The Influence of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation on the Troposphere in Winter in a Hierarchy of Models. Part II: Perpetual Winter WACCM Runs

Chaim I. Garfinkel Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Dennis L. Hartmann Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Abstract

Experiments with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) are used to understand the influence of the stratospheric tropical quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the troposphere. The zonally symmetric circulation in thermal wind balance with the QBO affects high-frequency eddies throughout the extratropical troposphere. The influence of the QBO is strongest and most robust in the North Pacific near the jet exit region, in agreement with observations. Variability of the stratospheric polar vortex does not appear to explain the effect of the QBO in the troposphere in the model, although it does contribute to the response in the North Atlantic. Anomalies in tropical deep convection associated with the QBO appear to damp, rather than drive, the effect of the QBO in the extratropical troposphere. Rather, the crucial mechanism whereby the QBO modulates the extratropical troposphere appears to be the interaction of tropospheric transient waves with the axisymmetric circulation in thermal wind balance with the QBO. The response to QBO winds of realistic amplitude is stronger for perpetual February radiative conditions and sea surface temperatures than perpetual January conditions, consistent with the observed response in reanalysis data, in a coupled seasonal WACCM integration, and in dry model experiments described in Part I.

Corresponding author address: Chaim I. Garfinkel, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: cig4@atmos.washington.edu

Abstract

Experiments with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) are used to understand the influence of the stratospheric tropical quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the troposphere. The zonally symmetric circulation in thermal wind balance with the QBO affects high-frequency eddies throughout the extratropical troposphere. The influence of the QBO is strongest and most robust in the North Pacific near the jet exit region, in agreement with observations. Variability of the stratospheric polar vortex does not appear to explain the effect of the QBO in the troposphere in the model, although it does contribute to the response in the North Atlantic. Anomalies in tropical deep convection associated with the QBO appear to damp, rather than drive, the effect of the QBO in the extratropical troposphere. Rather, the crucial mechanism whereby the QBO modulates the extratropical troposphere appears to be the interaction of tropospheric transient waves with the axisymmetric circulation in thermal wind balance with the QBO. The response to QBO winds of realistic amplitude is stronger for perpetual February radiative conditions and sea surface temperatures than perpetual January conditions, consistent with the observed response in reanalysis data, in a coupled seasonal WACCM integration, and in dry model experiments described in Part I.

Corresponding author address: Chaim I. Garfinkel, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: cig4@atmos.washington.edu
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