Interaction between the MJO and Polar Circulations

Maria Flatau Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California

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Young-Joon Kim Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California

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Abstract

A tropical–polar connection and its seasonal dependence are examined using the real-time multivariate Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) (RMM) index and daily indices for the annular modes, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO). On the intraseasonal time scale, the MJO appears to force the annular modes in both hemispheres. On this scale, during the cold season, the convection in the Indian Ocean precedes the increase of the AO/AAO. Interestingly, during the boreal winter (Southern Hemisphere warm season), strong MJOs in the Indian Ocean are related to a decrease of the AAO index, and AO/AAO tendencies are out of phase. On the longer time scales, a persistent AO/AAO anomaly appears to influence the convection in the tropical belt and impact the distribution of MJO-preferred phases. It is shown that this may be a result of the sea surface temperature (SST) changes related to a persistent AO, with cooling over the Indian Ocean and warming over Indonesia. In the Southern Hemisphere, the SST anomalies are to some extent also related to a persistent AAO pattern, but this relationship is much weaker and appears only during the Southern Hemisphere cold season. On the basis of these results, a mechanism involving the air–sea interaction in the tropics is suggested as a possible link between persistent AO and convective activity in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific.

Current affiliation: The Korea Institute of Atmospheric Prediction Systems, Seoul, South Korea.

Corresponding author address: Maria Flatau, Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA 93943. E-mail: maria.flatau@nrlmry.navy.mil

Abstract

A tropical–polar connection and its seasonal dependence are examined using the real-time multivariate Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) (RMM) index and daily indices for the annular modes, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO). On the intraseasonal time scale, the MJO appears to force the annular modes in both hemispheres. On this scale, during the cold season, the convection in the Indian Ocean precedes the increase of the AO/AAO. Interestingly, during the boreal winter (Southern Hemisphere warm season), strong MJOs in the Indian Ocean are related to a decrease of the AAO index, and AO/AAO tendencies are out of phase. On the longer time scales, a persistent AO/AAO anomaly appears to influence the convection in the tropical belt and impact the distribution of MJO-preferred phases. It is shown that this may be a result of the sea surface temperature (SST) changes related to a persistent AO, with cooling over the Indian Ocean and warming over Indonesia. In the Southern Hemisphere, the SST anomalies are to some extent also related to a persistent AAO pattern, but this relationship is much weaker and appears only during the Southern Hemisphere cold season. On the basis of these results, a mechanism involving the air–sea interaction in the tropics is suggested as a possible link between persistent AO and convective activity in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific.

Current affiliation: The Korea Institute of Atmospheric Prediction Systems, Seoul, South Korea.

Corresponding author address: Maria Flatau, Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA 93943. E-mail: maria.flatau@nrlmry.navy.mil
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