11A.4 The Influence of Recurrent Modes of Climate Variability on the Occurrence of Extreme Temperatures over North America

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 4:45 PM
Ballroom B (Austin Convention Center)
Paul C. Loikith, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; and A. J. Broccoli

The influence of the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern, the Northern Annular Mode (NAM), and the El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on extreme temperature days and months over North America is examined. Associations between extreme temperature days and months are strongest with the PNA and NAM and weaker for ENSO. In general, the association with extremes tends to be stronger on monthly than daily time scales. Extreme temperatures are associated with the PNA and NAM in locations typically influenced by these circulation patterns; however many extremes still occur on days when the amplitude and polarity of these patterns do not favor their occurrence. In winter, synoptic-scale, transient weather disturbances are important drivers of extreme temperature days; however these smaller-scale events are often concurrent with amplified PNA or NAM patterns. Associations are weaker in summer when other physical mechanisms affecting the surface energy balance, such as anomalous soil moisture content, are associated with extreme temperatures.
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