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Title: Hawaiian Regional Climate Variability during Two Types of El Niño
Abstract The large-scale atmospheric circulation of the North Pacific associated with two types of El Niño—the eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP)—is studied in relation to Hawaiian winter (December–February) rainfall and temperature. The eastern and central equatorial Pacific undergo active convective heating during EP El Niño winters. The local Hadley circulation is enhanced and an upper-level westerly jet stream of the North Pacific is elongated eastward. Due to the impact of both phenomena, stronger anomalous descending motion, moisture flux divergence anomalies near Hawaii, and reduction of easterly trade winds, which are characteristic of EP winters, are unfavorable for winter rainfall in Hawaii. As a result of this robust signal, dry conditions prevail in Hawaii and the standard deviation of rainfall during EP winters is smaller than the climatology. For CP winters, the maximum equatorial ocean warming is weaker and shifted westward to near the date line. The subtropical jet stream retreats westward relative to EP winters and the anomalously sinking motion near Hawaii is variable and generally weaker. Although the anomalous moisture flux divergence still exists over the subtropical North Pacific, its magnitude is weaker relative to EP winters. Without strong external forcing, rainfall in the Hawaiian Islands during more » CP winters is close to the long-term mean. The spread of rainfall from one CP event to another is also larger. The near-surface minimum temperature from three stations in Hawaii reveals cooling during EP winters and slight warming during CP winters. « less
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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
9929 to 9943
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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