The relationship between the Pacific-North American teleconnection pattern, the great plains low-level jet, and north central U.S. heavy rainfall events

Keith J. Harding, Peter K. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study demonstrates the relationship between the Pacific-North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern and the Great Plains low-level jet (GPLLJ). The negative phase of the PNA, which is associated with lower heights over the Great Plains and ridging in the southeastern United States, enhances the GPLLJ by increasing the pressure gradient within the GPLLJ on 6-hourly to monthly time scales. Strong GPLLJ events predominantly occur when the PNA is negative. Warm-season strong GPLLJ events with a very negative PNA (<-1) are associated with more persistent, longer wavelength planetary waves that increase the duration of GPLLJ events and enhance precipitation over the north central United States. When one considers the greatest 5-day north central U.S. precipitation events, a large majority occur when the PNA is negative, with most exhibiting a very negative PNA. Stronger moisture transport during heavy rainfall events with a very negative PNA decreases the precipitation of locally derived moisture compared to events with a very positive PNA. The PNA becomes negative 2-12 days before heavy rainfall events and is very negative within two weeks of 78% of heavy rainfall events in the north central United States, a finding that could be used to improve medium-range forecasts of heavy rainfall events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6729-6742
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume28
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Extreme events
  • Hydrometeorology
  • Jets
  • Pacific-North American pattern/oscillation
  • Teleconnections

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