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Article

On the Relationship of Arctic Oscillation with Atmospheric Rivers and Snowpack in the Western United States Using Long-Term Multi-Platform Dataset

by 1, 2,3 and 4,*
1
Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, San José State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA
2
Earth Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA 94035, USA
3
Science and Technology Corporation, Mountain View, CA 94035, USA
4
NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M), Howard University, Washington, DC 20059, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jorge Eiras-Barca and René Garreaud
Water 2022, 14(15), 2392; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152392
Received: 15 June 2022 / Revised: 20 July 2022 / Accepted: 27 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are narrow bands of enhanced integrated water vapor transport, modulated by large-scale and synoptic-scale variability. Here, we investigate how ARs and snowpack are shaped by large-scale variability such as arctic oscillation (AO) by examining the synoptic conditions and characteristics of ARs and snowpack in the different phases of AO. Using Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) data, Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA2) reanalysis data, and in-situ observation data over the eastern Pacific and western United States. we found that more precipitation is observed in lower latitudes (35° N–45° N) during negative AO months and farther north (north of 45° N) in latitude during positive AO months. These are associated with wavelike synoptic patterns in negative AO months and more straight-line type synoptic patterns in positive AO months. The different phases of AO also modulate the AR characteristics: 2.6% less intense (5.3% more intense) integrated water vapor transport and total precipitation, and 16.0% shorter (21.1% longer) duration of ARs than the climatological mean (1980–2019) for positive AO (negative AO) phase. AR frequency is also higher (~50.4%) than the climatological mean for negative AO phase, but there is no statistically significant difference between either negative AO or positive AO phase, especially in southern California. In addition, the snow water equivalent (SWE) tends to be reduced in the positive AO phase and under high-temperature conditions, especially in recent years (2010s). The similar relationships are found in the early 1990s and 2000s, but their statistical significances are low. Considering that lower atmospheric temperature keeps increasing over the eastern Pacific and the western U.S., and SWE tends to be reduced in the positive AO phase in recent years, SWE may decrease over northern California if the warming condition persists. These findings highlight how the characteristics of local extreme weather can be shaped by large-scale climate variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric rivers; arctic oscillation; integrated water vapor transport; snow water equivalent; climate variability atmospheric rivers; arctic oscillation; integrated water vapor transport; snow water equivalent; climate variability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liner, S.; Ryoo, J.-M.; Chiao, S. On the Relationship of Arctic Oscillation with Atmospheric Rivers and Snowpack in the Western United States Using Long-Term Multi-Platform Dataset. Water 2022, 14, 2392. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152392

AMA Style

Liner S, Ryoo J-M, Chiao S. On the Relationship of Arctic Oscillation with Atmospheric Rivers and Snowpack in the Western United States Using Long-Term Multi-Platform Dataset. Water. 2022; 14(15):2392. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152392

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liner, Samuel, Ju-Mee Ryoo, and Sen Chiao. 2022. "On the Relationship of Arctic Oscillation with Atmospheric Rivers and Snowpack in the Western United States Using Long-Term Multi-Platform Dataset" Water 14, no. 15: 2392. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152392

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