The Impact of Spring Subsurface Soil Temperature Anomaly in the Western U.S. on North American Summer Precipitation: A Case Study Using Regional Climate Model Downscaling
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA NAVAL OCEAN ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION LAB
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This study explores the impact of spring subsurface soil temperature SUBT anomaly in the western U.S. on North American summer precipitation, mainly southeastern U.S., and possible mechanisms using a regional climate Eta model and a general circulation model GCM. The GCM produces the lateral boundary condition LBC for the Eta model. Two initial SUBT conditions one cold and another warm on May 1st were assigned for the GCM runs and the corresponding Eta runs. The results suggest that antecedent May 1st warm initial SUBT in the western U.S. contributes positive June precipitation over the southern U.S. and less precipitation to the north, consistent with the observed anomalies between a year with a warm spring and a year with a cold spring in the western U.S. The anomalous cyclone induced by the surface heating due to SUBT anomaly propagated eastward through Rossby waves in westerly mean flow. In addition, the steering flow also contributed to the dissipation of perturbation in the northeastern U.S. and its enhancement in southeastern U.S. However, these results were obtained only when the Eta model run was driven by the corresponding GCM run. When the same reanalysis data were applied for both cold and warm initial SUBT Eta runs LBCs, the precipitation anomalies could not be properly produced, indicating the intimate dependence of the regional climate sensitivity downscaling on the imposed global climate forcing, especially when the impact was through wave propagation in the large-scale atmospheric flow.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy