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The Influence of Recurrent Modes of Climate Variability on the Occurrenceof Winter and Summer Extreme Temperatures over North America
Journal of Climate
  • Paul C. Loikith, Portland State University
  • Anthony J. Broccoli, Rutgers University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Precipitation variability,
  • Climatology -- Methodology,
  • Temperature measurements,
  • Surface energy,
  • Soil moisture,
  • EL Nino Current

The influence of the Pacific–North American (PNA) pattern, the northern annular mode (NAM), and the El Ni~no–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 andweaker for ENSO. In general, the associationwith extremes tends to be stronger onmonthly than daily time scales and for winter as compared to summer. Extreme temperatures are associated with the PNAandNAMin the vicinity of the centers of action of these circulation patterns; however, many extremes also 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, many of these smaller-scale events are concurrent with amplified PNA or NAMpatterns. Associations are weaker in summer when other physicalmechanisms affecting the surface energy balance, such as anomalous soilmoisture content, also influence the occurrence of extreme temperatures.


At the time of publication Paul C. Loikith was affiliated with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.

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Citation Information
Loikith, P. C., & Broccoli, A. J. (2014). The Influence of Recurrent Modes of Climate Variability on the Occurrence of Winter and Summer Extreme Temperatures over North America. Journal Of Climate, 27(4), 1600-1618