EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The seasonal teleconnections of the Indian Ocean Dipole to the North Atlantic region

Tim Hempel1, Antje Weisheimer1,2, and Tim Palmer1
Tim Hempel et al.
  • 1University of Oxford, Physics, Atmosperic, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • 2European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a major source of seasonal climate variability in the
Indian Ocean. This dipole has strong impacts on the Indian Ocean region and through
teleconnections can influence the seasonal climate of remote regions like the North Pacific
and North Atlantic. A prominent example of this teleconnection from the IOD occurred
in the winter 2019/2020, where the IOD was in a positive state. This influenced the state
and predictability of the Northern Hemisphere extratropics. Thus, a good understand-
ing of the mechanism that transports information from the Indian Ocean to the North
Atlantic is desirable. In this contribution we investigate the special teleconnection of the
winter 2019/2020 and analyse the transport mechanism.
In model experiments with the OpenIFS from ECMWF we show that the NAO in the
winter 2019/2020 is influenced by the IOD and analyse the teleconnection mechanisms.
We use hindcast ensemble model experiments of the DJF season 2019/2020 to analyse
the behaviour of the IOD and its impact on the NAO. In the uncoupled OpenIFS the Sea
Surface Temperature (SST) boundary conditions are perturbed in regions of importance
to the NAO (like the ENSO region and the Indian Ocean). With these perturbations we
identify the relative importance of individual ocean regions to the state of the NAO in
the winter of 2019/2020.
We contrast the experiments with the perturbed SST conditions to the operational ECMWF
System5 forecast and ERA5. Experiments with the 2019/2020 SST’s in the In-
dian Ocean (with other boundary conditions set to climatology) reproduce many of the
observed atmospheric 2019/2020 features. In contrast, experiments with SST’s in the
Pacific show very different patterns to the observed 2019/2020 ones.
We identify eddy-mean-flow interactions as a mechanism that connects and transports
information from the Indian Ocean to the North Atlantic. With Hoskins E-Vectors we
show that anomalous eddy activity during IOD events impacts the position and strength
of the Northern Hemisphere extratropical jet. This interaction provides a teleconnection
mechanism in addition to the Rossby-wavetrain discussed in other studies.

How to cite: Hempel, T., Weisheimer, A., and Palmer, T.: The seasonal teleconnections of the Indian Ocean Dipole to the North Atlantic region, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5665,, 2023.