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Geophysical Research Letters

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

Authors

  • Hua Su,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Geological Sciences, The John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
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  • Zong-Liang Yang,

    1. Department of Geological Sciences, The John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
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  • Robert E. Dickinson,

    1. Department of Geological Sciences, The John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
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  • Jiangfeng Wei

    1. Department of Geological Sciences, The John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
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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.

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