Re-emerging ocean temperature anomalies in late-2010 associated with a repeat negative NAO

Taws, Sarah L.; Marsh, Robert; Wells, Neil C.; Hirschi, Joël. 2011 Re-emerging ocean temperature anomalies in late-2010 associated with a repeat negative NAO. Geophysical Research Letters, 38 (20). L20601.

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Northern Europe was influenced by consecutive episodes of extreme winter weather at the start and end of the 2010 calendar year. A tripole pattern in North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs), associated with an exceptionally negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), characterized both winter periods. This pattern was largely absent at the surface during the 2010 summer season; however equivalent sub-surface temperature anomalies were preserved within the seasonal thermocline throughout the year. Here, we present evidence for the re-emergence of late-winter 2009/10 SSTAs during the following early winter season of 2010/11. The observed re-emergence contributes toward the winter-to-winter persistence of the anomalous tripole pattern. Considering the active influence of the oceans upon leading modes of atmospheric circulation over seasonal timescales, associated with the memory of large-scale sea surface temperature anomaly patterns, the re-emergence of remnant temperature anomalies may have also contributed toward the persistence of a negative winter NAO, and the recurrence of extreme wintry conditions over the initial 2010/11 winter season.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00948276
Date made live: 10 Nov 2011 14:26 +0 (UTC)

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