A Multivariate Estimate of the Cold Season Atmospheric Response to North Pacific SST Variability Academic Article uri icon


  • The Generalized Equilibrium Feedback Analysis (GEFA) is used to distinguish the influence of the Oyashio Extension (OE) and the Kuroshio Extension (KE) variability on the atmosphere from 1979 to 2014 from that of the main SST variability modes, using seasonal mean anomalies. Remote SST anomalies are associated with each single oceanic regressor, but the multivariate approach efficiently confines their SST footprints. In autumn [October–December (OND)], the OE meridional shifts are followed by a North Pacific Oscillation (NPO)-like signal. The OE influence is not investigated in winter [December–February (DJF)] because of multicollinearity, but a robust response with a strong signal over the Bering Sea is found in late winter/early spring [February–April (FMA)], a northeastward strengthening of the Aleutian low following a northward OE shift. A robust response to the KE variability is found in autumn, but not in winter and late winter when the KE SST footprint becomes increasingly small and noisy as regressors are added in GEFA. In autumn, a positive PDO is followed by a northward strengthening of the Aleutian low and a southward shift of the storm track in the central Pacific, reflecting the surface heat flux footprint in the central Pacific. In winter, the PDO shifts the maximum baroclinicity and storm track southward, the response strongly tilts westward with height in the North Pacific, and there is a negative NAO-like teleconnection. In late winter, the North Pacific NPO-like response to the PDO interferes negatively with the response to the OE and is only detected when the OE is represented in GEFA. A different PDO influence on the atmospheric circulation is found from 1958 to 1977.

publication date

  • April 2018