The Modulation of the Subtropical and Extratropical Atmosphere in the Pacific Basin in Response to the Madden-Julian Oscillation
Moore, Richard W.
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The 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data are combined with a number of novel climatologies to conduct a comprehensive examination of the response of the subtropical and extratropical atmosphere over the Pacific basin to an evolving Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) event. The adopted approach constitutes a symbiosis of a climatological analysis during the Northern Hemisphere winter from 1979 to 2002 and a case study analysis of a distinct MJO event that occurred in January–February 1993. The former is designed to obtain the general characteristics observed during a composite MJO life cycle, while the latter is used to provide insight into the instantaneous mechanisms responsible for the observed composite evolution. A primary component of the study involves the diagnosis of anomalous wave breaking activity in response to MJO forcing in the form of tropical convection and/or upper-level divergence. Wave breaking events are separated by their characteristic life cycles: LC1 (anticyclonic) and LC2 (cyclonic) events. Statistically significant anomalies in wave breaking activity are found to be prevalent during the composite MJO event. Furthermore, the dynamical distinction between LC1 and LC2 wave breaking is useful in that the two different characteristic life cycles exhibit significantly different anomalous behavior during the MJO. Statistically significant variability is also identified in both the subtropical and extratropical flow and atmospheric blocking and surface cyclone frequency. These data, taken in conjunction with the observed evolution of the 1993 MJO event, provide a relatively coherent picture of the response of the atmosphere to MJO forcing. A schematic representation of the evolution is presented.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010MWR3194.1
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