AbstractPersistent weather regimes in daily North Atlantic–European winter mean sea level pressure (MSLP) fields from the 140-yr Twentieth Century Reanalysis are investigated. The phase space is divided into discrete cells based on quantiles of empirical orthogonal function (EOF) principal components; the cells are thus approximately equally populated. An estimate of persistence is provided in terms of the number of different cells visited for a given trajectory duration. This technique is also applied to the well-known Lorenz63 system, which clearly exhibits two regimes, and the more complex Lorenz96 system where the regime structure is less pronounced. While the analysis identifies the two regimes of both the Lorenz63 and Lorenz96 systems, evidence for comparable regimes in the MSLP data is weaker. Recurrent weather regimes produced by k-means clustering might be expected to be clearly linked to slower-moving regions of phase space, but this is shown not to be the case. Only the region of phase space associated with the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) shows any regime-like behavior. Nevertheless, the analysis does reveal some structure to the time evolution of the atmospheric circulation—transitions between neighboring pairs of cells show a preferred direction of evolution in many cases.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 21, 2017
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