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Evolution of Dipole-Type Blocking Life Cycles: Analytical Diagnoses and Observations

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  • 1 Department of Physics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, and Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Department of Marine Meteorology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, and Center of Nonlinear Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
  • | 2 Department of Physics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, and Center of Nonlinear Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
  • | 3 Weather Bureau of Zaozhuang, Zaozhuang, China
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Abstract

A variable coefficient Korteweg–de Vries (VCKdV) system is derived by considering the time-dependent background flow and boundary conditions from a nonlinear, inviscid, nondissipative, and equivalent barotropic vorticity equation in a beta plane. One analytical solution obtained from the VCKdV equation can be successfully used to explain the evolution of atmospheric dipole-type blocking (DB) life cycles. Analytical diagnoses show that the background mean westerlies have great influence on evolution of DB during its life cycle. A weak westerly is necessary for blocking development and the blocking life period shortens, accompanied with the enhanced westerlies. The shear of the background westerlies also plays an important role in the evolution of blocking. The cyclonic shear is preferable for the development of blocking but when the cyclonic shear increases, the intensity of blocking decreases and the life period of DB becomes shorter. Weak anticyclonic shear below a critical threshold is also favorable for DB formation. Time-dependent background westerly (TDW) in the life cycle of DB has some modulations on the blocking life period and intensity due to the behavior of the mean westerlies. Statistical analysis regarding the climatological features of observed DB is also investigated. Observational results show that the Pacific is a preferred region for DB, especially at high latitudes. These features may associate with the weakest westerlies and the particular westerly shear structure over the northwestern Pacific.

Corresponding author address: Fei Huang, Department of Marine Meteorology, Ocean University of China, 238 Songling Rd., Qingdao 266100, China. Email: huangf@mail.ouc.edu.cn

Abstract

A variable coefficient Korteweg–de Vries (VCKdV) system is derived by considering the time-dependent background flow and boundary conditions from a nonlinear, inviscid, nondissipative, and equivalent barotropic vorticity equation in a beta plane. One analytical solution obtained from the VCKdV equation can be successfully used to explain the evolution of atmospheric dipole-type blocking (DB) life cycles. Analytical diagnoses show that the background mean westerlies have great influence on evolution of DB during its life cycle. A weak westerly is necessary for blocking development and the blocking life period shortens, accompanied with the enhanced westerlies. The shear of the background westerlies also plays an important role in the evolution of blocking. The cyclonic shear is preferable for the development of blocking but when the cyclonic shear increases, the intensity of blocking decreases and the life period of DB becomes shorter. Weak anticyclonic shear below a critical threshold is also favorable for DB formation. Time-dependent background westerly (TDW) in the life cycle of DB has some modulations on the blocking life period and intensity due to the behavior of the mean westerlies. Statistical analysis regarding the climatological features of observed DB is also investigated. Observational results show that the Pacific is a preferred region for DB, especially at high latitudes. These features may associate with the weakest westerlies and the particular westerly shear structure over the northwestern Pacific.

Corresponding author address: Fei Huang, Department of Marine Meteorology, Ocean University of China, 238 Songling Rd., Qingdao 266100, China. Email: huangf@mail.ouc.edu.cn

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