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Northern Hemisphere winter snow anomalies: ENSO, NAO and the winter of 2009/10

Seager, Richard; Kushnir, Yochanan; Nakamura, Jennifer A.; Ting, Mingfang; Naik, Naomi H.

Winter 2009/10 had anomalously large snowfall in the central parts of the United States and in northwestern Europe. Connections between seasonal snow anomalies and the large scale atmospheric circulation are explored. An El Niño state is associated with positive snowfall anomalies in the southern and central United States and along the eastern seaboard and negative anomalies to the north. A negative NAO causes positive snow anomalies across eastern North America and in northern Europe. It is argued that increased snowfall in the southern U.S. is contributed to by a southward displaced storm track but further north, in the eastern U.S. and northern Europe, positive snow anomalies arise from the cold temperature anomalies of a negative NAO. These relations are used with observed values of NINO3 and the NAO to conclude that the negative NAO and El Niño event were responsible for the northern hemisphere snow anomalies of winter 2009/10.

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Title
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL043830

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Published Here
June 20, 2011
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