Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Research article 09 Mar 2021
Research article | 09 Mar 2021
A global climatological perspective on the importance of Rossby wave breaking and intense moisture transport for extreme precipitation events
Andries Jan de Vries
Related subject area
Dynamical processes in midlatitudesObservations and simulation of intense convection embedded in a warm conveyor belt – how ambient vertical wind shear determines the dynamical impactThe storm-track suppression over the western North Pacific from a cyclone life-cycle perspectiveMid-level convection in a warm conveyor belt accelerates the jet streamThe role of heat-flux–temperature covariance in the evolution of weather systemsOrganization of convective ascents in a warm conveyor beltVertical cloud structure of warm conveyor belts – a comparison and evaluation of ERA5 reanalysis, CloudSat and CALIPSO dataTropopause-level planetary wave source and its role in two-way troposphere–stratosphere couplingA process-based anatomy of Mediterranean cyclones: From baroclinic lows to tropical-like systemsHow Well do Models Represent the Development of Extra-Tropical Cyclones? Evaluation of Two General Circulation Models Against NAWDEX IOP 6 ObservationsThe life cycle of upper-level troughs and ridges: a novel detection method, climatologies and Lagrangian characteristicsThe sensitivity of atmospheric blocking to upstream latent heating – numerical experimentsA regime view of future atmospheric circulation changes in Northern mid-latitudesThe role of large-scale dynamics in an exceptional sequence of severe thunderstorms in Europe May–June 2018Atmospheric blocking in an aquaplanet and the impact of orographyNorthern Hemisphere blocking simulation in current climate models: evaluating progress from the Climate Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 to 6 and sensitivity to resolutionInfluence of ENSO on North American subseasonal surface air temperature variabilityA Lagrangian analysis of upper-tropospheric anticyclones associated with heat waves in EuropeFront–orography interactions during landfall of the 1992 New Year's Day StormPotential vorticity structure of embedded convection in a warm conveyor belt and its relevance for large-scale dynamicsWaveguidability of idealized midlatitude jets and the limitations of ray tracing theoryIdealised simulations of cyclones with robust symmetrically unstable sting jetsThe characteristics and structure of extra-tropical cyclones in a warmer climate
Annika Oertel, Michael Sprenger, Hanna Joos, Maxi Boettcher, Heike Konow, Martin Hagen, and Heini Wernli
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 89–110,Short summary
Convection embedded in the stratiform cloud band of strongly ascending airstreams in extratropical cyclones (so-called warm conveyor belts) can influence not only surface precipitation but also the upper-tropospheric potential vorticity (PV) and waveguide. The comparison of intense vs. moderate embedded convection shows that its strength alone is not a reliable measure for upper-tropospheric PV modification. Instead, characteristics of the ambient flow co-determine its dynamical significance.
Sebastian Schemm, Heini Wernli, and Hanin Binder
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 55–69,Short summary
North Pacific cyclone intensities are reduced in winter, which is in contrast to North Atlantic cyclones and unexpected from the high available growth potential in winter. We investigate this intensity suppression from a cyclone life-cycle perspective and show that in winter Kuroshio cyclones propagate away from the region where they can grow more quickly, East China Sea cyclones are not relevant before spring, and Kamchatka cyclones grow in a region of reduced growth potential.
Nicolas Blanchard, Florian Pantillon, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, and Julien Delanoë
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 37–53,Short summary
Rare aircraft observations in the warm conveyor belt outflow associated with an extratropical cyclone are complemented with convection-permitting simulations. They reveal a complex tropopause structure with two jet stream cores, from which one is reinforced by bands of negative potential vorticity. They show that negative potential vorticity takes its origin in mid-level convection, which indirectly accelerates the jet stream and, thus, may influence the downstream large-scale circulation.
Andrea Marcheggiani and Maarten H. P. Ambaum
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 701–713,Short summary
In this paper, we investigate air–sea interaction by looking at the relationship between spatial variability in surface heat flux and air temperature. We observe that their interaction characterises different stages of storm evolution, thus providing a new perspective on the role played by air–sea heat exchange.
Nicolas Blanchard, Florian Pantillon, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, and Julien Delanoë
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 617–634,Short summary
The study presents the first results from the airborne RASTA observations measured during the North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX). Our combined Eulerian–Lagrangian analysis found three types of organized convection (frontal, banded and mid-level) in the warm conveyor belt (WCB) of the Stalactite cyclone. The results emphasize that convection embedded in WCBs occurs in a coherent and organized manner rather than as isolated cells.
Hanin Binder, Maxi Boettcher, Hanna Joos, Michael Sprenger, and Heini Wernli
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 577–595,Short summary
Warm conveyor belts (WCBs) are important cloud- and precipitation-producing airstreams in extratropical cyclones. By combining satellite observations with model data from a new reanalysis dataset, this study provides detailed observational insight into the vertical cloud structure of WCBs. We find that the reanalyses essentially capture the observed cloud pattern, but the observations reveal mesoscale structures not resolved by the temporally and spatially much coarser-resolution model data.
Lina Boljka and Thomas Birner
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 555–575,Short summary
This study addresses the origin and impacts of a source of large-scale atmospheric waves in the lower stratosphere, which have not been examined before. This wave source is caused by interactions of waves of smaller scales. Here we show that as it lies in the lower stratosphere, this wave source can precede extreme events in the stratosphere and that such events can then lead to a response of the tropospheric weather patterns several weeks later (potential for long-term forecasting).
Emmanouil Flaounas, Suzanne L. Gray, and Franziska Teubler
Weather Clim. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for WCD
David L. A. Flack, Gwendal Rivière, Ionela Musat, Romain Roehrig, Sandrine Bony, Julien Delanoë, Quitterie Cazenave, and Jacques Pelon
Weather Clim. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for WCDShort summary
The representation of an extratropical cyclone in simulations of two climate models is studied by comparing them to observations of the international field campaign NAWDEX. We show that the current resolution used to run climate model projections (more than 100 km) is not enough to represent the cyclone life cycle accurately but the use of 50 km resolution is good enough. Despite these encouraging results cloud properties (partitioning liquid/solid) are found to be far from the observations.
Sebastian Schemm, Stefan Rüdisühli, and Michael Sprenger
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 459–479,Short summary
Troughs and ridges are ubiquitous flow features in the upper troposphere and are centerpiece elements of weather and climate research. A novel method is introduced to identify and track the life cycle of troughs and ridges and their orientation. The aim is to close the existing gap between methods that detect the initiation phase and methods that detect the decaying phase of Rossby wave development. Global climatologies, the influence of ENSO and Lagrangian characteristics are discussed.
Daniel Steinfeld, Maxi Boettcher, Richard Forbes, and Stephan Pfahl
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 405–426,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.
Federico Fabiano, Virna Meccia, Paolo Davini, Paolo Ghinassi, and Susanna Corti
Weather Clim. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for WCDShort summary
Global warming not only affects the mean state of the climate (i.e. a warmer world) but also its variability. Here we analyze a set of future climate scenarios and show how some configurations of the atmospheric flow will become more frequent and persistent in the future, under continued greenhouse forcing. For example, over Europe models predict an increase of the NAO+ regime, which drives intense precipitation in Northern Europe and the British Isles, and dry conditions over the Mediterranean.
Susanna Mohr, Jannik Wilhelm, Jan Wandel, Michael Kunz, Raphael Portmann, Heinz Jürgen Punge, Manuel Schmidberger, Julian F. Quinting, and Christian M. Grams
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 325–348,Short summary
We investigated an exceptional thunderstorm episode in 2018, in which atmospheric blocking provided large-scale environmental conditions favouring convection. Furthermore, blocking was accompanied by a high cut-off frequency on its upstream side, which together with filaments of high PV provided the mesoscale setting for deep moist convection. The exceptional persistence of low stability combined with weak wind speed in the mid-troposphere over more than 3 weeks has never been observed before.
Veeshan Narinesingh, James F. Booth, Spencer K. Clark, and Yi Ming
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 293–311,Short summary
This work investigates the influence of orography on atmospheric blocking dynamics, spatial frequency, and duration. Using an idealized model, a landless integration and integrations with mountains are analyzed. The dynamical evolution of blocking in the idealized model is found to be similar to reanalysis. Orography is found to significantly increase blocking and anchors where blocks most likely occur (i.e., just upstream from mountains and near storm track exits).
Reinhard Schiemann, Panos Athanasiadis, David Barriopedro, Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Katja Lohmann, Malcolm J. Roberts, Dmitry V. Sein, Christopher D. Roberts, Laurent Terray, and Pier Luigi Vidale
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 277–292,Short summary
In blocking situations the westerly atmospheric flow in the midlatitudes is blocked by near-stationary high-pressure systems. Blocking can be associated with extremes such as cold spells and heat waves. Climate models are known to underestimate blocking occurrence. Here, we assess the latest generation of models and find improvements in simulated blocking, partly due to increases in model resolution. These new models are therefore more suitable for studying climate extremes related to blocking.
Patrick Martineau, Hisashi Nakamura, and Yu Kosaka
Weather Clim. Dynam. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for WCDShort summary
To understand better the factors that impact the weather in North America, this study explores the influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation on wintertime surface air temperature variability using reanalysis data. Results show that La Niña enhances subseasonal variability over western North America by amplifying the baroclinic conversion of energy from the winter-mean circulation to subseasonal eddies. Changes in the vertical structure of these eddies are crucial for this amplification.
Philipp Zschenderlein, Stephan Pfahl, Heini Wernli, and Andreas H. Fink
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 191–206,Short summary
We analyse the formation of upper-tropospheric anticyclones connected to European surface heat waves. Tracing air masses backwards from these anticyclones, we found that trajectories are diabatically heated in two branches, either by North Atlantic cyclones or by convection closer to the heat wave anticyclone. The first branch primarily affects the onset of the anticyclone, while the second branch is more relevant for the maintenance. Our results are relevant for heat wave predictions.
Clemens Spensberger and Sebastian Schemm
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 175–189,Short summary
In this paper, we take a second look at the development of an intense storm that made landfall in Norway a few hours into the new year of 1992, focussing on the effect of the Scandinavian mountains on the storm. We find that the cyclone core evolves largely unaffected, although both the warm and the cold fronts decay rapidly while passing over the mountains. This result suggests that the fronts of a cyclone can become detached from their cyclone core as part of the cyclone’s occlusion process.
Annika Oertel, Maxi Boettcher, Hanna Joos, Michael Sprenger, and Heini Wernli
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 127–153,Short summary
Warm conveyor belts (WCBs) are important, mainly stratiform cloud forming airstreams in extratropical cyclones that can include embedded convection. This WCB case study systematically compares the characteristics of convective vs. slantwise ascent of the WCB. We find that embedded convection leads to regions of significantly stronger precipitation. Moreover, it strongly modifies the potential vorticity distribution in the lower and upper troposphere, where its also influences the waveguide.
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 111–125,Short summary
This paper investigates the waveguidability of midlatitude jets, i.e., their ability to duct Rossby waves in the zonal direction. Waveguidability is quantified in the framework of an idealized numerical model and compared with the predictions from two complementary theoretical concepts. It is found that the concept of ray tracing, which has been used extensively in the past, does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the numerical results. Further analysis uncovers the underlying reasons.
Ambrogio Volonté, Peter A. Clark, and Suzanne L. Gray
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 63–91,Short summary
Sting jets (SJs) can lead to strong surface winds by descending into the frontal-fracture region of intense extratropical cyclones. In this study we look at idealised simulations of SJ-containing cyclones produced using an improved initial state and a wide set of sensitivity experiments. The results clarify the role of dry instabilities in SJ dynamics and evolution, supporting a recent conceptual model. The simulations also highlight the robustness of SJ occurrence in these intense cyclones.
Victoria A. Sinclair, Mika Rantanen, Päivi Haapanala, Jouni Räisänen, and Heikki Järvinen
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 1–25,Short summary
We studied how mid-latitude cyclones are likely to change in the future. We used a state-of-the-art numerical model and performed a control and a
warmexperiment. The total number of cyclones did not change with warming and neither did the average strength, but there were more stronger and more weaker storms in the warm experiment. Precipitation associated with the most extreme mid-latitude cyclones increased by up to 50 % and occurred in a more poleward location in the warmer experiment.
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Heavy rainfall can cause dramatic societal impacts. This paper presents the first global study on the role of Rossby wave breaking and intense moisture transport for extreme precipitation events. Several catastrophic flood events demonstrate the importance of these two processes, complemented by a detailed climatological analysis. These findings present a new perspective on the meteorology of extreme precipitation events with implications for their prediction and studies on their future changes.
Heavy rainfall can cause dramatic societal impacts. This paper presents the first global study...