5.8 Regions of autumn Eurasian snow cover and North American winter temperatures

Wednesday, 4 May 2011: 10:45 AM
Rooftop Ballroom (15th Floor) (Omni Parker House )
Thomas L. Mote, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA; and E. R. Kutney

The extent of snow cover over Eurasia during autumn has been shown to be influential in shaping atmospheric circulation over the Northern Hemisphere the following winter via the Arctic Oscillation (AO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Pacific/North American (PNA) teleconnections. Regions of Eurasian snow cover were derived from Principal Component Analysis and compared to winter temperatures across North America for 1967/1968-2007/2008, excluding 1969/1970 and 1971/1972. The score time series of each principal component was then compared to winter averages of the AO, NAO and PNA indices in order to identify possible links in the snow-temperature relationship. Results showed that autumn snow cover from northern Scandinavia to the West Siberian Plain is most significantly associated with winter temperatures over the interior of North America. More (less) frequent snow cover over this region is related to lower (higher) winter temperatures over the interior of North America in January, extending to the eastern and southern United States in February. The greatest temperature response to anomalous snow cover occurred near the geographic center of North America where winter temperature differences exceeded 5°C. More (less) frequent autumn snow cover across the eastern Tibetan Plateau was associated with higher (lower) temperatures in the Great Basin and eastern Canada.
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