The Southern Oscillation. Part II: Associations with Changes in the Middle Troposphere in the Northern Winter

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
  • | 2 Department of Geography, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210
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Abstract

We have investigated the relationship between the extremes of the Southern Oscillation and the following quantities at 700 mb in winter, 1948/1949 to 1978/1979: eddy transfer of sensible heat, temperature, geopotential height and geostrophic wind. In the phase of the Southern Oscillation when pressures are high over the tropical South Indian Ocean and low over the tropical South Pacific Ocean, in contrast with the opposite pressure distribution, the zonal mean poleward flux of sensible heat in the quasistationary waves tends to be higher in middle latitudes; the temperatures and heights tend to be lower between 30 and 60°N with the maximum difference at 45°N; the geostrophic wind tends to be stronger south of 45°N and weaker to the north; and the transfer of sensible heat by the transient waves tends to be stronger south of 45°S, and weaker to the north.

In this extreme of the Southern Oscillation the zonal mean geostrophic wind on both hemispheres is stronger in the subtropics and weaker at higher latitudes than in the other extreme when pressures are high over the tropical South Pacific and low in the tropical South Indian Ocean.

Abstract

We have investigated the relationship between the extremes of the Southern Oscillation and the following quantities at 700 mb in winter, 1948/1949 to 1978/1979: eddy transfer of sensible heat, temperature, geopotential height and geostrophic wind. In the phase of the Southern Oscillation when pressures are high over the tropical South Indian Ocean and low over the tropical South Pacific Ocean, in contrast with the opposite pressure distribution, the zonal mean poleward flux of sensible heat in the quasistationary waves tends to be higher in middle latitudes; the temperatures and heights tend to be lower between 30 and 60°N with the maximum difference at 45°N; the geostrophic wind tends to be stronger south of 45°N and weaker to the north; and the transfer of sensible heat by the transient waves tends to be stronger south of 45°S, and weaker to the north.

In this extreme of the Southern Oscillation the zonal mean geostrophic wind on both hemispheres is stronger in the subtropics and weaker at higher latitudes than in the other extreme when pressures are high over the tropical South Pacific and low in the tropical South Indian Ocean.

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