AbstractIn boreal winter, the cold air mass (CAM) flux of air with a potential temperature below 280 K forms climatological mean CAM streams in East Asia and North America (NA). This study diagnoses the interannual variability of the NA stream by an analysis of the CAM flux across 60°N between Greenland and the Rocky Mountains. The first Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) represents the variations in intensity of the NA stream. When the first principal component (PC1) is highly positive, the central part of the NA stream is intensified, with cold anomalies east of the Rocky Mountains. At the same time, a stratospheric polar vortex tends to split or displace towards NA. PC1 is highly correlated with the Tropical Northern Hemisphere pattern, implying that this pattern is associated with the intensity of the NA stream. The second EOF shows a longitudinal shift of the NA stream toward Greenland or the Rocky Mountains. A highly negative PC2 results in a cold anomaly from western Canada to the Midwestern United States and anomalous heavy snowfall in the northeastern United States. PC2 is positively correlated with the Arctic Oscillation, which suggest that the longitudinal position of the NA stream varies with the Arctic Oscillation. These results illustrate how the intensity and location of cold air outbreaks vary with large-scale modes of atmospheric variability, with corresponding implications for the predictability of winter severity in NA.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 7, 2017
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