Atlantic ocean atmosphere interactions and snowfall in southern New England

TitleAtlantic ocean atmosphere interactions and snowfall in southern New England
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1997
AuthorsHartley, S.
Conference Name65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedMay 1997
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBanff, Alberta
KeywordsAtlantic Ocean, Ocean circulation, Ocean temperature, Seasonal snowfall

This paper examines in further detail a previously identified inverse association between seasonal snowfall totals in southern New England and sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the adjacent Atlantic Ocean. Variations of western Atlantic SSTAs and of the rnid-tropospheric circulation over North America and the adjacentAtlantic Ocean during the cold-season months ofOctober-March are each examined by principal component analysis.Canonical correlation analysis identifies the dominant modes ofjoint variability (contemporaneous and lagged) between Atlantic SST As and the atmospheric circulation. Comparisons are made between HIGH-SNOW and LOW-SNOW winters. Results suggest that the rnid-tropospheric circulation of December has a disproportionate influence on seasonal snowfall. Persistence of Atlantic SST As established partly through atmosphere-ocean coupling in the late fall/early winter is proposed as a possible linkage. The extent to which the SST As then influence precipitation form is still currently under investigation, but there are indications that SST As might influence the Atlantic Coast storm track, as well as air temperatures in southern and coastal New England.