Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items for

  • Author or Editor: Blanca Ayarzagüena x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Blanca Ayarzagüena
and
Encarna Serrano
Full access
Blanca Ayarzagüena
and
Encarna Serrano

Abstract

In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of a possible active role of the stratosphere on the tropospheric climate. However, most studies have focused on this connection in wintertime. This paper deals with the possible relationship between variations in the timing of stratospheric final warmings (SFWs, observed in springtime) and monthly averaged changes in the Euro-Atlantic climate. On the basis of the date on which the SFW occurs, two sets of years have been selected for the period of study (1958–2002): “early years” and “late years,” reflecting a very early or a very late breakup of the polar vortex. The statistical significance of the early-minus-late differences in the analyzed fields has been established by applying a nonparametric test based on a Monte Carlo–like technique. Using data from 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40), a dynamical study for March and April has shown important differences between both sets of years in stationary waves, especially ultralong ones (waves with k = 1 in March and k = 2 in April). Furthermore, the interannual variations in the stratospheric zonal wind seem to propagate downward as the spring progresses, in such a way that they reach tropospheric levels in April. Relevant differences between “early” and “late” years have been found in tropospheric monthly fields in the Euro-Atlantic area (geopotential, zonal wind, and storm-track activity), being at their most extensive in April.

Full access
Blanca Ayarzagüena
,
Yvan J. Orsolini
,
Ulrike Langematz
,
Janna Abalichin
, and
Anne Kubin

Abstract

Previous research shows that blocking highs (BHs) influence wintertime polar stratospheric variability through the modulation of the climatological planetary waves (PWs) depending on the BH location. BHs over the Euro-Atlantic sector tend to enhance the upward PW propagation, and those over the northwestern Pacific Ocean tend to reduce it. Future changes are examined in the response of the wave activity flux to the BH location and their relationship with wintertime stratospheric variability in transient simulations of ECHAM/Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC). After it is verified that EMAC can reproduce qualitatively well the geographical dependence of the BH influence on PW activity injection, it is shown that this dependence does not change in the future. However, an eastward shift of the pattern of the BH influence on PW propagation over the Pacific, a farther eastward extension of the pattern over the Atlantic Ocean, and an intensification of the wavenumber-1 component of the interaction between climatological and anomalous waves are detected. Changes in the upper-tropospheric jet and an intensification of the wavenumber-1 climatological wave due to a strengthening of the Aleutian low agree with these variations. The spatial distribution of future BHs preceding extreme polar vortex events is also affected by the slight modifications in the wave activity pattern. Hence, future BHs preceding strong vortex events tend to be more concentrated over the Pacific than in the past, where BHs interfere negatively with wavenumber-1 climatological waves. Future BHs prior to major stratospheric warmings are located in a broader area than in the past, predominantly over an extended Euro-Atlantic sector.

Full access
Michael E. Kelleher
,
Blanca Ayarzagüena
, and
James A. Screen

Abstract

Connections across seasons in atmospheric circulation and sea ice have long been sought to advance seasonal prediction. This study presents a link between the springtime stratosphere and Arctic sea ice in summer through autumn. The polar stratospheric vortex dominates the winter stratosphere before breaking down each spring, which is called the stratospheric final warming, as solar radiation returns to the pole. Interannual variability of this breakdown is dynamically driven, leading to different springtime tropospheric and surface circulation patterns. To examine the different impacts of delayed and early final warmings, a multimodel composite was generated from selected CMIP5 models. Additionally, regressions were performed on JRA-55 against an index of springtime polar vortex strength. In both the multimodel composites and reanalysis regressions, significant anomalies in sea ice thickness persist several months following an anomalous timing of the final warming. A later final warming or stronger springtime polar stratospheric vortex leads to negative sea ice thickness anomalies in the East Siberian Sea and positive anomalies in the Beaufort Sea in comparison with an earlier final warming or weaker polar vortex. The spring polar stratospheric vortex is related to spring polar surface circulation patterns. The winds associated with this pattern induce anomalous sea ice motion, moving ice from the East Siberian Sea toward the Beaufort Sea. Reduced sea ice in the East Siberian Sea is linked to anomalous warmth over this region in autumn. Our results suggest that the timing of the stratospheric final warming exerts an influence on the tropospheric circulation and sea ice through autumn, which has implications for seasonal climate prediction.

Open access
Blanca Ayarzagüena
,
Sarah Ineson
,
Nick J. Dunstone
,
Mark P. Baldwin
, and
Adam A. Scaife

Abstract

It is well established that El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) impacts the North Atlantic–European (NAE) climate, with the strongest influence in winter. In late winter, the ENSO signal travels via both tropospheric and stratospheric pathways to the NAE sector and often projects onto the North Atlantic Oscillation. However, this signal does not strengthen gradually during winter, and some studies have suggested that the ENSO signal is different between early and late winter and that the teleconnections involved in the early winter subperiod are not well understood. In this study, we investigate the ENSO teleconnection to NAE in early winter (November–December) and characterize the possible mechanisms involved in that teleconnection. To do so, observations, reanalysis data and the output of different types of model simulations have been used. We show that the intraseasonal winter shift of the NAE response to ENSO is detected for both El Niño and La Niña and is significant in both observations and initialized predictions, but it is not reproduced by free-running Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models. The teleconnection is established through the troposphere in early winter and is related to ENSO effects over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea that appear in rainfall and reach the NAE region. CMIP5 model biases in equatorial Pacific ENSO sea surface temperature patterns and strength appear to explain the lack of signal in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and, hence, their inability to reproduce the intraseasonal shift of the ENSO signal over Europe.

Full access