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Daily to decadal modulation of jet variability

Woollings, T., Barnes, E., Hoskins, B., Kwon, Y.-O., Lee, R. W., Li, C., Madonna, E., McGraw, M., Parker, T., Rodrigues, R., Spensberger, C. and Williams, K. (2018) Daily to decadal modulation of jet variability. Journal of Climate, 31 (4). pp. 1297-1314. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0286.1

Abstract/Summary

The variance of a jet’s position in latitude is found to be related to its average speed: when a jet becomes stronger its variability in latitude decreases. This relationship is shown to hold for observed midlatitude jets around the world and also across a hierarchy of numerical models. North Atlantic jet variability is shown to be modulated on decadal timescales, with decades of a strong, steady jet being interspersed with decades of a weak, variable jet. These modulations are also related to variations in the basin-wide occurrence of high-impact blocking events. A picture emerges of complex multidecadal jet variability in which recent decades do not appear unusual. We propose an underlying barotropic mechanism to explain this behaviour, related to the change in refractive properties of a jet as it strengthens, and the subsequent effect on the distribution of Rossby wave breaking.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:73647
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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