AbstractTwo-way coupling between sea surface temperature (SST) variations in the midlatitude southern oceans and changes of synoptic-scale (2–8 day) eddy activities in the lower and upper troposphere throughout the year is investigated based on lagged maximum covariance analysis using reanalysis datasets from 1951 to 2000. Results show a strong seasonal dependence of the coupling, as characterized by the most prominent one in austral midsummer (January). On one hand, SST variations in austral late spring (primarily October) are likely to influence storm tracks in the following January. That is, significant warm SST anomalies in the western midlatitude areas of South Atlantic and south Indian Ocean could result in the systematic strengthening of the low-level and upper-level eddy activities, which is presumably attributed to the coherent intensification of the SST front and the lower-tropospheric baroclinicity. Particularly, interannual variability (a spectral peak at 4 yr) of SST in the western midlatitude South Atlantic in October could play a predominant role in driving the corresponding variability of the Southern Hemisphere storm tracks three months later. The timing of the discernible response of storm tracks is also discussed based on the preliminary results of sensitivity experiments. On the other hand, the strengthened eddy activities in January continue to induce the dipolelike patterns of SST anomalies in the midlatitude southern oceans. Those SST response patterns are, to the first order, determined by changes of the net surface heat flux. The anomalous Ekman advections in part driven by the storm-track changes also contribute to SST anomalies in the southern subtropical South Atlantic and the western midlatitude South Pacific.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 27, 2018
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