Spring soil moisture-precipitation feedback in the Southern Great Plains: How is it related to large-scale atmospheric conditions?

Hua Su, Zong-Liang Yang, Robert E. Dickinson, Jiangfeng Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Southern Great Plains (SGP) has been shown as a region of significant soil moisture-precipitation (S-P) coupling. However, how strong evapotranspiration (ET) can affect regional precipitation remains largely unclear, impeding a full grasp of the S-P feedback in that area. The current study seeks to unravel, in a spring month (April), the potential role played by large-scale atmospheric conditions in shaping S (ET)-P feedback. Our regional climate modeling experiments demonstrate that the presence of anomalous low (high) pressure and cyclonic (anticyclonic) flows at the upper/middle troposphere over the relevant areas is associated with strongest (minimum) positive S-P feedback in the SGP. Their impacts are interpreted in terms of large-scale atmospheric dynamical disturbance, including the intensity and location of synoptic eddies. Further analyses of the vertical velocity fields corroborate these interpretations. In addition, the relationship between lower tropospheric moisture conditions (including winds) and feedback composites is evaluated. Key Points The S-P feedback strength in SGP in April varies inter-annually The atmospheric dynamic features affect significantly the feedback strength composite moisture conditions are related to atmospheric circulation structure ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1289
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2014
Externally publishedYes

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