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Predictability of Recurrent Weather Regimes over North America during Winter from Submonthly Reforecasts

Vigaud, Nicolas; Robertson, Andrew W.; Tippett, Michael K.

Four recurrent weather regimes are identified over North America from October to March through a k-means clustering applied to MERRA daily 500-hPa geopotential heights over the 1982–2014 period. Three regimes resemble Rossby wave train patterns with some baroclinicity, while one is related to an NAO-like meridional pressure gradient between eastern North America and western regions of the North Atlantic. All regimes are associated with distinct rainfall and surface temperature anomalies over North America. The four-cluster partition is well reproduced byECMWFweek-1 reforecasts over the 1995–2014 period in terms of spatial structures, daily regime occurrences, and seasonal regime counts. The skill in forecasting daily regime sequences and weekly regime counts is largely limited to 2 weeks. However, skill relationships with the MJO, ENSO, and SST variability in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans suggest further potential for subseasonal predictability based on wintertime large-scale weather regimes.

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Monthly Weather Review