2019 Volume 15A Pages 31-36
During summer 2018, zonally averaged tropospheric temperatures were higher than normal in the northern mid-latitudes, and this contributed to the extreme warmth experienced in eastern and western Japan. These northern-mid-latitudes warm anomalies, along with enhanced convective activity in the northern subtropics, persisted from autumn 2017 until autumn 2018. This paper demonstrates that both the persistent zonal pattern, and the circulation anomaly pattern, that developed during summer 2018 are well predicted by a reforecast experiment using an operational seasonal prediction system. As variation in zonally averaged convective activity in the northern subtropics is statistically closely related to northern-mid-latitude tropospheric warming in all seasons, we hypothesize that the former is likely to be a key influence on the latter. We found a weakening of northern-mid-latitude tropospheric warming in a sensitivity experiment in which tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are nudged to the climatology and enhancement of convective activity in the northern tropics is weakened. These results suggest that SST anomalies in the tropical Pacific, which are well predicted by our reforecast experiment, contribute to the successful prediction of northern-mid-latitude tropospheric warming.