Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-23
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-23

  17 May 2021

17 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Interaction between Atlantic cyclones and Eurasian atmospheric blocking drives warm extremes in the high Arctic

Sonja Murto1, Rodrigo Caballero1, Gunilla Svensson1, and Lukas Papritz2 Sonja Murto et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. Atmospheric blocking can influence Arctic weather by diverting the mean westerly flow polewards, bringing warm, moist air to high latitudes. Recent studies have shown that diabatic heating processes in the ascending warm conveyor belt branch of extratropical cyclones are relevant to blocking dynamics. This leads to the question of the extent to which diabatic heating associated with midlatitude cyclones may influence high-latitude blocking and drive Arctic warm events. In this study we investigate the dynamics behind 50 extreme warm events of wintertime high Arctic temperature anomalies. Classifying the warm events based on blocking occurrence within three selected sectors, we find that 30 of these events are associated with a block over the Urals, featuring negative upper-level PV anomalies over central Siberia north of the Ural Mountains. Lagrangian back-trajectory calculations show that almost 60 % of the air parcels making up these negative PV anomalies experience lifting and diabatic heating (median 11 K) in the six days prior to the block. Further, almost 70 % of the heated trajectories undergo maximum heating in a compact region of the midlatitude North Atlantic, temporally taking place between six and one days before arriving in the blocking region. We also find anomalously high cyclone activity (on average five cyclones within this five-day heating window) within a sector northwest of the main heating domain. In addition, 10 of the 50 warm events are associated with blocking over Scandinavia; the contribution of diabatic heating to these blocks is again around 60 % for six-day back-trajectories, of which 60 % undergo maximum heating over the North Atlantic but generally closer to the time of arrival in the block and further upstream relative to heated trajectories associated with Ural blocking. This study highlights the role of diabatic heating in high-latitude blocking dynamics and the importance of the interaction between midlatitude cyclones and Eurasian blocking as driver for Arctic warm extremes.

Sonja Murto et al.

Status: open (until 27 Jul 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on wcd-2021-23', Dehai Luo, 19 May 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Sonja Murto, 25 May 2021 reply

Sonja Murto et al.

Sonja Murto et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 328 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
250 68 10 328 16 3 1
  • HTML: 250
  • PDF: 68
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 328
  • Supplement: 16
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 1
Views and downloads (calculated since 17 May 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 17 May 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 294 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 294 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 24 Jun 2021
Download
Short summary
This study uses reanalysis data to investigate the role of atmospheric blocking, prevailing high-pressure systems, and midlatitude cyclones in driving high-Arctic wintertime warm extreme events. These events are mainly preceded by Ural and Scandinavian blocks, which are shown to be significantly influenced and amplified by cyclones in the North-Atlantic. It also highlights processes that need to be well captured in climate models for improving their representation of Arctic wintertime climate.