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  1. Links Section In This Post, below the intro. I have been recently asked to start a thread, to talk about weather teleconnections and similar topics. This is often a topic not very well discussed on other weather places, and places like Twitter. We have a number of experts, enthusiasts, and meteorologists, who are knowledgeable in this area. So this is a thread for technical discussion about the teleconnections, etc, as well as a place for questions about these topics. We need to start talking about these climate drivers more, as they are the key to unlocking medium-long term forecasts. We are making a place for technical discussion about these factors away from the main thread/s. So this thread is born. Teleconnections that could be up for discussion are: MJO, AAM/GWO, NAO, RRWT, NP jet, Mountain & Frictional Torques, AO/AAO, ENSO, IOD, AMO, SSTs in general, SOI, QBO, the Stratosphere, etc. Feel free to talk about related topics, but stick to this general topic. I encourage all posters to discuss and pose questions relating to the topic, and keep it a relaxed atmosphere. Any questions, just PM me or comment here. Hope we can make this work Links Section ERSL Link, Up to 24 hours behind. GWO 90 day Victor Gensini Site. Features Total AAM, Bias Corrected Rel AAM GEFS, CFS GWO Forecast. He stated he is soon to add torque products. Nick Schraldi GWO Site Non-Bias Corrected GEFS GWO forecast. Michael Ventrice Hovmoller from MV, to help spot AAM trends and patterns. GEFS. Carl Schreck More Hovmollers and other tropical charts to spot trends in the AAM. CFS forecast. NPJ Phase Diagrams/Albany Shows a GEFS forecast and observation of NP jetstream, which is largely controlled by the AAM. MJO Composites:
  2. Propagating Annular Modes: Empirical Orthogonal Functions, Principal Oscillation Patterns, and Time Scales Authors: Aditi Sheshadri and R. Alan Plumb Published online: 10th April, 2017 Abstract: The two leading empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of zonal-mean zonal wind describe north–south fluctuations, and intensification and narrowing, respectively, of the midlatitude jet. Under certain circumstances, these two leading EOFs cannot be regarded as independent but are in fact manifestations of a single, coupled, underlying mode of the dynamical system describing the evolution in time of zonal wind anomalies. The true modes are revealed by the principal oscillation patterns (POPs). The leading mode and its associated eigenvalue are complex, its structure involves at least two EOFs, and it describes poleward (or equatorward) propagation of zonal-mean zonal wind anomalies. In this propagating regime, the principal component (PC) time series associated with the two leading EOFs decay nonexponentially, and the response of the system to external forcing in a given EOF does not depend solely on the PC decorrelation time nor on the projection of the forcing onto that EOF. These considerations are illustrated using results from an idealized dynamical core model. Results from Southern Hemisphere ERA-Interim data are partly consistent with the behavior of the model’s propagating regime. Among other things, these results imply that the time scale that determines the sensitivity of a model to external forcing might be different from the decorrelation time of the leading PC and involves both the rate of decay of the dynamical mode and the period associated with propagation. Link to full article (website version): Link to full article (pdf version):
  3. The Effect of Tropospheric Jet Latitude on Coupling between the Stratospheric Polar Vortex and the Troposphere Authors: Chaim I. Garfinkel, Darryn W. Waugh and Edwin P. Gerber Published online: 22nd March, 2013 Abstract: A dry general circulation model is used to investigate how coupling between the stratospheric polar vortex and the extratropical tropospheric circulation depends on the latitude of the tropospheric jet. The tropospheric response to an identical stratospheric vortex configuration is shown to be strongest for a jet centered near 40° and weaker for jets near either 30° or 50° by more than a factor of 3. Stratosphere-focused mechanisms based on stratospheric potential vorticity inversion, eddy phase speed, and planetary wave reflection, as well as arguments based on tropospheric eddy heat flux and zonal length scale, appear to be incapable of explaining the differences in the magnitude of the jet shift. In contrast, arguments based purely on tropospheric variability involving the strength of eddy–zonal mean flow feedbacks and jet persistence, and related changes in the synoptic eddy momentum flux, appear to explain this effect. The dependence of coupling between the stratospheric polar vortex and the troposphere on tropospheric jet latitude found here is consistent with 1) the observed variability in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific and 2) the trend in the Southern Hemisphere as projected by comprehensive models. Link to full article (website version): Link to full article (pdf version):
  4. A mechanism for lagged North Atlantic climate response to solar variability Authors: Adam A. Scaife, Sarah Ineson, Jeff R. Knight, Lesley Gray, Kunihiko Kodera and Doug M. Smith First Published: 3rd January, 2013 Abstract: Variability in solar irradiance has been connected to changes in surface climate in the North Atlantic through both observational and climate modelling studies which suggest a response in the atmospheric circulation that resembles the North Atlantic Oscillation or its hemispheric equivalent the Arctic Oscillation. It has also been noted that this response appears to follow the changes in solar irradiance by a few years, depending on the exact indicator of solar variability. Here we propose and test a mechanism for this lag based on the known impact of atmospheric circulation on the Atlantic Ocean, the extended memory of ocean heat content anomalies, and their subsequent feedback onto the atmosphere. We use results from climate model experiments to develop a simple model for the relationship between solar variability and North Atlantic climate. Link to full paper:
  5. Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere Authors: Sarah Ineson, Adam A. Scaife, Jeff R. Knight, James C. Manners, Nick J. Dunstone, Lesley J. Gray and Joanna D. Haigh First Published: 9th October, 2011 Abstract: An influence of solar irradiance variations on Earth’s surface climate has been repeatedly suggested, based on correlations between solar variability and meteorological variables. Specifically, weaker westerly winds have been observed in winters with a less active sun, for example at the minimum phase of the 11-year sunspot cycle. With some possible exceptions, it has proved difficult for climate models to consistently reproduce this signal. Spectral Irradiance Monitor satellite measurements indicate that variations in solar ultraviolet irradiance may be larger than previously thought. Here we drive an ocean–atmosphere climate model with ultraviolet irradiance variations based on these observations. We find that the model responds to the solar minimum with patterns in surface pressure and temperature that resemble the negative phase of the North Atlantic or Arctic Oscillation, of similar magnitude to observations. In our model, the anomalies descend through the depth of the extratropical winter atmosphere. If the updated measurements of solar ultraviolet irradiance are correct, low solar activity, as observed during recent years, drives cold winters in northern Europe and the United States, and mild winters over southern Europe and Canada, with little direct change in globally averaged temperature. Given the quasiregularity of the 11-year solar cycle, our findings may help improve decadal climate predictions for highly populated extratropical regions. Link to full paper: The "Nature GeoScience Link" access is still behind a paywall ( ) but it is now available via this ResearchGate link (and there is also a downloadable personal pdf version link there):
  6. Observed and Simulated Teleconnections Between the Stratospheric Quasi‐Biennial Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere Winter Atmospheric Circulation Authors: Martin B. Andrews , Jeff R. Knight, Adam A. Scaife, Yixiong Lu, Tongwen Wu, Lesley J. Gray and Verena Schenzinger Published: 15th January, 2019 Abstract: The Quasi‐Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is the dominant mode of interannual variability in the tropical stratosphere, with easterly and westerly zonal wind regimes alternating over a period of about 28 months. It appears to influence the Northern Hemisphere winter stratospheric polar vortex and atmospheric circulation near the Earth's surface. However, the short observational record makes unequivocal identification of these surface connections challenging. To overcome this, we use a multicentury control simulation of a climate model with a realistic, spontaneously generated QBO to examine teleconnections with extratropical winter surface pressure patterns. Using a 30‐hPa index of the QBO, we demonstrate that the observed teleconnection with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is likely to be real, and a teleconnection with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is probable, but not certain. Simulated QBO‐AO teleconnections are robust, but appear weaker than in observations. Despite this, inconsistency with the observational record cannot be formally demonstrated. To assess the robustness of our results, we use an alternative measure of the QBO, which selects QBO phases with westerly or easterly winds extending over a wider range of altitudes than phases selected by the single‐level index. We find increased strength and significance for both the AO and NAO responses, and better reproduction of the observed surface teleconnection patterns. Further, this QBO metric reveals that the simulated AO response is indeed likely to be weaker than observed. We conclude that the QBO can potentially provide another source of skill for Northern Hemisphere winter prediction, if its surface teleconnections can be accurately simulated. Link to full paper:
  7. Enhanced Stratosphere/Troposphere Coupling During Extreme Warm Stratospheric Events with Strong Polar-Night Jet Oscillation Author: Dieter H.W. Peter, Andrea Schneidereit and Alexey Y. Karpechko Published: November 29th, 2018 Abstract: Extreme warm stratospheric events during polar winters from ERA-Interim reanalysis and CMIP5-ESM-LR runs were separated by duration and strength of the polar-night jet oscillation (PJO) using a high statistical confidence level of three standard deviations (strong-PJO events). With a composite analysis, we demonstrate that strong-PJO events show a significantly stronger downward propagating signal in both, northern annular mode (NAM) and zonal mean zonal wind anomaly in the stratosphere in comparison with non-PJO events. The lower stratospheric EP-flux-divergence difference in ERA-Interim was stronger in comparison to long-term CMIP5-ESM-LR runs (by a factor of four). This suggests that stratosphere–troposphere coupling is stronger in ERA-Interim than in CMIP5-ESM-LR. During the 60 days following the central date (CD), the Arctic oscillation signal was more intense during strong-PJO events than during non-PJO events in ERA-Interim data in comparison to CMIP5-ESM-LR runs. During the 15-day phase after CD, strong PJO events had a significant increase in stratospheric ozone, upper tropospheric zonally asymmetric impact, and a regional surface impact in ERA-Interim. Finally, we conclude that the applied high statistical threshold gives a clearer separation of extreme warm stratospheric events into strong-PJO events and non-PJO events including their different downward propagating NAM signal and tropospheric impacts. Link to full paper: Credit goes to @sebastiaan1973 for finding this paper
  8. Eurasian snow cover variability and links to winter climate in the CMIP5 models Author: Jason C. Furtado, Judah L. Cohen, Amy H. Butler, Emily E. Riddle and Arun Kumar Published: 31st January, 2015 Abstract: Observational studies and modeling experiments illustrate that variability in October Eurasian snow cover extent impacts boreal wintertime conditions over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) through a dynamical pathway involving the stratosphere and changes in the surface-based Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive study of the Eurasian snow–AO relationship in twenty coupled climate models run under pre-industrial conditions from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Our analyses indicate that the coupled climate models, individually and collectively, do not capture well the observed snow–AO relationship. The models lack a robust lagged response between October Eurasian snow cover and several NH wintertime variables (e.g., vertically propagating waves and geopotential heights). Additionally, the CMIP5 models do not simulate the observed spatial distribution and statistics of boreal fall snow cover across the NH including Eurasia. However, when analyzing individual 40-year time slices of the models, there are periods of time in select models when the observed snow–AO relationship emerges. This finding suggests that internal variability may play a significant role in the observed relationship. Further analysis demonstrates that the models poorly capture the downward propagation of stratospheric anomalies into the troposphere, a key facet of NH wintertime climate variability irrespective of the influence of Eurasian snow cover. A weak downward propagation signal may be related to several factors including too few stratospheric vortex disruptions and weaker-than-observed tropospheric wave driving. The analyses presented can be used as a roadmap for model evaluations in future studies involving NH wintertime climate variability, including those considering future climate change. Link to full paper: Credit goes to Tom @Isotherm for recommending this excellent paper.
  9. How Predictable Are the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations? Exploring the Variability and Predictability of the Northern Hemisphere Authors: Daniela I. V. Domeisena, Gualtiero Badin and Inga M. Koszalka Published: 18th January, 2018 Abstract: The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) describe the dominant part of the variability in the Northern Hemisphere extratropical troposphere. Because of the strong connection of these patterns with surface climate, recent years have shown an increased interest and an increasing skill in forecasting them. However, it is unclear what the intrinsic limits of short-term predictability for the NAO and AO patterns are. This study compares the variability and predictability of both patterns, using a range of data and index computation methods for the daily NAO and AO indices. Small deviations from Gaussianity are found along with characteristic decorrelation time scales of around one week. In the analysis of the Lyapunov spectrum it is found that predictability is not significantly different between the AO and NAO or between reanalysis products. Differences exist, however, between the indices based on EOF analysis, which exhibit predictability time scales around 12–16 days, and the station-based indices, exhibiting a longer predictability of 18–20 days. Both of these time scales indicate predictability beyond that currently obtained in ensemble prediction models for short-term predictability. Additional longer-term predictability for these patterns may be gained through local feedbacks and remote forcing mechanisms for particular atmospheric conditions. Link to full paper (on the Researchgate website): Please note that there is also a fully downloadable pdf version on the Researchgate site but only directly to your own pc or device.
  10. Northern Hemisphere Stratospheric Pathway of Different El Niño Flavors in Stratosphere-Resolving CMIP5 Models Authors: N. Calvo, M. Iza, M. M. Hurwitz, E. Manzini, C. Peña-Ortiz, A. H. Butler, C. Cagnazzo, S. Ineson and C. I. Garfinkel Published: 10th May, 2017 Abstract: The Northern Hemisphere (NH) stratospheric signals of eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) El Niño events are investigated in stratosphere-resolving historical simulations from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), together with the role of the stratosphere in driving tropospheric El Niño teleconnections in NH climate. The large number of events in each composite addresses some of the previously reported concerns related to the short observational record. The results shown here highlight the importance of the seasonal evolution of the NH stratospheric signals for understanding the EP and CP surface impacts. CMIP5 models show a significantly warmer and weaker polar vortex during EP El Niño. No significant polar stratospheric response is found during CP El Niño. This is a result of differences in the timing of the intensification of the climatological wavenumber 1 through constructive interference, which occurs earlier in EP than CP events, related to the anomalous enhancement and earlier development of the Pacific–North American pattern in EP events. The northward extension of the Aleutian low and the stronger and eastward location of the high over eastern Canada during EP events are key in explaining the differences in upward wave propagation between the two types of El Niño. The influence of the polar stratosphere in driving tropospheric anomalies in the North Atlantic European region is clearly shown during EP El Niño events, facilitated by the occurrence of stratospheric summer warmings, the frequency of which is significantly higher in this case. In contrast, CMIP5 results do not support a stratospheric pathway for a remote influence of CP events on NH teleconnections. Link to full paper:
  11. Impact of the Stratosphere on the Winter Tropospheric Teleconnections between ENSO and the North Atlantic and European Region Authors: Chiara Cagnazzor and Elisa Manzini Published: 21st August, 2008 Abstract: The possible role of stratospheric variability on the tropospheric teleconnection between El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic and European (NAE) region is addressed by comparing results from two ensembles of simulations performed with an atmosphere general circulation model fully resolving the stratosphere (with the top at 0.01 hPa) and its low-top version (with the top at 10 hPa). Both ensembles of simulations consist of nine members, covering the 1980–99 period and are forced with prescribed observed sea surface temperatures. It is found that both models capture the sensitivity of the averaged polar winter lower stratosphere to ENSO in the Northern Hemisphere, although with a reduced amplitude for the low-top model. In late winter and spring, the ENSO response at the surface is instead different in the two models. A large-scale coherent pattern in sea level pressure, with high pressures over the Arctic and low pressures over western and central Europe and the North Pacific, is found in the February–March mean of the high-top model. In the low-top model, the Arctic high pressure and the western and central Europe low pressure are very much reduced. The high-top minus low-top model difference in the ENSO temperature and precipitation anomalies is that North Europe is colder and the Northern Atlantic storm track is shifted southward in the high-top model. In addition, it has been found that major sudden stratospheric warming events are virtually lacking in the low-top model, while their frequency of occurrence is broadly realistic in the high-top model. Given that this is a major difference in the dynamical behavior of the stratosphere of the two models and that these events are favored by ENSO, it is concluded that the occurrence of sudden stratospheric warming events affects the reported differences in the tropospheric ENSO–NAE teleconnection. Given that the essence of the high-top minus low-top model difference is a more annular (or zonal) pattern of the anomaly in sea level pressure, relatively larger over the Arctic and the NAE regions, this interpretation is consistent with the observational evidence that sudden stratospheric warmings play a role in giving rise to persistent Arctic Oscillation anomalies at the surface. Link to full paper:
  12. Linking stratospheric circulation extremes and minimum Arctic sea ice extent Workshop Presentation: Aspen Global Change Institute, Aspen, Colorado Workshop Programme: “Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Polar Amplification” - June 12th -16th, 2017 Presenter: Karen Smith, Lorenzo Polvani and Bruno Tremblay Presentation Date: 14th June, 2017 Link to full presentation (32 minute video): Link to presentation (slides and charts only): Link to full agenda and presentations:
  13. Snow–(N)AO Teleconnection and Its Modulation by the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation Authors: Y. Peings Published: 29th November, 2017 Abstract: This study explores the wintertime extratropical atmospheric response to Siberian snow anomalies in fall, using observations and two distinct atmospheric general circulation models. The role of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in modulating this response is discussed by differentiating easterly and westerly QBO years. The remote influence of Siberian snow anomalies is found to be weak in the models, especially in the stratosphere where the “Holton–Tan” effect of the QBO dominates the simulated snow influence on the polar vortex. At the surface, discrepancies between composite analyses from observations and model results question the causal relationship between snow and the atmospheric circulation, suggesting that the atmosphere might have driven snow anomalies rather than the other way around. When both forcings are combined, the simulations suggest destructive interference between the response to positive snow anomalies and easterly QBO (and vice versa), at odds with the hypothesis that the snow–North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation [(N)AO] teleconnection in recent decades has been promoted by the QBO. Although model limitations in capturing the relationship exist, altogether these results suggest that the snow–(N)AO teleconnection may be a stochastic artifact rather than a genuine atmospheric response to snow-cover variability. This study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that climate models do not capture a robust and stationary snow–(N)AO relationship. It also highlights the need for extending observations and/or improving models to progress on this matter. Link to full paper:
  14. The Role of Zonal Asymmetry in the Enhancement and Suppression of Sudden Stratospheric Warming Variability by the MJO Authors: Wanying Kang and Eli Tziperman Published: 20th February, 2018 Abstract: Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events influence the Arctic Oscillation and midlatitude extreme weather. Previous work showed the Arctic stratosphere to be influenced by the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and that the SSW frequency increases with an increase of the MJO amplitude, expected in a warmer climate. It is shown here that the zonal asymmetry in both the background state and forcing plays a dominant role, leading to either enhancement or suppression of SSW events by MJO-like forcing. When applying a circumglobal MJO-like forcing in a dry dynamic core model, the MJO-forced waves can change the general circulation in three ways that affect the total vertical Eliassen–Palm flux in the Arctic stratosphere. First, weakening the zonal asymmetry of the tropospheric midlatitude jet, and therefore preventing the MJO-forced waves from propagating past the jet. Second, weakening the jet amplitude, reducing the waves generated in the midlatitudes, especially stationary waves, and therefore the upward-propagating planetary waves. Third, reducing the Arctic lower-stratospheric refractory index, which prevents waves from upward propagation. These effects stabilize the Arctic vortex and lower the SSW frequency. The longitudinal range to which the MJO-like forcing is limited plays an important role as well, and the strongest SSW frequency increase is seen when the MJO is located where it is observed in current climate. The SSW suppression effects are active when the MJO-like forcing is placed at different longitudinal locations. This study suggests that future trends in both the MJO amplitude and its longitudinal extent are important for predicting the Arctic stratosphere response. Link to full paper:
  15. Upward Wave Activity Flux as a Precursor to Extreme Stratospheric Events and Subsequent Anomalous Surface Weather Regimes Authors: Lorenzo M. Polvani and Darryn W. Waugh Published: 12th January, 2004 Abstract: It has recently been shown that extreme stratospheric events (ESEs) are followed by surface weather anomalies (for up to 60 days), suggesting that stratospheric variability might be used to extend weather prediction beyond current time scales. In this paper, attention is drawn away from the stratosphere to demonstrate that the originating point of ESEs is located in the troposphere. First, it is shown that anomalously strong eddy heat fluxes at 100 hPa nearly always precede weak vortex events, and conversely, anomalously weak eddy heat fluxes precede strong vortex events, consistent with wave–mean flow interaction theory. This finding clarifies the dynamical nature of ESEs and suggests that a major source of stratospheric variability (and thus predictability) is located in the troposphere below and not in the stratosphere itself. Second, it is shown that the daily time series of eddy heat flux found at 100 hPa and integrated over the prior 40 days, exhibit a remarkably high anticorrelation (−0.8) with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index at 10 hPa. Following Baldwin and Dunkerton, it is then demonstrated that events with anomalously strong (weak) integrated eddy heat fluxes at 100 hPa are followed by anomalously large (small) surface values of the AO index up to 60 days following each event. This suggests that the stratosphere is unlikely to be the dominant source of the anomalous surface weather regimes discussed in Thompson et al. Link to full paper:<3548%3AUWAFAA>2.0.CO%3B2
  16. Time-Lagged Response of the Antarctic and High-Latitude Atmosphere to Tropical MJO Convection Authors: Gina R. Henderson, Bradford S. Barrett, Ashley Lois, and Haadi Elsaawy Published: 22nd February, 2018 (online: 18th April, 2018) Abstract: Intraseasonal tropical variability has important implications for the mid- and high-latitude atmosphere, and in recent studies has been shown to modulate a number of weather processes in the Northern Hemisphere, such as snow depth, sea ice concentration, precipitation, atmospheric rivers, and air temperature. In such studies, the extratropical atmosphere has tended to respond to the tropical convection of the leading mode of intraseasonal variability, the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), with a time lag of approximately 7 days. However, the time lag between the MJO and the Antarctic atmosphere has been found to vary between less than 7 and greater than 20 days. This study builds on previous work by further examining the time-lagged response of Southern Hemisphere tropospheric circulation to tropical MJO forcing, with specific focus on the latitude belt associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, during the months of June (austral winter) and December (austral summer) using NCEP–DOE Reanalysis 2 data for the years 1979–2016. Principal findings indicate that the time lag with the strongest height anomalies depends on both the location of the MJO convection (e.g., the MJO phase) and the season, and that the lagged height anomalies in the Antarctic atmosphere are fairly consistent across different vertical levels and latitudinal bands. In addition, certain MJO phases in December displayed lagged height anomalies indicative of blocking-type atmospheric patterns, with an approximate wavenumber of 4, whereas in June most phases were associated with more progressive height anomaly centers resembling a wavenumber-3-type pattern. Link to full paper:
  17. Atmospheric summer teleconnections and Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass variations: insights from MERRA-2 Authors: Young-Kwon Lim, Siegfried D Schubert, Sophie M J Nowicki, Jae N Lee, Andrea M Molod, Richard I Cullather, Bin Zhao and Isabella Velicogna Published: 1st February, 2016 (IOP Publishing Ltd) Abstract: The relationship between leading atmospheric teleconnection patterns and Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) temperature, precipitation, and surface mass balance (SMB) are investigated for the last 36 summers (1979–2014) based on Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 reanalyses. The results indicate that the negative phase of both the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation, associated with warm and dry conditions for the GrIS, lead to SMB decreases within 0–1 months. Furthermore, the positive phase of the East Atlantic (EA) pattern often lags the negative NAO, reflecting a dynamical linkage between these modes that acts to further enhance the warm and dry conditions over the GrIS, leading to a favorable environment for enhanced surface mass loss. The development of a strong negative NAO in combination with a strong positive EA in recent years leads to significantly larger GrIS warming compared to when the negative NAO occurs in combination with a negative or weak positive EA (0.69 K versus 0.13 K anomaly). During 2009 and 2011, weakened (as compared to conditions during the severe surface melt cases of 2010 and 2012) local high pressure blocking produced colder northerly flow over the GrIS inhibiting warming despite the occurrence of a strong negative NAO, reflecting an important role for the EA during those years. In particular, the EA acts with the NAO to enhance warming in 2010 and 2012, and weaken high pressure blocking in 2009 and 2011. In general, high pressure blocking primarily impacts the western areas of the GrIS via advective temperature increases, while changes in net surface radiative fluxes account for both western and eastern GrIS temperature changes. Link to full paper:
  18. Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Decline on Weather and Climate: A Review Authors: Timo Vihma Published: 9th March, 2014 Abstract: The areal extent, concentration and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas have strongly decreased during the recent decades, but cold, snow-rich winters have been common over mid-latitude land areas since 2005. A review is presented on studies addressing the local and remote effects of the sea ice decline on weather and climate. It is evident that the reduction in sea ice cover has increased the heat flux from the ocean to atmosphere in autumn and early winter. This has locally increased air temperature, moisture, and cloud cover and reduced the static stability in the lower troposphere. Several studies based on observations, atmospheric reanalyses, and model experiments suggest that the sea ice decline, together with increased snow cover in Eurasia, favours circulation patterns resembling the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation. The suggested large-scale pressure patterns include a high over Eurasia, which favours cold winters in Europe and northeastern Eurasia. A high over the western and a low over the eastern North America have also been suggested, favouring advection of Arctic air masses to North America. Mid-latitude winter weather is, however, affected by several other factors, which generate a large inter-annual variability and often mask the effects of sea ice decline. In addition, the small sample of years with a large sea ice loss makes it difficult to distinguish the effects directly attributable to sea ice conditions. Several studies suggest that, with advancing global warming, cold winters in mid-latitude continents will no longer be common during the second half of the twenty-first century. Recent studies have also suggested causal links between the sea ice decline and summer precipitation in Europe, the Mediterranean, and East Asia. Link to full paper:
  19. Increased Variability in the Early Winter Subarctic North American Atmospheric Circulation Authors: James E. Overland (NOAA)and Muyin Wang (Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington) Published: 23rd July, 2015 (published online: 11th September, 2015) Abstract: The last decade shows increased variability in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index for December. Over eastern North America such increased variability depended on amplification of the climatological longwave atmospheric circulation pattern. Recent negative magnitudes of the AO have increased geopotential thickness west of Greenland and cold weather in the central and eastern United States. Although the increased variance in the AO is statistically significant based on 9-yr running standard deviations from 1950 to 2014, one cannot necessarily robustly attribute the increase to steady changes in external sources (sea temperatures, sea ice) rather than a chaotic view of internal atmospheric variability; this is due to a relatively short record and a review of associated atmospheric dynamics. Although chaotic internal variability dominates the dynamics of atmospheric circulation, Arctic thermodynamic influence can reinforce the regional geopotential height pattern. Such reinforcement suggests a conditional or state dependence on whether an Arctic influence will impact subarctic severe weather, based on different circulation regimes. A key conclusion is the importance of recent variability over potential trends in Arctic and subarctic atmospheric circulation. Continued thermodynamic Arctic changes are suggested as a Bayesian prior leading to a probabilistic approach for potential subarctic weather linkages and the potential for improving seasonal forecasts. Link to full paper:
  20. Arctic Oscillation (AO) - A Simple Guide Authors: NOAA Published: Current - updated monthly Summary: This is another one of the excellent NOAA guides with a simple definition. There is a table showing the monthly values of the AO from 1950 right up to the most recent month. There is also a chart showing these values from 1950 to 2011. Link to Web Page:
  21. On the atmospheric response experiment to a Blue Arctic Ocean: Climate Response to Blue Arctic Ocean Authors: Nakamura, Yamazaki, Honda, Dethloff. Published: Sept 2016 Abstract: Arctic warming is among the most remarkable of climate change signals undergoing global warming, and has resulted in continuous changes to the Arctic environment. Arctic sea ice loss is one of the most symbolic signatures of these rapid climate changes. Changes to Arctic sea ice are crucial to the coupled climate system, because ice melting is stimulated by atmospheric and oceanic heat transport into the Arctic. In turn, radiative and thermal feedback from the melting ice induces further warming in the Arctic. In this context, there is particular interest in the recent negative tendency of the winter Arctic Oscillation (AO) [Thompson and Wallace, 1998, 2001] observed in association with the loss of Arctic sea ice [Honda et al., 2009; Jaiser et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2012] and an increase in the extent of Eurasian snow cover [Cohen et al., 2014; Furtado et al., 2016]. The negative phase of the AO is a manifestation of the exchange of the Arctic cold air mass and mid-latitude warm air mass following a stronger meandering of the flow, which implies an increase in atmospheric heat transport into the Arctic. Such circulation changes associated with a negative AO enhance Arctic warming and local surface heat flux anomalies due to Arctic sea ice loss. Link to full paper:
  22. Changes in meandering of the Northern Hemisphere circulation Authors: Giorgia Di Capua and Dim Coumou Published: 22nd September, 2016 (© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd) Abstract: Strong waves in the mid-latitude circulation have been linked to extreme surface weather and thus changes in waviness could have serious consequences for society. Several theories have been proposed which could alter waviness, including tropical sea surface temperature anomalies or rapid climate change in the Arctic. However, so far it remains unclear whether any changes in waviness have actually occurred. Here we propose a novel meandering index which captures the maximum waviness in geopotential height contours at any given day, using all information of the full spatial position of each contour. Data are analysed on different time scale (from daily to 11 day running means) and both on hemispheric and regional scales. Using quantile regressions, we analyse how seasonal distributions of this index have changed over 1979–2015. The most robust changes are detected for autumn which has seen a pronounced increase in strongly meandering patterns at the hemispheric level as well as over the Eurasian sector. In summer for both the hemisphere and the Eurasian sector, significant downward trends in meandering are detected on daily timescales which is consistent with the recently reported decrease in summer storm track activity. The American sector shows the strongest increase in meandering in the warm season: in particular for 11 day running mean data, indicating enhanced amplitudes of quasi-stationary waves. Our findings have implications for both the occurrence of recent cold spells and persistent heat waves in the mid-latitudes. Link to full paper:
  23. Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes Received 17 January 2012; revised 20 February 2012; accepted 21 February 2012; published 17 March 2012 Authors: Jennifer A. Francis and Stephen J. Vavrus First Published: 17th January, 2012 (revised 20th February 2012; published online 17th March, 2012) Abstract: Arctic amplification (AA) – the observed enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere – is evident in lower‐tropospheric temperatures and in 1000‐to‐500 hPa thicknesses. Daily fields of 500 hPa heights from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis are analyzed over N. America and the N. Atlantic to assess changes in north‐south (Rossby) wave characteristics associated with AA and the relaxation of poleward thickness gradients. Two effects are identified that each contribute to a slower eastward progression of Rossby waves in the upper‐level flow: 1) weakened zonal winds, and 2) increased wave amplitude. These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea‐ice loss, but are also apparent in summer, possibly related to earlier snow melt on high‐latitude land. Slower progression of upper‐level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid‐latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves. Link to full paper: Further Reading - Link to later paper (by the same authors): Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming
  24. Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming Authors: Jennifer A Francis and Stephen J Vavrus Published: 6th January, 2015 (© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd) Abstract: New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients, weaker zonal upper-level winds, and a more meridional flow direction. These results suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase. Link to full paper: Further Reading - Link to earlier paper (by the same authors): Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes
  25. Mountain Torques and Northern Hemisphere Low-Frequency Variability.Part II: Regional Aspects Authors: Francois Lott, Andrew W. Robertson and Michael Ghil First Published: 16th November 2001 (published online: 1st June , 2004) Abstract: Important aspects of low-frequency variability (LFV) are regional in character, while the mountain torques of the Rockies and the Himalayas evolve quite independently of each other. The hemispheric analysis of Part I is complemented therefore herein by an analysis of the relationships between individual mountain torques and sectorial LFV patterns in the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis. In the 20–30-day band, relationships are found between the Rockies (Himalayas) torque and the dominant patterns of LFV over the Pacific (Eurasia). The composites of the atmospheric flow fields that accompany the Rockies (Himalayas) torque in this band exhibit similarities with known low-frequency oscillations that dominate the Pacific and North American (European and North Atlantic) sectors during certain winters. The composites keyed to the 20–30-day Rockies torque affect the persistent North Pacific (PNP) pattern that controls the extension of the midlatitude jet stream over the eastern Pacific. Furthermore, the unfiltered torques for the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Rockies anticipate the onset of the two dominant winter Pacific circulation regimes that correlate strongly with the PNP pattern. The composites keyed to the 20–30-day Himalayas torque affect the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern, which controls the intensity of the North Atlantic jet stream. Furthermore, the unfiltered torques for the NH and the Himalayas anticipate the breaks of the two dominant winter Atlantic circulation regimes, which correlate strongly with the NAO pattern. These analyses also show that the 20–30-day Rockies (Himalayas) torques produce substantial atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) changes, which are nearly in phase with and larger in amplitude than the AAM changes associated with the midlatitude eastern Pacific (North Atlantic) jet stream variations seen in the composite maps. This result suggests that the Rockies (Himalayas) torque variations drive, at least partially, but actively the changes in the eastern Pacific (North Atlantic) jet stream. These results are consistent with the Himalayas and the Rockies torques contributing separately to changes in the two leading hemispheric EOFs that were described in Part I; the two are associated with a hemispheric index cycle and the Arctic Oscillation, respectively. Link to full paper:<1272%3AMTANHL>2.0.CO%3B2
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