Dynamical Evolution of North Atlantic Ridges and Poleward Jet Stream Displacements

Tim Woollings Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by Tim Woollings in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Joaquim G. Pinto Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Search for other papers by Joaquim G. Pinto in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
João A. Santos CITAB, Department of Physics, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Search for other papers by João A. Santos in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

The development of a particular wintertime atmospheric circulation regime over the North Atlantic, comprising a northward shift of the North Atlantic eddy-driven jet stream and an associated strong and persistent ridge in the subtropics, is investigated. Several different methods of analysis are combined to describe the temporal evolution of the events and relate it to shifts in the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and East Atlantic pattern. First, the authors identify a close relationship between northward shifts of the eddy-driven jet, the establishment and maintenance of strong and persistent ridges in the subtropics, and the occurrence of upper-tropospheric anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking over Iberia. Clear tropospheric precursors are evident prior to the development of the regime, suggesting a preconditioning of the Atlantic jet stream and an upstream influence via a large-scale Rossby wave train from the North Pacific. Transient (2–6 days) eddy forcing plays a dual role, contributing to both the initiation and then the maintenance of the circulation anomalies. During the regime there is enhanced occurrence of anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking, which may be described as low-latitude blocking-like events over the southeastern North Atlantic. A strong ridge is already established at the time of wave-breaking onset, suggesting that the role of wave-breaking events is to amplify the circulation anomalies rather than to initiate them. Wave breaking also seems to enhance the persistence, since it is unlikely that a persistent ridge event occurs without being also accompanied by wave breaking.

Corresponding author address: Tim Woollings, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom. E-mail: t.j.woollings@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

The development of a particular wintertime atmospheric circulation regime over the North Atlantic, comprising a northward shift of the North Atlantic eddy-driven jet stream and an associated strong and persistent ridge in the subtropics, is investigated. Several different methods of analysis are combined to describe the temporal evolution of the events and relate it to shifts in the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and East Atlantic pattern. First, the authors identify a close relationship between northward shifts of the eddy-driven jet, the establishment and maintenance of strong and persistent ridges in the subtropics, and the occurrence of upper-tropospheric anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking over Iberia. Clear tropospheric precursors are evident prior to the development of the regime, suggesting a preconditioning of the Atlantic jet stream and an upstream influence via a large-scale Rossby wave train from the North Pacific. Transient (2–6 days) eddy forcing plays a dual role, contributing to both the initiation and then the maintenance of the circulation anomalies. During the regime there is enhanced occurrence of anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking, which may be described as low-latitude blocking-like events over the southeastern North Atlantic. A strong ridge is already established at the time of wave-breaking onset, suggesting that the role of wave-breaking events is to amplify the circulation anomalies rather than to initiate them. Wave breaking also seems to enhance the persistence, since it is unlikely that a persistent ridge event occurs without being also accompanied by wave breaking.

Corresponding author address: Tim Woollings, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom. E-mail: t.j.woollings@reading.ac.uk
Save
  • Athanasiadis, P. J., and M. H. P. Ambaum, 2010: Do high-frequency eddies contribute to low-frequency teleconnection tendencies? J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 419433.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baldwin, M. P., and T. J. Dunkerton, 2001: Stratospheric harbingers of anomalous weather regimes. Science, 294, 581584.

  • Barnes, E. A., and D. L. Hartmann, 2010a: Dynamical feedbacks and the persistence of the NAO. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 851865.

  • Barnes, E. A., and D. L. Hartmann, 2010b: Influence of eddy-driven jet latitude on North Atlantic jet persistence and blocking frequency in CMIP3 integrations. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L23802, doi:10.1029/2010GL045700.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barnes, E. A., D. L. Hartmann, D. M. W. Frierson, and J. Kidston, 2010: The effect of latitude on the persistence of eddy-driven jets. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L11804, doi:10.1029/2010GL043199.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benedict, J. J., S. Lee, and S. B. Feldstein, 2004: Synoptic view of the North Atlantic oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 61, 121144.

  • Branstator, G., 1995: Organization of storm track anomalies by recurring low-frequency circulation anomalies. J. Atmos. Sci., 52, 207226.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cassou, C., 2008: Intraseasonal interaction between the Madden–Julian Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Nature, 455, 523527, doi:10.1038/nature07286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coppola, E., F. Kucharski, F. Giorgi, and F. Molteni, 2005: Bimodality of the North Atlantic Oscillation in simulations with greenhouse gas forcing. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L23709, doi:10.1029/2005GL024080.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Croci-Maspoli, M., C. Schwierz, and H. C. Davies, 2007: Atmospheric blocking: Space-time links to the NAO and PNA. Climate Dyn., 29, 713725.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duchon, C. E., 1979: Lanczos filtering in one and two dimensions. J. Appl. Meteor., 18, 10161022.

  • Feldstein, S. B., 2003: The dynamics of NAO teleconnection pattern growth and decay. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 129, 901924.

  • Franzke, C., S. Lee, and S. B. Feldstein, 2004: Is the North Atlantic Oscillation a breaking wave? J. Atmos. Sci., 61, 145160.

  • Gabriel, A., and D. Peters, 2008: A diagnostic study of different types of Rossby wave breaking events in the northern extratropics. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 86, 613631.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gerber, E. P., and G. K. Vallis, 2007: Eddy–zonal flow interactions and the persistence of the zonal index. J. Atmos. Sci., 64, 32963311.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoskins, B. J., I. James, and G. H. White, 1983: The shape, propagation, and mean flow interaction of large-scale weather systems. J. Atmos. Sci., 40, 15951612.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kistler, R., and Coauthors, 2001: The NCEP–NCAR 50-Year Reanalysis: Monthly means CD-ROM and documentation. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 82, 247267.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kunz, T., K. Fraedrich, and F. Lunkeit, 2009a: Impact of synoptic-scale wave breaking on the NAO and its connection with the stratosphere in the ERA-40 reanalysis. J. Climate, 22, 54645480.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kunz, T., K. Fraedrich, and F. Lunkeit, 2009b: Synoptic wave-breaking and its potential to drive NAO-like circulation dipoles: A simplified GCM approach. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 135, 119.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, H., G. Brunet, and J. Derome, 2009: An observed connection between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Madden–Julian oscillation. J. Climate, 22, 364380.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lorenz, D. J., and D. L. Hartmann, 2003: Eddy-zonal flow feedback in the Northern Hemisphere winter. J. Climate, 16, 12121227.

  • Martius, O., C. Schwierz, and H. C. Davies, 2007: Breaking waves at the tropopause in the wintertime Northern Hemisphere: Climatological analyses of the orientation and the theoretical LC1/2 classification. J. Atmos. Sci., 64, 25762592.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Masato, G., B. J. Hoskins, and T. J. Woollings, 2009: Can the frequency of blocking be described by a red noise process? J. Atmos. Sci., 66, 21432149.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Monahan, A. H., J. C. Fyfe, M. H. P. Ambaum, D. B. Stephenson, and G. R. North, 2009: Empirical orthogonal functions: The medium is the message. J. Climate, 22, 65016514.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pelly, J. L., and B. J. Hoskins, 2003: A new perspective on blocking. J. Atmos. Sci., 60, 743755.

  • Pinto, J. G., M. Reyers, and U. Ulbrich, 2011: The variable link between PNA and NAO in observations and in multi-century CGCM simulations. Climate Dyn., 36, 337354, doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0770-x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rivière, G., 2010: The role of Rossby wave-breaking in the West Pacific teleconnection. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L11802, doi:10.1029/2010GL043309.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rivière, G., and I. Orlanski, 2007: Characteristics of the Atlantic storm-track eddy activity and its relation with the North Atlantic Oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 64, 241266.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robinson, W. A., 2006: On the self-maintenance of midlatitude jets. J. Atmos. Sci., 63, 21092122.

  • Roebber, P. J., 2009: Planetary waves, cyclogenesis, and the irregular breakdown of zonal motion over the North Atlantic. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 39073917.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Santos, J. A., J. Corte-Real, and S. M. Leite, 2005: Weather regimes and their connection to the winter rainfall in Portugal. Int. J. Climatol., 25, 3350.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Santos, J. A., J. G. Pinto, and U. Ulbrich, 2009: On the development of strong ridge episodes over the Eastern North Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L17804, doi:10.1029/2009GL039086.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephenson, D. B., V. Pavan, M. Collins, M. M. Junge, and R. Quadrelli, 2006: North Atlantic Oscillation response to transient greenhouse gas forcing and the impact on European winter climate: A CMIP2 multi-model assessment. Climate Dyn., 27, 401420.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strong, C., and G. Magnusdottir, 2008a: How Rossby wave breaking over the Pacific forces the North Atlantic Oscillation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L10706, doi:10.1029/2008GL033578.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strong, C., and G. Magnusdottir, 2008b: Tropospheric Rossby wave breaking and the NAO/NAM. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 28612876.

  • Tyrlis, E., and B. J. Hoskins, 2008: The morphology of Northern Hemisphere blocking. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 16531665.

  • Ulbrich, U., M. Christoph, J. G. Pinto, and J. Corte-Real, 1999: Dependence of winter precipitation over Portugal on NAO and baroclinic wave activity. Int. J. Climatol., 19, 379390.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Uppala, S. M., and Coauthors, 2005: The ERA-40 Reanalysis. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 131, 29613012.

  • Vallis, G. K., E. P. Gerber, P. J. Kushner, and B. A. Cash, 2004: A mechanism and simple dynamical model of the North Atlantic Oscillation and annular modes. J. Atmos. Sci., 61, 264280.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wallace, J. M., and D. S. Gutzler, 1981: Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109, 784812.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wallace, J. M., G.-H. Lim, and M.-L. Blackmon, 1988: Relationship between cyclone tracks, anticyclone tracks and baroclinic waveguides. J. Atmos. Sci., 45, 439462.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wettstein, J. J., and J. M. Wallace, 2010: Observed patterns of month-to-month storm track variability and their relationship to the background flow. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 14201437.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woollings, T., and B. Hoskins, 2008: Simultaneous Atlantic–Pacific blocking and the Northern Annular Mode. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 134, 16351646.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woollings, T., B. Hoskins, M. Blackburn, and P. Berrisford, 2008: A new Rossby wave-breaking interpretation of the North Atlantic Oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 609626.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woollings, T., A. Hannachi, B. Hoskins, and A. Turner, 2010a: A regime view of the North Atlantic Oscillation and its response to anthropogenic forcing. J. Climate, 23, 12911307.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woollings, T., A. Hannachi, and B. Hoskins, 2010b: Variability of the North Atlantic eddy-driven jet stream. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136, 856868.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 644 325 16
PDF Downloads 357 114 9