Anomalous North Pacific atmospheric circulation and large winter floods in the southwestern United States

L. L. Ely, Y. Enzel, D. R. Cayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Composite maps of anomalies in daily 700mb heights indicate that floods in all of the subregions are associated with a low pressure anomaly off the California coast and a high-pressure anomaly in the vicinity of either Alaska or the Aleutian Islands. Of these two major circulation features, the presence of the low is the controlling factor in determining whether large floods will occur. Shifts in the locations of the low and high pressure anomalies over the North Pacific appear to control which subregions experience floods, with high-elevation topographic features and proximity to air masses forming a major influence over the specific atmospheric circulation conditions that generate large floods in each hydroclimatic region. -from Authors

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)977-987
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

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