Abstract

An objective algorithm is developed for identifying jets in 200-hPa flow and applied to reanalysis data within 2000 km of Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) during 1979–2015. The resulting set of 16 512 jets is analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively to describe the climatology of TC–jet configurations and jet behavior near TCs. Jets occur most commonly poleward of TCs within the 500–1000-km annulus, where TC outflow amplifies the background potential vorticity gradient. A rigorous clustering analysis is performed, resulting in statistically distinct clusters of jet traces that correspond to common configurations of large-scale flow near Atlantic TCs. The speed structure of westerly jets poleward of TCs is found to vary with location in the Atlantic basin, but acceleration of jets downstream of their closest approach to the TC due to interaction with the TC’s diabatic outflow is a consistent feature of these structures. In addition to the climatology developed here, this objectively constructed dataset of upper-tropospheric jets opens unique avenues for exploring TC–environment interactions and utilizing jets to quantitatively describe large-scale flow.

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