Origin of seasonal predictability for summer climate over the Northwestern Pacific

Yu Kosaka, Shang Ping Xie, Ngar Cheung Lau, Gabriel Andres Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


Summer climate in the Northwestern Pacific (NWP) displays large year-to-year variability, affecting densely populated Southeast and East Asia by impacting precipitation, temperature, and tropical cyclones. The Pacific-Japan (PJ) teleconnection pattern provides a crucial link of high predictability from the tropics to East Asia. Using coupled climate model experiments, we show that the PJ pattern is the atmospheric manifestation of an air-sea coupled mode spanning the Indo-NWP warm pool. The PJ pattern forces the Indian Ocean (IO) via a westward propagating atmospheric Rossby wave. In response, IO sea surface temperature feeds back and reinforces the PJ pattern via a tropospheric Kelvin wave. Ocean coupling increases both the amplitude and temporal persistence of the PJ pattern. Cross-correlation of ocean-atmospheric anomalies confirms the coupled nature of this PJIO mode. The ocean-atmosphere feedback explains why the last echoes of El Niño-Southern Oscillation are found in the IO-NWP in the form of the PJIO mode. We demonstrate that the PJIO mode is indeed highly predictable; a characteristic that can enable benefits to society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7574-7579
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 7 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Air-sea interaction
  • East Asian summer monsoon
  • Interbasin interaction
  • Tropical variability


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