The impact of air-sea interactions on the simulation of tropical intraseasonal variability

Kathy Pegion, Ben P. Kirtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impact of coupled air-sea feedbacks on the simulation of tropical intraseasonal variability is investigated in this study using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System. The simulation of tropical intraseasonal variability in a freely coupled simulation is compared with two simulations of the atmospheric component of the model. In one experiment, the uncoupled model is forced with the daily sea surface temperature (SST) from the coupled run. In the other, the uncoupled model is forced with climatological SST from the coupled run. Results indicate that the overall intraseasonal variability of precipitation is reduced in the coupled simulation compared to the uncoupled simulation forced by daily SST. Additionally, air-sea coupling is responsible for differences in the simulation of the tropical intraseasonal oscillation between the coupled and uncoupled models, specifically in terms of organization and propagation in the western Pacific. The differences between the coupled and uncoupled simulations are due to the fact that the relationships between precipitation and SST and latent heat flux and SST are much stronger in the coupled model than in the uncoupled model. Additionally, these relationships are delayed by about 5 days in the uncoupled model compared to the coupled model. As demonstrated by the uncoupled simulation forced with climatological SST, some of the intraseasonal oscillation can be simulated by internal atmospheric dynamics. However, the intraseasonally varying SST appears to be important to the amplitude and propagation of the oscillation beyond the Maritime Continent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6616-6635
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume21
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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