Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
Research article
24 Aug 2020
Research article |  | 24 Aug 2020

The sensitivity of atmospheric blocking to upstream latent heating – numerical experiments

Daniel Steinfeld, Maxi Boettcher, Richard Forbes, and Stephan Pfahl

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Cited articles

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Altenhoff, A. M., Martius, O., Croci-Maspoli, M., Schwierz, C., and Davies, H. C.: Linkage of atmospheric blocks and synoptic-scale Rossby waves: a climatological analysis, Tellus A, 60, 1053–1063,, 2008. a, b
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Attinger, R., Spreitzer, E., Boettcher, M., Forbes, R., Wernli, H., and Joos, H.: Quantifying the role of individual diabatic processes for the formation of PV anomalies in a North Pacific cyclone, Q. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 145, 2454–2476,, 2019. a, b
Short summary
The effect of latent heating on atmospheric blocking is investigated using numerical sensitivity experiments. The modification of latent heating in the upstream cyclone has substantial effects on the upper-tropospheric circulation, demonstrating that some blocking systems do not develop at all without upstream latent heating. The results highlight the importance of moist-diabatic processes for the dynamics of prolonged anticyclonic circulation anomalies.