Seasonal and regional signatures of ENSO in upper tropospheric jet characteristics from reanalyses

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  • 1 NorthWest Research Associates & New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico, USA
  • | 2 Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • | 3 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) & NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL), University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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Abstract

The relationship of upper tropospheric jet variability to El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in reanalysis datasets is analyzed for 1979–2018, revealing robust regional and seasonal variability. Tropical jets associated with monsoons and the Walker circulation are weaker and the zonal mean subtropical jet shifts equatorward in both hemispheres during El Niño, consistent with previous findings. Regional and seasonal variations are analyzed separately for subtropical and polar jets. The subtropical jet shifts poleward during El Niño over the NH eastern Pacific in DJF, and in some SH regions in MAMand SON. Subtropical jet altitudes increase during El Niño, with significant changes in the zonal mean in the NH and during summer/fall in the SH. Though zonal mean polar jet correlations with ENSO are rarely significant, robust regional/seasonal changes occur: The SH polar jet shifts equatorward during El Niño over Asia and the western Pacific in DJF, and poleward over the eastern Pacific in JJA and SON. Polar jets are weaker (stronger) during El Niño in the western (eastern) hemisphere, especially in the SH; conversely, subtropical jets are stronger (weaker) in the western (eastern) hemisphere during El Niño in winter and spring; these opposing changes, along with an anticorrelation between subtropical and polar jet windspeed, reinforce subtropical/polar jet strength differences during El Niño, and suggest ENSO-related covariability of the jets. ENSO-related jet latitude, altitude, and windspeed changes can reach 4(3)°, 0.6(0.3) km, and 6(3) ms−1, respectively, for the subtropical (polar) jets.

Also at NorthWest Research Associates, Boulder, CO, USA.

Corresponding author address: Dept. of Physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico, 87801, USA. E-mail: manney@nwra.com

This article is included in the MERRA-2: Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 special collection.

Abstract

The relationship of upper tropospheric jet variability to El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in reanalysis datasets is analyzed for 1979–2018, revealing robust regional and seasonal variability. Tropical jets associated with monsoons and the Walker circulation are weaker and the zonal mean subtropical jet shifts equatorward in both hemispheres during El Niño, consistent with previous findings. Regional and seasonal variations are analyzed separately for subtropical and polar jets. The subtropical jet shifts poleward during El Niño over the NH eastern Pacific in DJF, and in some SH regions in MAMand SON. Subtropical jet altitudes increase during El Niño, with significant changes in the zonal mean in the NH and during summer/fall in the SH. Though zonal mean polar jet correlations with ENSO are rarely significant, robust regional/seasonal changes occur: The SH polar jet shifts equatorward during El Niño over Asia and the western Pacific in DJF, and poleward over the eastern Pacific in JJA and SON. Polar jets are weaker (stronger) during El Niño in the western (eastern) hemisphere, especially in the SH; conversely, subtropical jets are stronger (weaker) in the western (eastern) hemisphere during El Niño in winter and spring; these opposing changes, along with an anticorrelation between subtropical and polar jet windspeed, reinforce subtropical/polar jet strength differences during El Niño, and suggest ENSO-related covariability of the jets. ENSO-related jet latitude, altitude, and windspeed changes can reach 4(3)°, 0.6(0.3) km, and 6(3) ms−1, respectively, for the subtropical (polar) jets.

Also at NorthWest Research Associates, Boulder, CO, USA.

Corresponding author address: Dept. of Physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico, 87801, USA. E-mail: manney@nwra.com

This article is included in the MERRA-2: Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 special collection.

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