2020 journal article

A New Variable-Threshold Persistent Anomaly Index: Northern Hemisphere Anomalies in the ERA-Interim Reanalysis


By: R. Miller  n, G. Lackmann n  & W. Robinson n 

co-author countries: United States of America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
author keywords: Blocking; Storm tracks
Source: Web Of Science
Added: January 6, 2020

Abstract Persistent weather regimes characterized by anomalous temperature or precipitation are often associated with persistent anomalies (PAs) in the tropospheric geopotential height field. To identify PAs throughout the annual cycle, an earlier definition is modified to apply a seasonally varying magnitude threshold, based on a smoothed, daily varying climatological average of daily 500-hPa geopotential height variability. The modified index can be applied to a wide variety of analysis, reanalysis, or model-forecast gridded data. Here, the modified PA index is used to identify positive and negative Northern Hemisphere PAs in all seasons and to compute trends in PA frequency, strength, location, and duration, in the ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset (1979–2016). Height data are detrended and anomalies are weighted with an inverse sine-of-latitude function. In addition to maxima in PA frequency identified previously (North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Russia), an additional summertime maximum appears in the Arctic; this feature has not been analyzed extensively. A composite of summertime positive Arctic PA events reveals an equivalent barotropic structure, similar to that documented for midlatitude PAs. Arctic PA frequency is greatest in summer; it exhibits no trend in frequency over the 38-yr ERA-Interim analysis period. In fact, no discernable trends in PA frequency, strength, or duration are evident in the analysis period for the primary PA regions, although there is a suggestion of a northward shift in positive PA activity in the North Pacific.