Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Clim. Past, 15, 2053–2065, 2019
Clim. Past, 15, 2053–2065, 2019

Research article 19 Dec 2019

Research article | 19 Dec 2019

Two types of North American droughts related to different atmospheric circulation patterns

Angela-Maria Burgdorf et al.

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Subject: Atmospheric Dynamics | Archive: Terrestrial Archives | Timescale: Centennial-Decadal
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Cited articles

Allen, R. J., Norris, J. R., and Kovilakam, M.: Influence of anthropogenic aerosols and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on tropical belt width, Nat. Geosci., 7, 270–274,, 2014. 
Ault, T. R., Mankin, J. S., Cook, B. I., and Smerdon, J. E.: Relative impacts of mitigation, temperature, and precipitation on 21st-century megadrought risk in the American Southwest, Science Advances, 2, e1600873,, 2016. 
Baek, S. H., Smerdon, J. E., Seager, R., Williams, A. P., and Cook, B. I.: Pacific Ocean Forcing and Atmospheric Variability Are the Dominant Causes of Spatially Widespread Droughts in the Contiguous United States, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 124, 2507–2524,, 2019. 
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Booth, B. B. B., Dunstone, N. J., Halloran, P. R., Andrews, T., and Bellouin, N.: Aerosols implicated as a prime driver of twentieth-century North Atlantic climate variability, Nature, 484, 228–232,, 2012. 
Short summary
The western USA is frequently affected by multiannual summer droughts. They can be separated into two groups with distinct spatial patterns. This study analyzes the atmospheric circulation during multiannual droughts in a new 3-D climate reconstruction. We confirm two distinct drought types differing with respect to atmospheric circulation as well as sea surface temperatures. Our results suggest that both the Pacific and the extratropical North Atlantic region affect North American droughts.