MJO-induced drying air across Central America may be a precursor to active weeks of U.S. tornadoes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center (NOAA SPC) provides one- to eight-day severe weather forecast for the U.S. that includes tornado watch. To extend the current severe weather forecast beyond eight days to 2 - 4 weeks (i.e., subseasonal time scale), many studies have looked into the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a patch... Continue Reading →

Spatiotemporal diversity of Atlantic Niño and associated rainfall variability over West Africa and South America

A phenomenon known as Atlantic Niño is characterized by the appearance of warm sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the eastern equatorial Atlantic in northern summer. When it attains its full strength, it increases rainfall and the frequency of extreme flooding over the West African countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea and in northeastern South... Continue Reading →

Increasing poleward intrusion of the Circumpolar Deep Water and its impact on the changing ocean-biogeochemistry of the Southern Ocean

A study published in Nature Geoscience (Bronselaer et al., 2020) analyzed new observations from autonomous floats with ocean-biogeochemical sensors (Bio-Argo) along with historical shipboard ocean measurements to document changes in Southern Ocean physical and ocean-biogeochemical variables (i.e., temperature, salinity, pH, concentrations of nitrate, dissolved inorganic carbon and oxygen) during the last two decades. Due to... Continue Reading →

Pantropical response to global warming and the emergence of a La Nina-like mean state trend

During the past century, the tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed significantly less than the other tropical oceans  in response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs). This La Nina-like warming trend in the observations is in stark contrast to the El Nino-like warming trend projected by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models for both the 20th... Continue Reading →

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) modulates North Atlantic atmospheric blocking

Atmospheric blocking over the high-latitude North Atlantic blocks the westerly jet stream, causing the eastward propagation of weather systems to stall for 7 days or so. An earlier study  by Häkkinen et al. (2011) used the 20th century atmospheric reanalysis product of NOAA (20CR) to show that the wintertime blocking frequency over high latitude North Atlantic covaries... Continue Reading →

North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones have become increasingly likely to “stall” near the coast

Hurricane Dorian was a powerful storm that reached a maximum sustained wind of 185 mph (Cat 5 ≥ 157 mph) during its landfall over Abaco Islands on September 1, 2019. Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Grand Bahama with about the same intensity and stalled just north of the island for 24 hours, causing massive damages... Continue Reading →

Four types of the Madden-Julian Oscillation

Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the main mode of intraseasonal atmospheric variability in the tropical Indo-Pacific Oceans and the major source of subseasonal predictability of precipitation and extreme weather events in many parts of the globe. Although MJO is known as an eastward propagating equatorial atmospheric kelvin wave, not all MJO events are identical in terms of their strength... Continue Reading →

New multivariate metrics help better monitor and predict global coral breaching events

Key factors that affect regional coral bleaching have been well studied and documented. These include extreme warm temperatures, the duration of extreme cold temperatures, and temperature bimodality (i.e., the exposure of corals to two distinct temperature regimes). However, some of these factors are more important than others in different regions because there are complex and interactive responses to... Continue Reading →

Recent warming of the tropical Indian Ocean may sustain the AMOC from slowing down

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change used a series of coupled ocean-atmosphere model simulations to demonstrate that the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming reduces rainfall over the tropical Atlantic by strengthening the Walker circulation (i.e., increased ascending motion over TIO and increased subsidence over tropical Atlantic). This increases salinity of the upper tropical Atlantic Ocean.... Continue Reading →

Recent recovery of the Antarctic Bottom Water and its contribution to the Global Meridional Overturning Circulation

The lower limb of the Global Meridional Overturning Circulation (GMOC) is supplied by  the sinking of the heavy water mass that forms around the Antarctica, known as the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW).  Repeat hydrographic data along the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean sections observed during the mid 1990s, 2000s and 2010s indicate that the volume... Continue Reading →

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