Climate Dynamics

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 441-454

First online:

Variability patterns of Rossby wave source

  • Marília Harumi ShimizuAffiliated withCenter for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies (CPTEC), National Institute for Space Research (INPE) Email author 
  • , Iracema Fonseca de Albuquerque CavalcantiAffiliated withCenter for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies (CPTEC), National Institute for Space Research (INPE)

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Rossby waves (RW) propagation due to a local forcing is one of the mechanisms responsible for wave trains configurations known as teleconnections. The term teleconnection refers to anomalies patterns that are correlated in several regions of the world, causing large-scale changes in atmospheric waves patterns and temperature and precipitation regimes. The aim of teleconnections studies is to provide a better understanding of atmospheric variability and their mechanisms of action in order to identify patterns that can be tracked and predicted. The purpose of this study was to characterize seasonal and spatial variability of atmospheric RW sources. The RW source at 200 hPa was calculated for the four seasons with reanalysis data of zonal and meridional wind. In the Northern Hemisphere (NH), the RW sources were located on East Asia, North America, North Atlantic and Pacific. The main RW sources in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) were located over Intertropical, South Pacific, South Atlantic and South Indian Convergence Zones. Extratropical regions were also identified, mainly to the south of Australia. The vortex stretching term (S1) and the advection of absolute vorticity by the divergent wind (S2) were analyzed to discuss the physical mechanisms for RW generation. In the NH, the source at East Asia in DJF changed to a sink in JJA, related to the dominance of S1 term in DJF and S2 term in JJA. In the SH, the vortex stretching term had the dominant contribution for RW source located to the south of Australia. The main forcing for RW sources at east of Australia was the advection of absolute vorticity by divergent flow. Over South America, both terms contributed to the source in DJF. The main modes of RW source variability were discussed by using empirical orthogonal functions analysis. RW variability was characterized by wave trains configurations in both hemispheres over regions of jet streams and storm tracks, associated with favorable and unfavorable areas for RW generation.


Rossby waves Rossby wave source