Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 45-51

First online:

Assessment of the impact of the planetary scale on the decay of blocking and the use of phase diagrams and enstrophy as a diagnostic

  • A. R. LupoAffiliated withUniversity of Missouri-Columbia
  • , I. I. MokhovAffiliated withOboukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , S. DostoglouAffiliated withUniversity of Missouri-Columbia
  • , A. R. KunzAffiliated withUniversity of Missouri-Columbia
  • , J. P. BurkhardtAffiliated withUniversity of Missouri-Columbia

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It was shown that abrupt changes in the large-scale structure of atmospheric flows may lead to the rapid decay of blocking. Analysis of phase diagrams made it possible to identify when sharp changes occurred in the dynamics of the system. The connection of these changes to the decay of blocking was estimated for three blocking events in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to phase diagrams, enstrophy was used as a diagnostic tool for the analysis of blocking events. From the results of this analysis, four scenarios for the decay mechanisms were determined: (i) decay with a lack of synoptic-scale support, (ii) decay with an active role for synoptic processes, and (iii–iv) either of these mechanisms in the interaction with an abrupt change in the character of the planetary-scale flow.