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Numerical prediction of atmospheric blocking-A case study

Bengtsson, L. (1981) Numerical prediction of atmospheric blocking-A case study. Tellus, 33 (1). pp. 19-42. ISSN 0040-2826

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1981.tb01728.x


A series of numerical models have been used to investigate the predictability of atmospheric blocking for an episode selected from FGGE Special Observing Period I. Level II-b FGGE data have been used in the experiment. The blocking took place over the North Atlantic region and is a very characteristic example of high winter blocking. It is found that the very high resolution models developed at ECMWF, in a remarkable way manage to predict the blocking event in great detail, even beyond 1 week. Although models with much less resolution manage to predict the blocking phenomenon as such, the actual evolution differs very much from the observed and consequently the practical value is substantially reduced. Wind observations from the geostationary satellites are shown to have a substantial impact on the forecast beyond 5 days, as well as an extension of the integration domain to the whole globe. Quasi-geostrophic baroclinic models and, even more, barotropic models, are totally inadequate to predict blocking except in its initial phase. The prediction experiment illustrates clearly that efforts which have gone into the improvement of numerical prediction models in the last decades have been worth while.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:31692

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