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Linking hydrological variations at local scales to regional climatic teleconnection patterns
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  • Kabir Rasouli,
  • Karis Scharold,
  • Taufique Mahmood,
  • Nancy Glenn,
  • Danny Marks
Kabir Rasouli
Environment and Climate Change Canada Québec
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Karis Scharold
University of North Dakota
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Taufique Mahmood
University of North Dakota
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Nancy Glenn
Boise State University
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Danny Marks
USDA-ARS
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Peer review status:IN REVISION

25 Jun 2020Submitted to Hydrological Processes
25 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
25 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major

Abstract

Interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere play essential roles in hydrological variations at local scales. Variations of regional climate patterns over preceding years have key effects on the seasonal water and moisture conditions in the following year. The linkage between regional climate and local hydrology is challenging due to scale differences, both spatially and temporally. In this study, multiple hydroclimatic phases were identified to relate climatic teleconnection patterns to hydrological processes in a small headwater basin within Reynolds Creek Experiment Watershed, Idaho, USA. A singular spectrum analysis and a combination of hydrological observations and outputs from a physically based hydrological model were used for this purpose. Results showed that a positive phase of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is more influential than a positive phase of the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern on the observed annual runoff and the modeled rain on snow runoff in the study area. Specifically, we found a 43% and 26% shift below normal in annual runoff and rain on snow runoff from NAO and a 29% and 9% below normal from PNA. More frequent rain on snow events were observed under a positive phase of Antarctic Oscillation, leading to a 45% increase in the rain on snow runoff, which accounts for one-third of the mean annual runoff. A high runoff-to-precipitation ratio was observed in the study area under negative phases of Arctic Oscillation and Sea Surface Temperature in the Niño 3.4 region of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. A switch in the phase of the teleconnection patterns of NAO and PNA in 2012 was concomitant with a transition from wet to dry conditions in the basin, suggesting the importance of the regional teleconnections in affecting snow and runoff regimes at local scales. The identified hydroclimatic phases can be implemented in operational models to improve uncertainties in hydrological forecasts, climate projections, and water resources planning.