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  • Author or Editor: Daniela I. V. Domeisen x
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Gualtiero Badin
and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

Northern Hemisphere stratospheric variability is investigated with respect to chaotic behavior using time series from three different variables extracted from four different reanalysis products and two numerical model runs with different forcing. The time series show red spectra at all frequencies and the probability distribution functions show persistent deviations from a Gaussian distribution. An exception is given by the numerical model forced with perpetual winter conditions—a case that shows more variability and follows a Gaussian distribution, suggesting that the deviation from Gaussianity found in the observations is due to the transition between summer and winter variability. To search for the presence of a chaotic attractor the correlation dimension and entropy, the Lyapunov spectrum, and the associated Kaplan–Yorke dimension are estimated. A finite value of the dimensions can be computed for each variable and data product, with the correlation dimension ranging between 3.0 and 4.0 and the Kaplan–Yorke dimension between 3.3 and 5.5. The correlation entropy varies between 0.6 and 1.1. The model runs show similar values for the correlation and Lyapunov dimensions for both the seasonally forced run and the perpetual-winter run, suggesting that the structure of a possible chaotic attractor is not determined by the seasonality in the forcing, but must be given by other mechanisms.

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Gualtiero Badin
and
Daniela I.V. Domeisen

Abstract

Southern Hemisphere (SH) stratospheric variability is investigated with respect to chaotic behavior using time series from three different variables extracted from four different reanalysis products. The results are compared with the same analysis applied to the Northern Hemisphere (NH). The probability density functions (PDFs) for the SH show persistent deviations from a Gaussian distribution. The variability is given by white spectra for low frequencies, a slope of −1 for intermediate frequencies, and −3 slopes for high frequencies. Considering the time series for winter and summer separately, PDFs show a Gaussian distribution and the variability spectra change their slopes, indicating the role of the transition between winter and summer variability in shaping the time series. The correlation (D 2) and the Kaplan–Yorke (D KY) dimensions are estimated. A finite value of the dimensions can be computed for each variable and data product, except for the NCEP zonal-mean zonal wind and temperature data, which violate the requirement D 2D KY, possibly owing to the presence of spurious trends and inconsistencies in the data. The value of D 2 ranges between 2.6 and 3.9, while D KY ranges between 3.0 and 4.5. The results show that both D 2 and D KY display large variability in their values both for different datasets and for different variables within the same dataset. The variability of the values of D 2 and D KY thus leaves open the question about the existence of a low-dimensional attractor or if the finite dimensions of the system are the result of the projection of a larger attractor in a low-dimensional embedding space.

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Bernat Jiménez-Esteve
and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exerts an influence on the North Atlantic–European (NAE) region. However, this teleconnection is nonlinear and nonstationary owing to the superposition and interaction of a multitude of influences on this region. The stratosphere is one of the major players in terms of the influence of the ENSO signal on this sector. Nevertheless, there are tropospheric dynamical links between the North Pacific and the North Atlantic that are clearly influenced by ENSO. This tropospheric pathway of ENSO to the NAE has received less attention. In view of this, the present study revisits the tropospheric pathway of ENSO to the North Atlantic using ECMWF reanalysis products. Anomalous propagation of transient and quasi-stationary waves across North America is analyzed with respect to their sensitivity to ENSO. Transient (quasi-stationary zonal waves 1–3) wave activity flux (WAF) from the Pacific to the Atlantic increases during El Niño (La Niña) conditions leading to a negative (positive) phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). This response is observed from January to March for El Niño and only visible during February for La Niña events. However, the stratosphere strongly modulates this response. For El Niño (La Niña) conditions a weaker (stronger) stratospheric vortex tends to reinforce the negative (positive) NAO with the stratosphere and troposphere working in tandem, contributing to a stronger and more persistent tropospheric circulation response. These findings may have consequences for the prediction of the NAO during times with an inactive stratosphere.

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Huang Yang
,
Gang Chen
, and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

The sensitivities of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC) to different distributions of tropical SST heating are investigated in an idealized aquaplanet model. It is found that an increase in tropical SSTs generally leads to an acceleration of tropical upwelling and an associated reduction in the age of air (AOA) in the polar stratosphere and that the AOA near the subtropical tropopause is correlated with local isentropic mixing of tropospheric air with stratospheric air.

The zonal distribution of SST perturbations has a major impact on the vertical and meridional structure of the BDC as compared with other SST characteristics. Zonally localized SST heatings tend to generate a shallow acceleration of the stratospheric residual circulation, enhanced isentropic mixing associated with a weakened stratospheric jet, and a reduction in AOA mostly within the polar vortex. In contrast, SST heatings with a zonally symmetric structure tend to produce a deep strengthening of the stratospheric residual circulation, suppressed isentropic mixing associated with a stronger stratospheric jet, and a decrease of AOA in the entire stratosphere. The shallow versus deep strengthening of the stratospheric residual circulation change has been linked to wave propagation and dissipation in the subtropical lower stratosphere rather than wave generation in the troposphere, and the former can be strongly affected by the vertical position of the subtropical jet. These results suggest that, while the longitudinally localized SST trends under climate change may contribute to the change in the shallow branch of the BDC, the upward shift of the subtropical jet associated with the zonal SST heating can impact the deep branch of the BDC.

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Aditi Sheshadri
,
R. Alan Plumb
, and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

The authors test the hypothesis that recent observed trends in surface westerlies in the Southern Hemisphere are directly consequent on observed trends in the timing of stratospheric final warming events. The analysis begins by verifying that final warming events have an impact on tropospheric circulation in a simplified GCM driven by specified equilibrium temperature distributions. Seasonal variations are imposed in the stratosphere only. The model produces qualitatively realistic final warming events whose influence extends down to the surface, much like what has been reported in observational analyses. The authors then go on to study observed trends in surface westerlies composited with respect to the date of final warming events. If the considered hypothesis were correct, these trends would appear to be much weaker when composited with respect to the date of the final warming events. The authors find that this is not the case, and accordingly they conclude that the observed surface changes cannot be attributed simply to this shift toward later final warming events.

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Hilla Afargan-Gerstman
,
Bernat Jiménez-Esteve
, and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

Roughly two-thirds of the observed sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events are followed by an equatorward shift of the tropospheric jet in the North Atlantic, while the other events generally show a poleward shift. It is however not resolved which drivers lead to the large inter-event variability in the surface impact. Using an intermediate complexity atmospheric model, we analyze the contribution of different factors to the downward response: polar cap geopotential height anomalies in the lower stratosphere, downstream influence from the northeastern Pacific, and local tropospheric conditions in the North Atlantic at the time of the initial response. As in reanalysis, an equatorward shift of the North Atlantic jet is found to occur for two-thirds of SSWs in the model. We find that around 40% of the variance of the tropospheric jet response after SSW events can be explained by the lower stratosphere geopotential height anomalies, while around 25% can be explained by zonal wind anomalies over the northeastern Pacific region. Local Atlantic conditions at the time of the SSW onset are also found to contribute to the surface response. To isolate the role of the stratosphere from tropospheric variability, we use model experiments where the zonal mean stratospheric winds are nudged toward climatology. When stratospheric variability is suppressed, the Pacific influence is found to be weaker. These findings shed light on the contribution of the stratosphere to the diverse downward impacts of SSW events, and may help to improve the predictability of tropospheric jet variability in the North Atlantic.

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Jake W. Casselman
,
Andréa S. Taschetto
, and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation can influence the tropical North Atlantic (TNA), leading to anomalous sea surface temperatures (SSTs) at a lag of several months. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain this teleconnection. These mechanisms include both tropical and extratropical pathways, contributing to anomalous trade winds and static stability over the TNA region. The TNA SST response to ENSO has been suggested to be nonlinear. Yet the overall linearity of the ENSO–TNA teleconnection via the two pathways remains unclear. Here we use reanalysis data to confirm that the SST anomaly (SSTA) in the TNA is nonlinear with respect to the strength of the SST forcing in the tropical Pacific, as further increases in El Niño magnitudes cease to create further increases of the TNA SSTA. We further show that the tropical pathway is more linear than the extratropical pathway by subdividing the interbasin connection into extratropical and tropical pathways. This is confirmed by a climate model participating in the CMIP5. The extratropical pathway is modulated by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the location of the SSTA in the Pacific, but this modulation insufficiently explains the nonlinearity in TNA SSTA. As neither extratropical nor tropical pathways can explain the nonlinearity, this suggests that external factors are at play. Further analysis shows that the TNA SSTA is highly influenced by the preconditioning of the tropical Atlantic SST. This preconditioning is found to be associated with the NAO through SST-tripole patterns.

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Daniela I. V. Domeisen
,
Gualtiero Badin
, and
Inga M. Koszalka

ABSTRACT

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) describe the dominant part of the variability in the Northern Hemisphere extratropical troposphere. Because of the strong connection of these patterns with surface climate, recent years have shown an increased interest and an increasing skill in forecasting them. However, it is unclear what the intrinsic limits of short-term predictability for the NAO and AO patterns are. This study compares the variability and predictability of both patterns, using a range of data and index computation methods for the daily NAO and AO indices. Small deviations from Gaussianity are found along with characteristic decorrelation time scales of around one week. In the analysis of the Lyapunov spectrum it is found that predictability is not significantly different between the AO and NAO or between reanalysis products. Differences exist, however, between the indices based on EOF analysis, which exhibit predictability time scales around 12–16 days, and the station-based indices, exhibiting a longer predictability of 18–20 days. Both of these time scales indicate predictability beyond that currently obtained in ensemble prediction models for short-term predictability. Additional longer-term predictability for these patterns may be gained through local feedbacks and remote forcing mechanisms for particular atmospheric conditions.

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Aditi Sheshadri
,
R. Alan Plumb
,
Erik A. Lindgren
, and
Daniela I. V. Domeisen

Abstract

Stratosphere–troposphere interactions are conventionally characterized using the first empirical orthogonal function (EOF) of fields such as zonal-mean zonal wind. Perpetual-winter integrations of an idealized model are used to contrast the vertical structures of EOFs with those of principal oscillation patterns (POPs; the modes of a linearized system governing the evolution of zonal flow anomalies). POP structures are shown to be insensitive to pressure weighting of the time series of interest, a factor that is particularly important for a deep system such as the stratosphere and troposphere. In contrast, EOFs change from being dominated by tropospheric variability with pressure weighting to being dominated by stratospheric variability without it. The analysis reveals separate tropospheric and stratospheric modes in model integrations that are set up to resemble midwinter variability of the troposphere and stratosphere in both hemispheres. Movies illustrating the time evolution of POP structures show the existence of a fast, propagating tropospheric mode in both integrations, and a pulsing stratospheric mode with a tropospheric extension in the Northern Hemisphere–like integration.

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Erik W. Kolstad
,
C. Ole Wulff
,
Daniela I. V. Domeisen
, and
Tim Woollings

Abstract

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the main driver of weather variability in parts of Eurasia, Greenland, North America, and North Africa on a range of time scales. Successful extended-range NAO predictions would equate to improved predictions of precipitation and temperature in these regions. It has become clear that the NAO is influenced by the stratosphere, but because this downward coupling is not fully reproduced by all forecast models the potential for improved NAO forecasts has not been fully realized. Here, an analysis of 21 winters of subseasonal forecast data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts monthly forecasting system is presented. By dividing the forecasts into clusters according to their errors in North Atlantic Ocean sea level pressure 15–30 days into the forecasts, we identify relationships between these errors and the state of the stratospheric polar vortex when the forecasts were initialized. A key finding is that the model overestimates the persistence of both the negative NAO response following a weak polar vortex and the positive NAO response following a strong polar vortex. A case in point is the sudden stratospheric warming in early 2019, which was followed by five consecutive weeks of an overestimation of the negative NAO regime. A consequence on the ground was temperature predictions for northern Europe that were too cold. Another important finding is that the model appears to misrepresent the gradual downward impact of stratospheric vortex anomalies. This result suggests that an improved representation and prediction of stratosphere–troposphere coupling in models might yield substantial benefits for extended-range weather forecasting in the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes.

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