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Polar lows over the nordic and labrador seas: Synoptic circulation patterns and associations with north atlantic-europe wintertime weather regimes

Abstract : [1] Polar Lows (PLs) are intense meso-cyclones forming in winter at high latitudes over open water. Using several datasets of PLs over the North Atlantic, the synoptic environment conducive to their development is determined. The 500 hPa geopotential height, the difference between the sea surface temperature and the 500 hPa air temperature, the near-surface wind and air temperature, and the 300 hPa potential vorticity present significant anomaly patterns over large areas centered over PL genesis zones, suggesting cold air outbreaks and stratospheric intrusions. PLs develop within a northerly flow in the Norwegian Sea, a northeasterly flow in the Barents Sea and a westerly flow in the Labrador Sea. PLs form after a certain build-up, the outbreak day being marked by strong winds and PV intensification. The relationship between PLs and daily weather regimes over North Atlantic-Europe is then investigated. Regimes have a typical lifetime of 8-10 days, similar to the large-scale anomalies associated with PLs. Over the Norwegian and Barents seas from 1999 to 2011, 37% of PLs are observed during the Atlantic Ridge regime (AR) and 28% in the negative phase regime of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), whereas PL probability of occurrence is reduced by half for the positive phase of NAO and the Scandinavian blocking (SB) regimes. Over the Labrador Sea, most PLs occur during NAO+ while they are almost absent during NAO. Demonstrating the temporal variation of key factors based on an updated dataset and relating PLs to weather regimes will introduce novel and important elements in PL forecasting methodology. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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Paul-Etienne Mallet, Chantal Claud, C. Cassou, G. Noer, K. Kodera. Polar lows over the nordic and labrador seas: Synoptic circulation patterns and associations with north atlantic-europe wintertime weather regimes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2013, 118 (6), pp.2455-2472. ⟨10.1002/jgrd.50246⟩. ⟨hal-01099386⟩

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