We performed the covariance matrix between the observed Z500′ from NCEP1 and AMIP-simulated Z500′ values over the northern hemisphere (20°N to 70°N and 0°E to 360°E) for the period 1980–2008 by applying SVD analysis (38), which has been used in meteorological studies. The SVD identifies pairs of Z500′ pattern that maximize expansion coefficients, and therefore, the leading mode of covariance provides a measure of how strongly the observed atmospheric variability is related to the SST-forced variability. We applied SVD analysis for year-to-year Z500′ values for April and May, respectively. The first pairs had high correlations (0.64 for April and 0.74 for May). Then, we calculated the linear regression coefficients of the large-scale SSTA from the ERSSTv5 and Z500′ from the NCEP1 onto the two corresponding expansion coefficients of the leading SVD mode as shown in Fig. 1 (A to D).

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