An evaluation of Pacific and Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and continental U.S. streamflow was performed to identify coupled regions of SST and continental U.S. streamflow variability. Both SSTs and streamflow displayed temporal variability when applying the singular value decomposition (SVD) statistical method. Initially, an extended temporal evaluation was performed using the entire period of record (i.e., all years from 1951 to 2002). This was followed by an interdecadal-temporal evaluation for the Pacific (Atlantic) Ocean based on the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)). Finally, an extended temporal evaluation was performed using detrended SST and streamflow data. A lead time approach was assessed in which the previous year's spring-summer season Pacific Ocean (Atlantic Ocean) SSTs were evaluated with the current water year continental U.S. streamflow. During the cold phase of the PDO, Pacific Ocean SSTs influenced streamflow regions (southeast, northwest, southwest, and northeast United States) most often associated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), while during the warm phase of the PDO, Pacific Ocean SSTs influenced non-ENSO streamflow regions (Upper Colorado River basin and middle Atlantic United States). ENSO and the PDO were identified by the Pacific Ocean SST SVD first temporal expansion series as climatic influences for the PDO cold phase, PDO warm phase, and the all years analysis. Additionally, the phase of the AMO resulted in continental U.S. streamflow variability when evaluating Atlantic Ocean SSTs. During the cold phase of the AMO, Atlantic Ocean SSTs influenced middle Atlantic and central U.S. streamflow, while during the warm phase of the AMO, Atlantic Ocean SSTs influenced upper Mississippi River basin, peninsular Florida, and northwest U.S. streamflow. The AMO signal was identified in the Atlantic Ocean SST SVD first temporal expansion series. Applying SVD, first temporal expansions series were developed for Pacific and Atlantic Ocean SSTs and continental U.S. streamflow. The first temporal expansion series of SSTs and streamflow were strongly correlated, which could result in improved streamflow predictability.
Droughts; Precipitation (Meteorology); Sea surface temperatures; Singular value decomposition; Streamflow; Water temperature
Civil and Environmental Engineering | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Oceanography | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology | Water Resource Management
Copyright American Geophysical Union used with permission
Tootle, G. A.,
Piechota, T. C.
Relationships Between Pacific and Atlantic Ocean Sea Surface Temperatures and U.S. Streamflow Variability.
Water Resources Research, 42(7),