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The roles of static stability and tropical – extratropical interactions in the summer interannual variability of the North Atlantic sector

Mbengue, C. O., Woollings, T., Dacre, H. F. and Hodges, K. I. (2019) The roles of static stability and tropical – extratropical interactions in the summer interannual variability of the North Atlantic sector. Climate Dynamics, 52 (3-4). pp. 1299-1315. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-018-4192-5

Abstract/Summary

Summer seasonal forecast skill in the North Atlantic sector is lower than winter skill. To identify potential controls on predictability, the sensitivity of North Atlantic baroclinicity to atmospheric drivers is quantified. Using ERA-INTERIM reanalysis data, North Atlantic storm-track baroclinicity is shown to be less sensitive to meridional temperature-gradient variability in summer. Static stability shapes the sector’s interannual variability by modulating the sensitivity of baroclinicity to variations in meridional temperature gradients and tropopause height and by modifying the baroclinicity itself. High static stability anomalies at upper levels result in more zonal extratropical cyclone tracks and higher eddy kinetic energy over the British Isles in the summertime. These static stability anomalies are not strongly related to the summer NAO; but they are correlated with the suppression of convection over the tropical Atlantic and with a poleward-shifted subtropical jet. These results suggest a non-local driver of North Atlantic variability. Furthermore, they imply that improved representations of convection over the south-eastern part of North America and the tropical Atlantic might improve summer seasonal forecast skill.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:76412
Publisher:Springer

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