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Variations in the Association between Mid-Tropospheric Flow and Surface Temperatures across the United States

Brent R. Skeeter
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 80, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 590-602
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2563371
Page Count: 13
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Variations in the Association between Mid-Tropospheric Flow and Surface Temperatures across the United States
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Abstract

Mid-tropospheric flow has a major influence on surface temperatures through the differential advection of air masses into different mid-latitude regions. For this reason long-range temperature forecasts are largely dependent upon forecasts of mid-tropospheric flow. Thus monthly variations in the strength of this relationship can have a major influence on the accuracy of long-range temperature forecasts during different months of the year. Variations in the association between midtropospheric flow and mid-latitude surface temperatures are examined by correlating multiple indices of a surrogate measure of mean monthly 500-mb flow with mean monthly surface temperatures across the conterminous United States from 1951-80. There are major changes in the key areas of flow from one season to the next. Temperatures in the northwest and southeast appear to be most strongly associated with flow conditions. Midtropospheric flow is most strongly associated with surface tempreatures during the transition seasons and during January.

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