The relative importance of tropical SST anomalies to the dominant variability of East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) circulation is investigated using an atmospheric general circulation model and a linear inverse model. It is found that the cooling over the central tropical Pacific is crucial in developing and maintaining the summertime northwest Pacific anticyclones, associated with the EASM precipitation. In this regard, the previously suggested El Niño event in the preceding winter and accompanying tropical Indian Ocean warming alone may not be enough to predict the strength of EASM circulation. Instead, monitoring and predicting the evolution of sea surface temperature anomalies in the central tropical Pacific, especially in spring to summer, may greatly improve the prediction of EASM circulation.
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