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On the Inverse Relationship between the Boreal Wintertime Pacific Jet Strength and Storm-Track Intensity

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  • 1 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • | 2 School of Marine Sciences, and School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
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Abstract

Previous studies show that in boreal winters when the Pacific jet is extremely strong, the Pacific storm track is, however, unexpectedly weak. Using a recently developed technique, namely, the multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based localized multiscale energetics analysis, we investigate in this study the underlying mechanism of this counterintuitive phenomenon, based on ERA-40 data. It is found that most of the synoptic storms are generated at latitudes far north of the jet core, which lowers the relevance of the jet strength to the storm-track intensity, and the inverse relationship between the Pacific jet strength and storm-track intensity is mainly attributed to the internal dynamics. In the strong jet state, on one hand, the jet is narrow, and thus the jet winds at high latitudes are weak, resulting in weak baroclinic instabilities and hence reduced eddy growth rate; on the other hand, although baroclinic instabilities are strong at the jet core, inverse kinetic energy (KE) cascades are even stronger (by 43%). The resultant effect is that more eddy energy is transferred back to the background flow, leaving an overall weak storm track in a strong Pacific jet. In addition, diabatic processes are found to account for the inverse relationship: it is greatly weakened (by 25%) in the strong-core jet state. Apart from these, we also find that the role that barotropic canonical transfer plays in the inverse relationship is opposite to that in the formation of the midwinter minimum (MWM), another counterintuitive phenomenon in the Pacific storm track.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: X. San Liang, x.san.liang@gmail.com

Abstract

Previous studies show that in boreal winters when the Pacific jet is extremely strong, the Pacific storm track is, however, unexpectedly weak. Using a recently developed technique, namely, the multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based localized multiscale energetics analysis, we investigate in this study the underlying mechanism of this counterintuitive phenomenon, based on ERA-40 data. It is found that most of the synoptic storms are generated at latitudes far north of the jet core, which lowers the relevance of the jet strength to the storm-track intensity, and the inverse relationship between the Pacific jet strength and storm-track intensity is mainly attributed to the internal dynamics. In the strong jet state, on one hand, the jet is narrow, and thus the jet winds at high latitudes are weak, resulting in weak baroclinic instabilities and hence reduced eddy growth rate; on the other hand, although baroclinic instabilities are strong at the jet core, inverse kinetic energy (KE) cascades are even stronger (by 43%). The resultant effect is that more eddy energy is transferred back to the background flow, leaving an overall weak storm track in a strong Pacific jet. In addition, diabatic processes are found to account for the inverse relationship: it is greatly weakened (by 25%) in the strong-core jet state. Apart from these, we also find that the role that barotropic canonical transfer plays in the inverse relationship is opposite to that in the formation of the midwinter minimum (MWM), another counterintuitive phenomenon in the Pacific storm track.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: X. San Liang, x.san.liang@gmail.com
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