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Journal Article

Circumglobal Rossby wave patterns during boreal winter highlighted by space–time spectral analysis


Riboldi,  Jacopo
External Organizations;


Rousi,  Eftychia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

D'Andrea,  Fabio
External Organizations;

Rivière,  Gwendal
External Organizations;

Lott,  Francois
External Organizations;

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Riboldi, J., Rousi, E., D'Andrea, F., Rivière, G., Lott, F. (2022): Circumglobal Rossby wave patterns during boreal winter highlighted by space–time spectral analysis. - Weather and Climate Dynamics, 3, 2, 449-469.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_26881
The classic partitioning between slow-moving, low-wavenumber planetary waves and fast-moving, high-wavenumber synoptic waves is systematically extended by means of a wavenumber/phase speed spectral decomposition to characterize the day-to-day evolution of Rossby wave activity in the upper troposphere. This technique is employed to study the origin and the propagation of circumglobal Rossby wave patterns (CRWPs), amplified Rossby waves stretching across the Northern Hemisphere in the zonal direction and characterized by few, dominant wavenumbers. Principal component analysis of daily anomalies in spectral power allows for two CRWPs to emerge as dominant variability modes in the spectral domain during boreal winter. These modes correspond to the baroclinic propagation of amplified Rossby waves from the Pacific to the Atlantic storm track in a hemispheric flow configuration displaying enhanced meridional gradients of geopotential height over midlatitudes. The first CRWP is forced by tropical convection anomalies over the Indian Ocean and features the propagation of amplified Rossby wave packets over northern midlatitudes, while the second one propagates rapidly over latitudes between 35° N and 55° N and appears to have extratropical origin. Propagation of Rossby waves from the Atlantic eddy-driven jet to the African subtropical jet occurs for both CRWPs following anticyclonic wave breaking.