Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Winter climate extremes over the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada and teleconnections with large-scale modes of climate variability

Authors:

Liang Ning

Raymond Bradley

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2014
Secondary Title:
Journal of Climate
ISSN:
1520-0442
DOI:
10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00750.1
Pages:
141217142445008
Year:
2014
Date:
12/2014

Abstract

We examine the relationship between winter climate extremes across the northeastern United States and adjacent parts of Canada, and some important modes of climate variability to determine how these circulation patterns are related to extreme events. Linear correlations between 15 extreme climate indices, related to winter daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature and 3 dominant large-scale patterns of climate variability (the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific-North American pattern (PNA), and El Ni\~no–Southern Oscillation, ENSO) were analyzed for the period 1950-1999. The mechanisms behind these teleconnections are analyzed by applying composite analysis to the geopotential height, sea level pressure (SLP), moisture flux, and wind fields. Pressure anomalies and associated airflow patterns associated with the different modes of climate variability explain the patterns of temperature and precipitation extremes across the region. The responses of the daily scale climate extremes to the seasonally averaged large-scale circulation patterns are achieved through shifts in the probability distributions.