Linking Siberian Snow Cover to Precursors of Stratospheric Variability
Author(s)Cohen, Judah; Furtado, Jason C.; Jones, Justin; Barlow, Mathew; Whittleston, David; Entekhabi, Dara; ... Show more Show less
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Previous research has linked wintertime Arctic Oscillation (AO) variability to indices of Siberian snow cover and upward wave activity flux in the preceding fall season. Here, daily data are used to examine the surface and tropospheric processes that occur as the link between snow cover and upward forcing into the stratosphere develops. October Eurasian mean snow cover is found to be significantly related to sea level pressure (SLP) and to lower-stratosphere (100 hPa) meridional heat flux. Analysis of daily SLP and 100-hPa heat flux shows that in years with high October snow, the SLP is significantly higher from approximately 1 November to 15 December, and the 100-hPa heat flux is significantly increased with a two-week lag, from approximately 15 November to 31 December. During November–December, there are periods with upward wave activity flux extending coherently from the surface to the stratosphere, and these events occur nearly twice as often in high snow years compared to low snow years. The vertical structure of these events is a westward-tilting pattern of high eddy heights, with the largest normalized anomalies near the surface in the same region as the snow and SLP changes. These results suggest that high SLP develops in response to the snow cover and this higher pressure, in turn, provides part of the structure of a surface-to-stratosphere wave activity flux event, thus making full events more likely. Implications for improved winter forecasts exist through recognition of these precursor signals.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Journal of Climate
American Meteorological Society
Cohen, Judah, Jason C. Furtado, Justin Jones, Mathew Barlow, David Whittleston, and Dara Entekhabi. “Linking Siberian Snow Cover to Precursors of Stratospheric Variability.” J. Climate 27, no. 14 (July 2014): 5422–5432. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.
Final published version