Potential Arctic connections to eastern North American cold winters

Authors Name:   

James E. Overland, Muyin Wang

Journal: Czech Polar Reports
Issue: 7
Volume: 2
Page Range: 232-243
No. of Pages: 12
Year: 2017


Publishers: muniPress Masaryk University Brno
ISSN:    1805-0689 (Print), 1805-0697 (On-line)
Language: English

Far-field temperature and geopotential height fields associated with eastern North American early winter (DEC-JAN) extreme cold events are documented since 1950. Based on 19 cases of monthly extreme cold events, two large-scale patterns emerge. First, a strong Alaskan Ridge (AR) can develop with higher 700 hPa geopotential heights and positive temperature anomalies from Alaska south along the coastal northeastern Pacific Ocean, and low eastern North American geopotential height anomalies, the well-known North American ridge/trough pattern. A second subset of cases is a Greenland-Baffin Blocking (GBB) pattern that have positive temperature anomalies centered west of Greenland with a cut off tropospheric polar vortex feature over eastern North America; cold temperature anomalies extend from southeastern United States northwestward into central Canada. Both of these historical large-scale patterns associated with eastern North American cold events (AR and GBB) have the potential for future reinforcement by sea ice loss and associated warm Arctic regional temperature anomalies. An example of a GBB case is 15-22 December 2010 and an extreme AR case is in early 4-14 December 2016. In both cases lack of sea ice and warm temperature anomalies were colocated with local maximums in the geopotential height anomaly fields.  Future regional delay of fall freeze up in the Chukchi Sea and Baffin Bay regions could reinforce these geopotential height patterns once they occur, but is not likely to initiate AR and GBB type events.


Keywords: jet stream, blocking, teleconnections, cold-air outbreaks


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Notes: ASSW