Climatological large-scale circulation patterns over the Middle Americas Region

Carlos A. Ochoa-Moya, Yoel A. Cala-Pérez, Yanet Díaz-Esteban, Christopher L. Castro, Paulina Ordoñez-Peréz, Arturo I. Quintanar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this study, twenty large-scale circulation patterns are identified to generate a synoptic classification ofWeather Types (WT) over a region that comprises Mexico, the Intra-Americas Seas, Central America, and northern South America. This classification is performed using Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) with mean sea-level pressure standardized anomalies from reanalysis. The influence of quasi-permanent pressure centers over the region, such as North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH) and North Pacific High (NPH) are well captured. Seasonal variability of high-pressure centers for dry (November-April) and wet (May-October) periods over the entire region are also well represented in amplitude and pattern among the WTs. The NASH influence and intensification of the Caribbean low-level jet and the North American monsoon system is well captured. During the dry period, a strong trough wind advects cold air masses from mid-latitudes to the subtropics over the western Atlantic Ocean. High-frequency transitions among WTs tend to cluster around the nearest neighbors in SOM space, while low-frequency transitions occur along columns instead of rows in the SOM matrix. Low-frequency transitions are related to intraseasonal and seasonal scales. The constructed catalog can identify near-surface atmospheric circulation patterns from a unified perspective of synoptic climate variability, and it is in high agreement with previous studies for the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number745
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Self-organizing maps
  • Synoptic climatology
  • Weather types

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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