPSST and the MWD has intensified since the early 1990s. During the time period 1990–2016, the NPSST-related SST anomalies persisted from winter to the following seasons and affected the SST over the tropical Pacific in July. Subsequently, the SST anomalies throughout the North Pacific strengthened the southward migration of the East Asian jet stream (EAJS) and the southward and westward displacement of the western North Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), leading to an increase in mei-yu rainfall from 1 to 20 July. More convincingly, the anomalous EAJS and WPSH induced by the SST anomalies can be reproduced well by numerical simulations. By contrast, the influence of the NPSST on the EASJ and WPSH were not clear between 1961 and 1985. This study further illustrates that the enhanced interannual variability of the NPSST may be attributed to the more persistent SST anomalies during the time period 1990–2016.
Under embargo until: 2022-04-07