Variability in the position and strength of winter jet stream cores related to northern hemisphere teleconnections
|Title||Variability in the position and strength of winter jet stream cores related to northern hemisphere teleconnections|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Strong C, Davis RE|
|Journal||Journal of Climate|
Numerous teleconnections have been identified based upon spatial variability in sea level pressure or lower-tropospheric geopotential height fields. These teleconnections, which are commonly strongest in winter when the mean meridional temperature gradient is large, typically are neither derived from nor linked to changes in the jet stream. Here, winter tropospheric jet stream cores over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) are recovered from 6-hourly gridded data and interannual variability in winter jet core position, speed, and pressure are investigated in the context of NH teleconnections. Common methods for researching jet stream speed and position variability may yield unrepresentative results because jet core pressure variability is ignored (only one isobaric surface is evaluated) or pressure variability effects are smoothed (values are vertically averaged across several isobaric surfaces). In this analysis, data are extracted at the surface of maximum wind, thus controlling for jet core pressure variability and allowing for a more representative tracking of three-dimensional jet core variations. In the extratropics, the leading pattern of variability in jet core frequency is correlated with the Arctic Oscillation index (AOI) and appears as an oscillation about the spiral-shaped mean configuration of the winter jet stream. In contrast to previous research, the authors find no evidence of Pacific jet deceleration during positive AOI. The second leading mode of variability appears as a split (merged) winter-mean jet stream in the east Pacific together with a merged (split) winter-mean jet stream over North America, a pattern of change that correlates with the Pacific-North American pattern and is reflected in the amplitude of the long-wave ridge over western North America.