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North Atlantic Oscillation impact on tropical North Atlantic winter atmospheric variability

George, S. E. ORCID: and Saunders, M. A. (2001) North Atlantic Oscillation impact on tropical North Atlantic winter atmospheric variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 28 (6). pp. 1015-1018. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2000gl012449


The dominant mode of windspeed variability in the wintertime tropical north Atlantic (TNA) is represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). For the December–January–February (DJF) season the leading principal component of TNA windspeed (representing 46% of the total variance) exhibits a 0.68 correlation with the NAO time‐series. We show that the NAO impact on TNA trade winds peaks in January and is statistically significant at the 99% level for each month from November through to April. This association arises through the meridional pressure gradient equatorward of the Azores high pressure covarying with the NAO. We also show that the winter NAO index determines monthly precipitation levels across the northern Caribbean throughout the following year. We suggest this rainfall impact is due to long lasting, DJF forced perturbations to the north Atlantic sea surface temperature tripole characteristic of the NAO signal.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:95322
Publisher:American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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