The impact of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on high-latitude winter blocking during El Niño-Southern Oscillation Events
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The impact of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on high-latitude winter blocking during El Niño-Southern Oscillation Events

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Climate
  • Description:
    Wintertime high-latitude blocking is associated with persistent changes in temperature and precipitation over much of the Northern Hemisphere. Studies have shown that the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), the primary form of intraseasonal tropical variability, significantly modulates the frequency of high-latitude blocking through large-scale Rossby waves that alter the global circulation. However, the characteristics of MJO teleconnections are altered by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which modifies the global flow on interannual time scales, suggesting that the MJO influence on blocking may depend on the ENSO phase. The characteristics of MJO Rossby waves and blocking during ENSO events are examined using composite analysis and a nonlinear baroclinic model. The ENSO phase-dependent teleconnection patterns are found to significantly impact Pacific and Atlantic high-latitude blocking. During El Niño, a significant persistent increase in Pacific and Atlantic blocking follows the real-time multivariate MJO (RMM) phase 7, characterized by anomalous enhanced tropical convection over the East Indian Ocean and suppressed west Pacific convection. The maximum Atlantic blocking increase is triple the climatological winter mean. Results suggest that the MJO provides the initial dipole anomaly associated with the Atlantic blocking increase, and transient eddy activity aids in its persistence. However, during La Niña significant blocking anomalies are primarily observed during the first half of an MJO event. Significant suppression of Pacific and Atlantic blocking follows RMM phase 3, when east Indian Ocean MJO convection is suppressed and west Pacific convection is enhanced. The physical basis for these results is explained.
  • Source:
    J. Clim. (2018) 31(13): 5293–5318
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