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Weather and Climate Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2019-13
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2019-13
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 16 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Weather and Climate Dynamics (WCD).

Subseasonal Midlatitude Prediction Skill Following QBO-MJO Activity

Kirsten J. Mayer and Elizabeth A. Barnes Kirsten J. Mayer and Elizabeth A. Barnes
  • Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Abstract. The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is known to force extratropical weather days-to-weeks following an MJO event through excitation of stationary Rossby waves, tropical-extratropical teleconnections. Prior research has demonstrated that this tropically forced midlatitude response leads to increased prediction skill on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales. Furthermore, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) has been shown to possibly alter these teleconnections through modulation of the MJO itself and the atmospheric basic state upon which the Rossby waves propagate. This implies that the MJO-QBO relationship may affect midlatitude circulation prediction skill on S2S timescales. In this study, we quantify midlatitude circulation sensitivity and prediction skill following active MJOs and QBOs across the Northern Hemisphere on S2S timescales through an examination of the 500 hPa geopotential height field. First, a comparison of the spatial distribution of Northern Hemisphere sensitivity to the MJO during different QBO phases is performed for ERA-Interim reanalysis and ECMWF and NCEP hindcasts. Secondly, differences in prediction skill in ECMWF and NCEP hindcasts are quantified following MJO-QBO activity. We find that regions across the Pacific, North America and the Atlantic exhibit increased prediction skill following MJO-QBO activity, but these regions are not always collocated with the locations most sensitive to the MJO under a particular QBO state. Both hindcast systems demonstrate enhanced prediction skill 7–14 days following active MJO events during strong QBO periods compared to MJO events during neutral QBO periods.

Kirsten J. Mayer and Elizabeth A. Barnes
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Status: open (until 02 Feb 2020)
Status: open (until 02 Feb 2020)
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Kirsten J. Mayer and Elizabeth A. Barnes
Kirsten J. Mayer and Elizabeth A. Barnes
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Short summary
Tropical storms are key for harnessing midlatitude weather prediction skill 2–8 weeks into the future. Recently, stratospheric activity was shown to impact tropical storminess, and thus, may also be important for midlatitude prediction skill on these timescales. This work analyzes two forecast systems to assess whether they capture this additional skill. We find there is enhanced prediction up through week 3 when both the tropical and stratospheric phenomena are active.
Tropical storms are key for harnessing midlatitude weather prediction skill 2–8 weeks into the...
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