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The zonal asymmetry of the Southern Hemisphere storm-track

Inatsu, M. and Hoskins, B.J. (2004) The zonal asymmetry of the Southern Hemisphere storm-track. Journal Of Climate, 17. pp. 4882-4891. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-3232.1

Abstract/Summary

Atmospheric general circulation model experiments have been performed to investigate how the significant zonal asymmetry in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) winter storm track is forced by sea surface temperature (SST) and orography. An experiment with zonally symmetric tropical SSTs expands the SH upper-tropospheric storm track poleward and eastward and destroys its spiral structure. Diagnosis suggests that these aspects of the observed storm track result from Rossby wave propagation from a wave source in the Indian Ocean region associated with the monsoon there. The lower-tropospheric storm track is not sensitive to this forcing. However, an experiment with zonally symmetric midlatitude SSTs exhibits a marked reduction in the magnitude of the maximum intensity of the lower-tropospheric storm track associated with reduced SST gradients in the western Indian Ocean. Experiments without the elevation of the South African Plateau or the Andes show reductions in the intensity of the major storm track downstream of them due to reduced cyclogenesis associated with the topography. These results suggest that the zonal asymmetry of the SH winter storm track is mainly established by stationary waves excited by zonal asymmetry in tropical SST in the upper troposphere and by local SST gradients in the lower troposphere, and that it is modified through cyclogenesis associated with the topography of South Africa and South America.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:5138
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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