Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Extratropical signature of the quasi-biennial oscillation

Authors


Abstract

[1] Using the assimilated data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis, we show that the extratropical signature of the tropical quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is seen mostly in the North Annular Mode (NAM) of atmospheric variability. To understand the extratropical manifestation of the QBO, we discuss two effects that have been suggested earlier: (1) The extratropical circulation is driven by the QBO modulation of the planetary wave flux, and (2) the extratropical circulation is driven by the QBO-induced meridional circulation. We found that the first effect is seen in wave 1 in the beginning of winter and in wave 2 in the end of winter. The QBO-induced circulation affects midlatitude regions over the entire winter. To investigate the QBO-NAM coupling, we use an equation that relates the stream function of the meridional circulation and the polar cap averaged temperature, which is a proxy for the NAM index. In addition to the annual Ωa and the QBO frequency ΩQ the spectrum of its solutions indicates the satellite frequencies at Ωa ± ΩQ.

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