Mechanism of the wintertime Aleutian Low–Icelandic Low seesaw

Authors

  • Jie Sun,

    1. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
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  • Benkui Tan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
    • Corresponding author: B. Tan, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. (bktan@pku.edu.cn)

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  • The copyright line for this article was changed on 23 MAR 2015 after original online publication.

Abstract

[1] The driving mechanism for the wintertime (December–March) Aleutian Low–Icelandic Low (AL-IL) seesaw is investigated with National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis data for 1948–2009. It is shown that the AL and the IL are dynamically linked through the eastern Pacific wave train (EPW) and that both the EPWs and the stratospheric polar vortex are found to work cooperatively to produce a significant AL-IL seesaw. In general, it is found that wave reflection by the polar vortex is crucial for the formation of the AL-IL seesaw. However, when the EPWs are extremely strong, the AL-IL seesaw appears to be caused primarily by horizontal wave propagation. It is further shown that the Pacific center of the traditional Arctic Oscillation pattern is present when the AL-IL seesaw is active, but it disappears when the AL-IL seesaw is absent.

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