Subseasonal midlatitude prediction skill following Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and Madden–Julian Oscillation activity

Mayer, Kirsten J.; Barnes, Elizabeth A.

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is known to force extratropical weather days to weeks following an MJO event through excitation of stationary Rossby waves, also referred to as tropical–extratropical teleconnections. Prior research has demonstrated that this tropically forced midlatitude response leads to increased prediction skill on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales. Furthermore, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) has been shown to possibly alter these teleconnections through modulation of the MJO itself and the atmospheric basic state upon which the Rossby waves propagate. This implies that the MJO–QBO relationship may affect midlatitude circulation prediction skill on S2S timescales. In this study, we quantify midlatitude circulation sensitivity and prediction skill following active MJOs and QBOs across the Northern Hemisphere on S2S timescales through an examination of the 500 hPa geopotential height field. First, a comparison of the spatial distribution of Northern Hemisphere sensitivity to the MJO during different QBO phases is performed for European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis and ECMWF and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) hindcasts. Secondly, differences in prediction skill in ECMWF and NCEP hindcasts are quantified following MJO–QBO activity. In both hindcast systems, we find that regions across the Pacific, North America, and the Atlantic demonstrate an enhanced MJO impact on prediction skill during strong QBO periods with lead times of 1–4 weeks compared to MJO events during neutral QBO periods.

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Mayer, Kirsten J. / Barnes, Elizabeth A.: Subseasonal midlatitude prediction skill following Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and Madden–Julian Oscillation activity. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Kirsten J. Mayer

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