A previous study revealed a close relationship between interannual variations of northeast China (NEC) summer temperature and a tripole sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic in preceding spring. The present study investigates the change in the above relationship and the plausible causes for the change. A tripole SST index is defined with its positive value corresponding to positive SST anomalies in the tropics and midlatitudes and negative SST anomalies in the subtropics. The tripole SST anomaly pattern has a weak correlation with NEC summer temperature during the 1950s through the mid-1970s, in sharp contrast to the 1980s and 1990s. This change is related to the difference in the persistence of the tripole SST pattern. Before the late 1970s, the tripole SST pattern weakened from spring to summer, and thus, the spring North Atlantic tripole SST pattern had a weak connection with NEC summer temperature. On the contrary, after the late 1970s, the tripole SST pattern displayed a tendency of persistence from spring to summer, contributing to circulation changes that affected NEC summer temperature. There are two factors for the persistence of the tripole SST pattern from spring to summer. One is the North Atlantic air-sea interaction, and the other is the persistence of SST anomalies in the eastern equatorial Pacific during the decay of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is shown that the North Atlantic SST anomalies can have an impact on NEC summer temperature independent of ENSO.