The linear sensitivity of the north atlantic oscillation and eddy-driven jet to SSTs

Hugh S. Baker, Tim Woollings, Chris E. Forest, Myles R. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and eddy-driven jet contain a forced component arising from sea surface temperature (SST) variations. Due to large amounts of internal variability, it is not trivial to determine where and to what extent SSTs force theNAOand jet.Alinear statistical-dynamic method is employed with a large climate ensemble to compute the sensitivities of the winter and summerNAOand jet speed and latitude to the SSTs. Key regions of sensitivity are identified in the Indian and Pacific basins, and the North Atlantic tripole. Using the sensitivity maps and a long observational SST dataset, skillful reconstructions of the NAO and jet time series are made. The ability to skillfully forecast both the winter and summer NAO using only SST anomalies is also demonstrated. The linear approach used here allows precise attribution of model forecast signals to SSTs in particular regions. Skill comes from the Atlantic and Pacific basins on short lead times, while the Indian Ocean SSTs may contribute to the longer-term NAO trend. However, despite the region of high sensitivity in the Indian Ocean, SSTs here do not provide significant skill on interannual time scales, which highlights the limitations of the imposed SST approach. Given the impact of theNAOand jet on Northern Hemisphere weather and climate, these results provide useful information that could be used for improved attribution and forecasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6491-6511
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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