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Weather and Climate Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2020-45
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2020-45
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Sep 2020

16 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

AMOC fingerprints influence seasonal SST predictability in the North Atlantic

Julianna C. Oliveira1,a,b, Leonard Borchert2,3, Aurélie Duchez4, Mikhail Dobrynin3,5, and Johanna Baehr3 Julianna C. Oliveira et al.
  • 1University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 2Sorbonne Universités (SU/CNRS/IRD/MNHN), LOCEAN Laboratory, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), Paris, France
  • 3Institute of Oceanography, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 4ESAIP La Salle, Aix en Provence, France and National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 5Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Hamburg, Germany
  • apresent address: Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany
  • bpresent address: International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. We investigate the impact of the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) at 26° N on the prediction of North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) a season ahead. We consider the physical mechanism proposed by Duchez et al. (2016a) and test the dependence of SST predictive skill in initialised hindcasts on the phase of AMOC at 26° N. We use initialised simulations with the MPI-ESM-MR seasonal prediction system. First, we use the assimilation experiment between 1979–2014 to confirm that the AMOC leads a SSTA dipole pattern in the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic, with strongest AMOC fingerprints after 2–4 months. Going beyond previous studies, we find that the AMOC fingerprint has a seasonal dependence, and is sensitive to the length of the observational window used, i.e. stronger over the last decade than for the entire time series back to 1979. We then use a set of ensemble hindcast simulations with 30 members, starting each February, May, August and November between 1982 and 2014. We compare the changes in skill between composites based on the AMOC phase a month prior to each start date to simulations without considering the AMOC phase. We find higher SST hindcast skill at 2–4 months lead time for SSTA composites based on the AMOC phase for February, May and November start dates. Our method shows major benefit for May start dates, where mean summer SST hindcast skill over the subtropics increase by a factor of 2, reaching up to 80 % agreement with ERA-Interim SST.

Julianna C. Oliveira et al.

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Julianna C. Oliveira et al.

Julianna C. Oliveira et al.

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