Coupled interannual variability of wind and sea surface temperature in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

Geidy Rodriguez-Vera, Rosario Romero-Centeno, Christopher L. Castro, Víctor Mendoza Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This work describes dominant patterns of coupled interannual variability of the 10-m wind and sea surface temperature in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (CS & GM) during the period 1982-2016. Using a canonical correlation analysis (CCA) between the monthly mean anomalies of these fields, four coupled variability modes are identified: the dipole (March-April), transition (May-June), interocean (July- October), and meridional-wind (November-February) modes. Results show that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influences almost all the CS & GM coupled modes, except the transition mode, and that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in February has a strong negative correlation with the dipole and transition modes. The antisymmetric relationships found between the dipole mode and the NAO and ENSO indices confirm previous evidence about the competing remote forcings of both teleconnection patterns on the tropical North Atlantic variability. Precipitation in the CS and adjacent oceanic and land areas is sensitive to the wind-SST coupled variability modes from June to October. These modes seem to be strongly related to the interannual variability of the midsummer drought and the meridional migration of the intertropical convergence zone in the eastern Pacific. These findings may eventually lead to improving seasonal predictability in the CS & GM and surrounding land areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4263-4280
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Atmosphere-ocean interaction
  • Climate variability
  • ENSO
  • Interannual variability
  • North Atlantic Oscillation
  • Pattern detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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