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Circulation Indices of the Aleutian Low Pressure System: Definitions and Relationships to Climate Anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere


doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1196-7

  • In this study, a group of indices were defined regarding intensity (P), area (S) and central position (λc, Φc) of the Aleutian low (AL) in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, using seasonal and monthly mean height field at 1000-hPa. These indices were calculated over 60 winter seasons from 1948/1949 to 2007/2008 using reanalysis data. Climatic and anomalous characteristics of the AL were analyzed based on these indices and relationships between the AL, and general circulations were explored using correlations between indices P, λc, and Pacific SST, as well as Northern Hemisphere temperature and precipitation. The main results are these: (1) AL is the strongest in January, when the center shifts to the south and west of its climatological position, and it is the weakest in December when the center shifts to the north and east. (2) AL intensity (P) is negatively correlated with its longitude (λc): a deeper low occurs toward the east and a shallower low occurs toward the west. On a decadal scale, the AL has been persistently strong and has shifted eastward since the 1970s, but reversal signs have been observed in recent years. (3) The AL is stronger and is located toward the east during strong El Nino winters and vice versa during strong La Nina years; this tendency is particularly evident after 1975. The AL is also strongly correlated with SST in the North Pacific. It intensifies and moves eastward with negative SST anomalies, and it weakens and moves westward with positive SST anomalies. (4) Maps of significance correlation between AL intensity and Northern Hemisphere temperature and rainfall resemble the PNA teleconnection pattern in mid-latitudes in the North Pacific and across North America. The AL and the Mongolian High are two permanent atmospheric pressure systems adjacent to each other during boreal winter over the middle and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, but their relationships with the El Nino/La Nina events and with temperature and precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere are significantly different.
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Manuscript received: 10 September 2012
Manuscript revised: 10 September 2012
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Circulation Indices of the Aleutian Low Pressure System: Definitions and Relationships to Climate Anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere

  • 1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Cooperation of Ministries and Provincial Governments and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044;Air Resources Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA;Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Cooperation of Ministries and Provincial Governments and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044;Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Cooperation of Ministries and Provincial Governments and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044;Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Cooperation of Ministries and Provincial Governments and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044

Abstract: In this study, a group of indices were defined regarding intensity (P), area (S) and central position (λc, Φc) of the Aleutian low (AL) in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, using seasonal and monthly mean height field at 1000-hPa. These indices were calculated over 60 winter seasons from 1948/1949 to 2007/2008 using reanalysis data. Climatic and anomalous characteristics of the AL were analyzed based on these indices and relationships between the AL, and general circulations were explored using correlations between indices P, λc, and Pacific SST, as well as Northern Hemisphere temperature and precipitation. The main results are these: (1) AL is the strongest in January, when the center shifts to the south and west of its climatological position, and it is the weakest in December when the center shifts to the north and east. (2) AL intensity (P) is negatively correlated with its longitude (λc): a deeper low occurs toward the east and a shallower low occurs toward the west. On a decadal scale, the AL has been persistently strong and has shifted eastward since the 1970s, but reversal signs have been observed in recent years. (3) The AL is stronger and is located toward the east during strong El Nino winters and vice versa during strong La Nina years; this tendency is particularly evident after 1975. The AL is also strongly correlated with SST in the North Pacific. It intensifies and moves eastward with negative SST anomalies, and it weakens and moves westward with positive SST anomalies. (4) Maps of significance correlation between AL intensity and Northern Hemisphere temperature and rainfall resemble the PNA teleconnection pattern in mid-latitudes in the North Pacific and across North America. The AL and the Mongolian High are two permanent atmospheric pressure systems adjacent to each other during boreal winter over the middle and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, but their relationships with the El Nino/La Nina events and with temperature and precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere are significantly different.

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