Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 810–825 | Cite as

A Novel Identification of the Polar/Eurasia Pattern and Its Weather Impact in May

  • Ni Gao
  • Cholaw BuehEmail author
  • Zuowei Xie
  • Yuanfa Gong
Regular Article


The Polar/Eurasia (POL) pattern was previously identified based on the empirical orthogonal function method and monthly mean data, in which the positive and negative phases are anti-symmetric in spatial distribution. This paper identifies the positive (POL+) and negative (POL) phases of the POL pattern through applying a novel approach, i.e., self-organizing maps, to daily 500-hPa geopotential height fields in May over 1948–2017. The POL+, POL1, and POL2 patterns defined by this method represent actual physical modes. The POL+ pattern features a wave train from the northeastern Atlantic/northern Europe via the subarctic regions of Eurasia to Lake Baikal. The POL1 pattern is characterized by a planetary-scale dipole pattern with a positive anomaly band over subarctic Eurasia and a negative anomaly band from central Asia to the Sea of Okhotsk. The anomaly centers of the POL2 pattern are basically anti-symmetrical to those of the POL+ pattern. The POL+ pattern increases the blocking frequency over the northeastern Atlantic/northern Europe and northeastern Asia, where high-frequency transient eddies are highly recurrent in the north. Accordingly, precipitation increases apparently in the subarctic Asian continent and western Siberia, and decreases around Europe and Lake Baikal. A mimic wave train is also observed in the surface air temperature anomaly field. During the POL1 period, the blocking frequency is abnormally high over Eurasia, whereas high-frequency transient eddies are apparently suppressed over northern Eurasia. Correspondingly, significant precipitation deficits are observed in northern Eurasia. The POL1 pattern also causes a remarkable temperature increase in the subarctic seas of Eurasia and a considerable temperature drop in the midlatitude Asian continent. As the POL2 pattern prevails, the blocking frequency decreases over the North Atlantic/Europe but strengthens over the Asian continent. The POL2 pattern also causes wavelike anomalies of precipitation and surface air temperature over northern Eurasia.

Key words

Polar/Eurasia (POL) pattern self-organizing maps blocking transient eddy 


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We thank the writers of NCARG Command Language (UCAR/NCAR/CISL/TDD 2017), which was used to plot the figures in this paper.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Atmosphere ScienceChengdu University of Information TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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