skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Rossby Wave Breaking and Transient Eddy Forcing during Euro-Atlantic Circulation Regimes

Abstract

Here, the occurrence of boreal winter Rossby wave breaking (RWB) along with the quantitative role of synoptic transient eddy momentum and heat fluxes directly associated with RWB are examined during the development of Euro-Atlantic circulation regimes using ERA-Interim. Results are compared to those from seasonal reforecasts made using the Integrated Forecast System model of ECWMF coupled to the NEMO ocean model. The development of both Scandinavian blocking and the Atlantic ridge is directly coincident with anticyclonic wave breaking (AWB); nevertheless, the associated transient eddy fluxes do not contribute to (and, in fact, oppose) ridge growth, as indicated by the local Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux divergence. Evidently, other factors drive development, and it appears that wave breaking assists more with ridge decay. The growth of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in its positive phase is independent of RWB in the western Atlantic but strongly linked to AWB farther downstream. During AWB, the equatorward flux of cold air at upper levels contributes to a westerly tendency just as much as the poleward flux of momentum. The growth of the negative phase of the NAO is almost entirely related to cyclonic wave breaking (CWB), during which equatorward momentum flux dominates at jet level, yetmore » low-level heat fluxes dominate below. The reforecasts yield realistic frequencies of CWB and AWB during different regimes, as well as realistic estimates of their roles during development. Yet, a slightly weaker role of RWB is simulated, generally consistent with a weaker anomalous circulation.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1356456
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1536992
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012599
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 74; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-4928
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Blocking; Wave breaking; North Atlantic Oscillation; Storm tracks; Synoptic-scale processes; Climate models

Citation Formats

Swenson, Erik T., and Straus, David M. Rossby Wave Breaking and Transient Eddy Forcing during Euro-Atlantic Circulation Regimes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/jas-d-16-0263.1.
Swenson, Erik T., & Straus, David M. Rossby Wave Breaking and Transient Eddy Forcing during Euro-Atlantic Circulation Regimes. United States. doi:10.1175/jas-d-16-0263.1.
Swenson, Erik T., and Straus, David M. Wed . "Rossby Wave Breaking and Transient Eddy Forcing during Euro-Atlantic Circulation Regimes". United States. doi:10.1175/jas-d-16-0263.1.
@article{osti_1356456,
title = {Rossby Wave Breaking and Transient Eddy Forcing during Euro-Atlantic Circulation Regimes},
author = {Swenson, Erik T. and Straus, David M.},
abstractNote = {Here, the occurrence of boreal winter Rossby wave breaking (RWB) along with the quantitative role of synoptic transient eddy momentum and heat fluxes directly associated with RWB are examined during the development of Euro-Atlantic circulation regimes using ERA-Interim. Results are compared to those from seasonal reforecasts made using the Integrated Forecast System model of ECWMF coupled to the NEMO ocean model. The development of both Scandinavian blocking and the Atlantic ridge is directly coincident with anticyclonic wave breaking (AWB); nevertheless, the associated transient eddy fluxes do not contribute to (and, in fact, oppose) ridge growth, as indicated by the local Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux divergence. Evidently, other factors drive development, and it appears that wave breaking assists more with ridge decay. The growth of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in its positive phase is independent of RWB in the western Atlantic but strongly linked to AWB farther downstream. During AWB, the equatorward flux of cold air at upper levels contributes to a westerly tendency just as much as the poleward flux of momentum. The growth of the negative phase of the NAO is almost entirely related to cyclonic wave breaking (CWB), during which equatorward momentum flux dominates at jet level, yet low-level heat fluxes dominate below. The reforecasts yield realistic frequencies of CWB and AWB during different regimes, as well as realistic estimates of their roles during development. Yet, a slightly weaker role of RWB is simulated, generally consistent with a weaker anomalous circulation.},
doi = {10.1175/jas-d-16-0263.1},
journal = {Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences},
number = 6,
volume = 74,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1175/jas-d-16-0263.1

Save / Share: