North Atlantic circulation indices: links with summer and winter UK temperature and precipitation and implications for seasonal forecasting

Hall, Richard J. and Hanna, Edward (2018) North Atlantic circulation indices: links with summer and winter UK temperature and precipitation and implications for seasonal forecasting. International Journal of Climatology, 38 (S1). e660-e677. ISSN 0899-8418

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UK seasonal mean temperature and precipitation conditions are extremely variable from one year to the next but in the last decade have featured several cool, wet summers and mild, wet winters interspersed with some notable cold winter episodes. Jet stream variability is a major determinant of these fluctuations, and is often represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. Recent work has shown some evidence of promising predictability in the winter NAO from one to two months ahead, while summer predictability remains very limited. Although the phase and magnitude of the NAO influences total UK rainfall, there are regional variations which it does not explain. Here we examine the relationship between UK regional summer and winter precipitation and temperature and a range of North Atlantic atmospheric circulation indices. While the NAO shows a significant relationship with temperature in both seasons and summer rainfall over most of the UK, the picture in winter is more complicated with other circulation indices such as the East Atlantic pattern explaining rainfall anomalies in southern England. Other indices also show significant relationships with precipitation in regions where the NAO does not.
Since UK weather is determined by the interplay between different circulation indices, attention should be given to developing seasonal forecasts of other circulation indices to complement the NAO forecasts. We also find that some potential drivers of jet stream variability are significantly associated with UK temperature and rainfall variability,
particularly in summer. This provides further scope for producing seasonal forecasts based directly on these drivers. Improved seasonal forecasts will be useful to a range of end users in agriculture, energy supply, transport and insurance industries and can be extended to other UK weather variables such as extreme rainfall events and storm frequency, and related metrics such as wind power capacity and solar energy.

Keywords:correlation, EOF, jet stream, North Atlantic Oscillation, precipitation, seasonal forecasting, temperature, UK regional climate
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F860 Climatology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:29913
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 17:27

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