The authors thank the NCCR for project financing, Meteoswiss for access to ERA-40 data, Cornelia Schwierz and Mischa Croci-Maspoli for access to their blocking climatology, Heini Wernli and Cornelia Schwierz for access to their surface cyclone climatology, Huw Davies for his advice and support, and the reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments.
Akahori, K., , and S. Yoden, 1997: Zonal flow vacillation and bimodality of baroclinic eddy life cycles in a simple global circulation model. J. Atmos. Sci., 54 , 2349–2361.
Altenhoff, A. M., , O. Martius, , M. Croci-Maspoli, , C. Schwierz, , and H. C. Davies, 2008: Linkage of atmospheric blocks and synoptic-scale Rossby waves: A climatological analysis. Tellus, 60 , 1053–1063.
Barlow, M., , A. Hoell, , and F. Colby, 2007: Examining the wintertime response to tropical convection over the Indian Ocean by modifying convective heating in a full atmospheric model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34 , L19702. doi:10.1029/2007GL030043.
Cassou, C., 2008: Intraseasonal interaction between the Madden–Julian Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Nature, 455 , 523–527. doi:10.1038/nature07286.
Croci-Maspoli, M., , and H. C. Davies, 2009: Key dynamical features of the 2005/06 European winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137 , 664–678.
Croci-Maspoli, M., , C. Schwierz, , and H. C. Davies, 2007: A multifaceted climatology of atmospheric blocking and its recent linear trend. Climate Dyn., 20 , 633–649.
Dole, R. M., , and N. D. Gordon, 1983: Persistent anomalies of the extratropical Northern Hemisphere wintertime circulation: Geographical distribution and regional persistence characteristics. Mon. Wea. Rev., 111 , 1567–1586.
Edmon, H. J., , B. J. Hoskins, , and M. E. McIntyre, 1980: Eliassen–Palm cross sections for the troposphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 37 , 2600–2616.
Esler, J. G., , and P. H. Haynes, 1999: Baroclinic wave breaking and the internal variability of the tropospheric circulation. J. Atmos. Sci., 56 , 4014–4031.
Ferranti, L., , T. N. Palmer, , F. Molteni, , and E. Klinker, 1990: Tropical–extratropical interaction associated with the 30–60 day oscillation and its impact on medium and extended range prediction. J. Atmos. Sci., 47 , 2177–2199.
Franzke, C., , S. Lee, , and S. B. Feldstein, 2004: Is the North Atlantic Oscillation a breaking wave? J. Atmos. Sci., 61 , 145–160.
Higgins, R. W., , and K. C. Mo, 1997: Presistent North Pacific circulation anomalies and the tropical intraseasonal oscillation. Climate Dyn., 10 , 223–244.
Hoskins, B. J., , I. N. James, , and G. H. White, 1983: The shape, propagation and mean-flow interaction of large-scale weather systems. J. Atmos. Sci., 40 , 1595–1612.
Hoskins, B. J., , M. E. McIntyre, , and A. W. Robertson, 1985: On the use and significance of isentropic potential vorticity maps. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 111 , 877–946.
Jin, F., , and B. J. Hoskins, 1995: The direct response to tropical heating in a baroclinic atmosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 52 , 307–319.
Kiladis, G. N., , and K. M. Weickmann, 1992: Circulation anomalies associated with tropical convection during northern winter. Mon. Wea. Rev., 120 , 1900–1923.
Knutson, T. R., , and K. M. Weickmann, 1987: 30–60 day atmospheric oscillations: Composite life cycles of convection and circulation anomalies. Mon. Wea. Rev., 115 , 1407–1436.
Liebmann, B., , and C. A. Smith, 1996: The description of a complete (interpolated) outgoing longwave radiation dataset. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77 , 1275–1277.
Lin, H., , and G. Brunet, 2009: The influence of the Madden–Julian oscillation on Canadian wintertime surface air temperature. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137 , 2250–2262.
Lupo, A. R., , and P. J. Smith, 1995: Planetary and synoptic-scale interactions during the life-cycle of a midlatitude blocking anticyclone over the North Atlantic. Tellus, 47 , 575–596.
Madden, R. A., , and P. R. Julian, 1972: Description of global-scale circulation cells in the tropics with a 40–50-day period. J. Atmos. Sci., 29 , 1109–1123.
Madden, R. A., , and P. R. Julian, 1994: Observations of the 40–50-day tropical oscillation—A review. Mon. Wea. Rev., 122 , 814–837.
Magnusdottir, G., , and P. H. Haynes, 1996: Wave activity diagnostics applied to baroclinic waves. J. Atmos. Sci., 53 , 2317–2353.
Martius, O., , C. Schwierz, , and H. C. Davies, 2007: Breaking waves at the tropopause in the wintertime Northern Hemisphere: Climatological analyses of the orientation and the theoretical LC1/2 classification. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 2576–2592.
Matthews, A. J., , and G. N. Kiladis, 1999a: Interactions between ENSO, transient circulation, and tropical convection over the Pacific. Climate Dyn., 12 , 3062–3086.
Matthews, A. J., , and G. N. Kiladis, 1999b: The tropical–extratropical interaction between high-frequency transients and the Madden–Julian oscillation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 127 , 661–677.
Matthews, A. J., , B. J. Hoskins, , and M. Masutani, 2004: The global response to tropical heating in the Madden–Julian oscillation during the northern winter. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 130 , 1991–2011.
Mori, M., , and M. Watanabe, 2008: The growth and triggering mechanism of the PNA: A MJO–PNA coherence. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 86 , 213–236.
Rex, D., 1950: Blocking action in the middle troposphere and its effect upon regional climate. I: An aerological study of blocking. Tellus, 2 , 169–211.
Riviere, G., 2009: Effect of latitudinal variations in low-level baroclinicity on eddy life cycles and upper-tropospheric wave-breaking processes. J. Atmos. Sci., 66 , 1569–1592.
Riviere, G., , and I. Orlanski, 2007: Characteristics of the Atlantic storm-track eddy activity and its relation with the North Atlantic Oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 241–266.
Scherrer, S. C., , M. Croci-Maspoli, , C. Schwierz, , and C. Appenzeller, 2006: Two-dimensional indices of atmospheric blocking and their statistical relationship with winter climate patterns in the Euro-Atlantic region. Int. J. Climatol., 26 , 233–249.
Schubert, S. D., , and C. Park, 1991: Low-frequency intraseasonal tropical–extratropical interactions. J. Atmos. Sci., 48 , 629–650.
Schwierz, C., , M. Croci-Maspoli, , and H. C. Davies, 2004: Perspicacious indicators of atmospheric blocking. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31 , L06125. doi:10.1029/2003GL019341.
Shutts, G. J., 1983: The propagation of eddies in diffluent jetstreams: Eddy vorticity forcing of ‘blocking’ flow fields. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 109 , 737–761.
Simmons, A. J., 1982: The forcing of stationary wave motion by tropical diabatic heating. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 108 , 503–534.
Simmons, A. J., , J. M. Wallace, , and G. W. Branstator, 1983: Barotropic wave propagation and instability, and atmospheric teleconnection patters. J. Atmos. Sci., 40 , 1363–1392.
Swanson, K. L., 2000: Stationary wave accumulation and the generation of low-frequency variability on zonally varying flows. J. Atmos. Sci., 57 , 2262–2280.
Thorncroft, C. D., , B. J. Hoskins, , and M. J. McIntyre, 1993: Two paradigms of baroclinic-wave life-cycle behavior. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 119 , 17–55.
Vallis, G., , and E. Gerber, 2008: Local and hemispheric dynamics of the North Atlantic oscillation, annular patterns and the zonal index. Dyn. Atmos. Oceans, 44 , 184–212.
Waliser, D. E., , K. M. Lau, , W. Stern, , and C. Jones, 2003: Potential predictability of the Madden–Julian oscillation. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84 , 33–50.
Wernli, H., , and C. Schwierz, 2006: Surface cyclones in the ERA-40 dataset (1958–2001). Part I: Novel identification method and global climatology. J. Atmos. Sci., 63 , 2486–2507.
Wernli, H., , and M. Sprenger, 2007: Identification and ERA-15 climatology of potential vorticity streamers and cutoffs near the extratropical tropopause. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 1569–1602.
Woollings, T., , B. Hoskins, , M. Blackburn, , and P. Berrisford, 2008: A new Rossby wave breaking interpretation of the North Atlantic Oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 65 , 609–626.
Yang, S., , and P. J. Webster, 1990: The effect of summer tropical heating on the location and intensity of the extratropical westerly jet. J. Geophys. Res., 95 , 18705–18721.