Date of this Version
FLANAGAN ET AL., JOURNAL OF CLIMATE, VOLUME 32, pp 7081-7100.
In the U.S. Great Plains (GP), diagnosing precipitation variability is key in developing an understanding of the present and future availability of water in the region. Building on previous work investigating U.S. GP pluvial years, this study usesERAtwentieth century (ERA-20C) reanalysis data to investigate key circulation anomalies driving GP precipitation anomalies during a subset of GP pluvial years (called in this paper Pattern pluvial years). With previous research showing links between tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and GP climate variability, this study diagnoses the key circulation anomalies through an analysis of SSTs and their influence on the atmosphere. Results show that during Pattern southern Great Plains (SGP) pluvial years, central tropical Pacific SST anomalies are coincident with key atmospheric anomalies across the Pacific basin and North America. During northern Great Plains (NGP) Pattern pluvial years, no specific pattern of oceanic anomalies emerges that forces the circulation anomaly feature inherent in specific NGP pluvial years. Utilizing the results for SGP pluvial years, a conceptual model is developed detailing the identified pathway for the occurrence of circulation patterns that are favorable for pluvial years over the SGP. Overall, results from this study show the importance of the identified SGP atmospheric anomaly signal and the potential for predictability of such events.
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