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Impact of Ural blocking on sub-seasonal Siberian cold anomalies modulated by the winter East Asian trough

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of Ural blocking (UB) on winter sub-seasonal Siberian cold anomalies under the different background conditions of the winter East Asian trough (EAT). It is found that the meridional displacement and the strength of the winter EAT possibly modulate the persistence or lifetime of UB and associated sub-seasonal cold anomalies over Siberia through changing background circulation conditions. Statistical analysis reveals that UB events tend to occur more frequently in strong or southward EAT winters than in weak or northward EAT winters. A composite analysis of UB events further shows that UB has larger amplitude and longer lifetime in strong or southward EAT winters (especially the latter) than in weak or northward EAT winters, thus more likely leading to stronger sub-seasonal cold anomalies over Siberia. Moreover, the possible physical cause of why a strong or southward EAT favors UB is further investigated. It is found that winter zonal wind and meridional gradient of potential vorticity (PVy) tend to be weakened on the upstream side of Siberia near the Ural Mountains when the EAT is stronger or located more southward, favoring the maintenance of UB due to the strengthening (weakening) of the nonlinearity (energy dispersion) of UB. In contrast, when the EAT is weak or northward-displaced, a strengthening of winter zonal wind and PVy is more likely seen over the Ural Mountains and adjacent regions, which may suppress UB through enhancing its energy dispersion and reducing its nonlinearity.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers 41790473, 41876012, 41861144015, and 41975068), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Strategic Priority Research Program (Grant Number XDA 19070403). The authors also acknowledge the ERA5 reanalysis dataset from the Copernicus Climate Change Service at ECMWF (https://www.ecmwf.int/en/forecasts/datasets/reanalysis-datasets/era5). The authors would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments in improving this paper.

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Correspondence to Dehai Luo.

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Song, Y., Luo, D., Zheng, F. et al. Impact of Ural blocking on sub-seasonal Siberian cold anomalies modulated by the winter East Asian trough. Clim Dyn (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-021-05959-7

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Keywords

  • East Asian trough
  • Ural blocking
  • Siberian cold anomalies
  • PV gradient