Dynamical differences between short and long blocks in the Northern Hemisphere
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Wiley 126:10 (2021) e2020JD034082
Abstract:Blocking events are persistent weather systems that strongly impact daily weather and more importantly our societies. One reason behind their strong impact is their potential long duration, as blocking events can last from 5 days up to four-five weeks. However, the mechanisms explaining this difference of duration have not been properly studied yet. Here, we investigate the differences between short blocks, which last 5 days, and long blocks, which last at least 10 days. We take a broad hemispheric and annual approach to this question, while recognizing that other specific factors may play a role in particular region and seasons. We show that long blocks often involve cyclonic Rossby wave breaking, while short blocks are equally associated with cyclonic and anticyclonic wave breaking. This main result is reproduced in a coupled climate model ensemble. The lower number of long anticyclonic blocks might be due to three main reasons: One/the anticyclone is reinforced on the downstream side during anticyclonic blocks which is less conducive to persistence; two/positive synoptic eddy feedback tends to force the mean zonal wind toward a more northward position during anticyclonic blocks, whereas it forces the mean zonal wind to the south of the block during cyclonic blocks, which has been previously shown to be associated with more persistent weather patterns; three/particularly sustained eddy feedback is needed to maintain long anticyclonic blocks.
Wintertime Southern Hemisphere jet streams shaped by interaction of transient eddies with Antarctic orography
Journal of Climate Wiley 33:24 (2020) 10505-10522
Abstract:The wintertime Southern Hemisphere extratropical circulation exhibits considerable zonal asymmetries. We investigate the roles of various surface boundary conditions in shaping the mean state using a semi-realistic, atmosphere-only climate model. We find, in agreement with previous literature, that tropical sea surface temperature (SST) patterns are an important contributor to the mean state, while midlatitude SSTs and sea ice extent play a smaller role. Our main finding is that Antarctic orography has a first-order effect on the structure of the midlatitude circulation. In the absence of Antarctic orography, equatorward eddy momentum fluxes associated with the orography are removed and hence convergence of eddy momentum in midlatitudes is reduced. This weakens the Indian Ocean jet, making Rossby wave propagation downstream to the South Pacific less favorable. Consequently, the flow stagnates over the mid- to high-latitude South Pacific and the characteristic split jet pattern is destroyed. Removing Antarctic orography also results in a substantial warming over East Antarctica partly because transient eddies are able to penetrate farther poleward, enhancing poleward heat transport. However, experiments in which a high-latitude cooling is applied indicate that these temperature changes are not the primary driver of circulation changes in the midlatitudes. Instead, we invoke a simple barotropic mechanism in which the orographic slope creates an effective potential vorticity gradient that alters the eddy momentum flux.
Tracing North Atlantic Oscillation Forecast Errors to Stratospheric Origins
JOURNAL OF CLIMATE 33:21 (2020) 9145-9157
Effect of the North Pacific Tropospheric Waveguide on the Fidelity of Model El Nino Teleconnections
JOURNAL OF CLIMATE 33:12 (2020) 5223-5237
How Does the Winter Jet Stream Affect Surface Temperature, Heat Flux, and Sea Ice in the North Atlantic?
JOURNAL OF CLIMATE 33:9 (2020) 3711-3730