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Journal Articles Journal of Climate Year : 2016

Extratropical impacts of the Madden-Julian oscillation over New Zealand from a weather regime perspective.

Abstract

The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) signal in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) extratropics during the austral summer (November–March) is investigated over the New Zealand (NZ) sector, using the paradigm of atmospheric weather regimes (WRs), following a classification initially established by Kidson. The MJO is first demonstrated to have significant impacts on daily rainfall anomalies in NZ. It is suggested that orographic effects arising from the interaction between regional atmospheric circulation anomalies and NZ’s topography can explain the spatially heterogeneous precipitation anomalies that are related to MJO activity. These local impacts and circulation anomalies are shown to be better understood as resulting from changes in the occupation statistics of regional WRs (the Kidson types) through the MJO life cycle, although both constructive and destructive effects are demonstrated. The hypothesis of a significant forcing of the MJO over the NZ sector is further supported by lagged composite analyses, which reveal timing characteristics of the delayed regional circulation response compatible with the average propagation speed of the MJO. While the southern annular mode (SAM) has been previously shown to be statistically related to the MJO and is known to be a significant driver of NZ’s climate, no evidence is found that the impact of the MJO over the NZ sector is mediated by the SAM. It is therefore suggested that the MJO directly impacts regional circulation and climate in the NZ region, potentially through extratropical Rossby wave response to tropical diabatic heating. These findings suggest a new potential for predictability for some aspects of NZ’s weather and climate deriving from the MJO beyond the meteorological time scales.

Domains

Climatology

Dates and versions

hal-01303059 , version 1 (15-04-2016)

Identifiers

Cite

Nicolas Fauchereau, Benjamin Pohl, A. Lorrey. Extratropical impacts of the Madden-Julian oscillation over New Zealand from a weather regime perspective.. Journal of Climate, 2016, 29 (6), pp.2161-2175. ⟨10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0152.1⟩. ⟨hal-01303059⟩
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