CUED Publications database

Phase synchronization between stratospheric and tropospheric quasi-biennial and semi-annual oscillations

Read, PL and Castrejón-Pita, AA (2012) Phase synchronization between stratospheric and tropospheric quasi-biennial and semi-annual oscillations. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138. pp. 1338-1349. ISSN 0035-9009

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Abstract

A combination of singular systems analysis and analytic phase techniques are used to investigate the possible occurrence in observations of coherent synchronization between quasi-biennial and semi-annual oscillations (QBOs; SAOs) in the stratosphere and troposphere. Time series of zonal mean zonal winds near the Equator are analysed from the ERA-40 and ERA-interim reanalysis datasets over a ∼ 50-year period. In the stratosphere, the QBO is found to synchronize with the SAO almost all the time, but with a frequency ratio that changes erratically between 4:1, 5:1 and 6:1. A similar variable synchronization is also evident in the tropical troposphere between semi-annual and quasi-biennial cycles (known as TBOs). Mean zonal winds from ERA-40 and ERA-interim, and also time series of indices for the Indian and West Pacific monsoons, are commonly found to exhibit synchronization, with SAO/TBO ratios that vary between 4:1 and 7:1. Coherent synchronization between the QBO and tropical TBO does not appear to persist for long intervals, however. This suggests that both the QBO and tropical TBOs may be separately synchronized to SAOs that are themselves enslaved to the seasonal cycle, or to the annual cycle itself. However, the QBO and TBOs are evidently only weakly coupled between themselves and are frequently found to lose mutual coherence when each changes its frequency ratio to its respective SAO. This suggests a need to revise a commonly cited paradigm that advocates the use of stratospheric QBO indices as a predictor for tropospheric phenomena such as monsoons and hurricanes. © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ERA-40 ERA-interim Singular systems analysis Troposphere-stratosphere coupling
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div E > Production Processes
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:29
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 19:06
DOI: 10.1002/qj.1872