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Interactions of North Pacific Tropical, Midlatitude, and Polar Disturbances Resulting in Linked Extreme Weather Events over North America in October 2007

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire
  • | 3 NOAA/OAR Climate Program Office, Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections Program, Silver Spring, Maryland
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Abstract

This study uses observations and model reanalyses to examine the multiscale processes associated with four high-impact extreme weather events (EWEs) over North America during late October 2007. The EWEs consisted of wind-driven wildfires in California, prolonged anomalous cold conditions in Mexico linked to two cold surges, heavy rainfall in the eastern United States, and severe flood-producing heavy rainfall in southern Mexico. The EWEs involved a pronounced large-scale flow reconfiguration across the North Pacific and North America in conjunction with the formation of a high-amplitude Rossby wave train. The flow reconfiguration involved perturbations to the North Pacific jet stream linked to polar, midlatitude, and tropical disturbances, including three tropopause-level polar disturbances originating over northeastern Asia, transient extratropical cyclones, a diabatic Rossby vortex, and western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Kajiki. Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostics indicate that ridge amplification within the wave train was enhanced in connection with latent heat release along warm conveyor belts rooted in the tropics and subtropics over the North Pacific. Two anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking events over North America established synoptic-scale conditions that supported the EWEs. The results highlight how the large- and synoptic-scale flow can evolve to facilitate multiple geographically separated but dynamically linked EWEs. Based on the results, it is posited that during autumn the North Pacific jet stream may be particularly conducive to large-scale flow amplification, possibly resulting in EWEs, in response to perturbations associated with tropical, midlatitude, and polar disturbances.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0230.s1.

© 2017 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 e-mail: Lance F. Bosart, lbosart@albany.edu

Abstract

This study uses observations and model reanalyses to examine the multiscale processes associated with four high-impact extreme weather events (EWEs) over North America during late October 2007. The EWEs consisted of wind-driven wildfires in California, prolonged anomalous cold conditions in Mexico linked to two cold surges, heavy rainfall in the eastern United States, and severe flood-producing heavy rainfall in southern Mexico. The EWEs involved a pronounced large-scale flow reconfiguration across the North Pacific and North America in conjunction with the formation of a high-amplitude Rossby wave train. The flow reconfiguration involved perturbations to the North Pacific jet stream linked to polar, midlatitude, and tropical disturbances, including three tropopause-level polar disturbances originating over northeastern Asia, transient extratropical cyclones, a diabatic Rossby vortex, and western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Kajiki. Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostics indicate that ridge amplification within the wave train was enhanced in connection with latent heat release along warm conveyor belts rooted in the tropics and subtropics over the North Pacific. Two anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking events over North America established synoptic-scale conditions that supported the EWEs. The results highlight how the large- and synoptic-scale flow can evolve to facilitate multiple geographically separated but dynamically linked EWEs. Based on the results, it is posited that during autumn the North Pacific jet stream may be particularly conducive to large-scale flow amplification, possibly resulting in EWEs, in response to perturbations associated with tropical, midlatitude, and polar disturbances.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0230.s1.

© 2017 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 e-mail: Lance F. Bosart, lbosart@albany.edu

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