Mountain torques and atmospheric oscillations

Lott, François; Robertson, Andrew W.; Ghil, Michael

Theoretical work and general circulation model (GCM) experiments suggest that the midlatitude jet stream's interaction with large‐scale topography can drive intraseasonal oscillations in large‐scale atmospheric circulation patterns. In support of this theory, we present new observational evidence that mountain‐induced torques play a key role in 15–30‐day oscillations of the Northern Hemisphere circulation's dominant patterns. The affected patterns include the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the Pacific‐North‐American (PNA) pattern. Positive torques both accelerate and anticipate the midlatitude westerly winds at these periodicities. Moreover, torque anomalies anticipate the onsets of weather regimes over the Pacific, as well as the break‐ups of hemispheric‐scale regimes.

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Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
August 14, 2012