Decadal Variability of Southeast US Rainfall in an Eddying Global Coupled Model

Publication Year


Journal Article
Ocean variability is a dominant source of remote rainfall predictability, but in many cases the physical mechanisms driving this predictability are not fully understood. This study examines how ocean mesoscales (i.e., the Gulf Stream SST front) affect decadal southeast US (SEUS) rainfall, arguing that the local imprint of large-scale teleconnections is sensitive to resolved mesoscale features. Based on global coupled model experiments with eddying and eddy-parameterizing ocean, we find that a resolved Gulf Stream improves localized rainfall and remote circulation response in the SEUS. The eddying model generally improves the air-sea interactions in the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Subtropical High that modulate SEUS rainfall over decadal timescales. The eddy-parameterizing simulation fails to capture the sharp SST gradient associated with the Gulf Stream and overestimates the role of tropical Pacific SST anomalies in the SEUS rainfall.
Geophysical Research Letters