The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is the dominant mode of tropical intraseasonal variability. Many studies have found that the MJO, which acts as a tropical heating source, can excite Rossby waves that propagate into the midlatitude and modulate midlatitude circulation. The extratropical mean flow can modulate the MJO extratropical response. Rossby waves can grow or decay in different extratropical background flows, and the propagation of the Rossby waves also varies as the background flow acts as a waveguide. In this study, how extratropical mean flow modulates the MJO extratropical response is explored by using a nonlinear baroclinic primitive equation model. MJO-associated heating, as an external forcing of the model, is imposed into scenarios with different extratropical background flows. Different background flow modulates the generation and advection of the vorticity anomalies induced by the MJO, which determines the initial location and strength of the Rossby waves. The midlatitude waveguides can be different as the background flow changes. As the propagation of Rossby waves follows the waveguides, the background flow determines whether the Rossby waves are trapped in the Pacific Ocean region or can propagate to the north and to the east into North America. The experiments also show that the anomalies associated with the Rossby waves can extract energy from the midlatitude jet over the jet exit region and the southern flank of the jet. This further modulates the strength, location, and duration of the MJO extratropical response.

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