Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. An analysis is presented of extratropical cyclone frequency, the 500 hPa height standard deviation field and the monthly 700 hPa height field in the Northern Hemisphere, together with precipitation in the Mackenzie basin and the Mackenzie River runoff. Spatial and temporal variability in the data are examined for the period 1965 to 1989, and a cross-correlation analyses is performed to determine the relationship between the runoff and the precipitation variations, and between the precipitation and the atmospheric circulation anomalies. It is found that precipitation fluctuations in the Mackenzie River drainage basin are strongly linked to variations in the Mackenzie River runoff and in the North Pacific storm tracks, with the time scale of variability ranging from interannual to decadal. The results are discussed in relation to the interdecadal Arctic climate cycle proposed by Mysak, Manak and Marsden, and revised by Mysak and Power. In particular, the latter authors hypothesized that, as part of this cycle, air-sea interactions and synoptic scale processes over the northwestern North Atlantic influenced, via cyclone movements in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay, precipitation in northern Canada and hence river runoff into the Arctic. The results of this study indicate that such influences on the precipitation in the Mackenzie basin are small, and hence that the Mysak-Power feedback loop which describes this climate cycle needs further revision.
Type of Medium: