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Around this time of year I often search out new papers to assist in winter forecasting. However, quite often I lose the links to these papers by the time winter arrives.

So, I think it makes sense to have a drop off zone for these type of papers that I and others come across. Please post in here any abstracts or PDF links that you may find of interest.

A brief description of the paper would be most welcome.

( No climate change papers please)

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And to start off here is an abstract on a paper to be verified soon.

This suggests that Vortex splitting events in the stratosphere are more likely to give colder outbreaks over NA and Eurasia than displacement events.

A strong link exists between stratospheric variability and anomalous weather patterns at the Earth's surface. Specifically, during extreme variability of the Arctic polar vortex termed a "weak vortex event", anomalies can descend from the upper stratosphere to the surface on timescales of weeks. Subsequently the outbreak of cold-air events have been noted in high Northern Latitudes, as well as a quadrapole pattern in surface temperature over the Atlantic and western European sectors. It is currently not understood why certain events descend to the surface while others do not, although this may be associated with the scale of vertically propagating Rossby waves which cause the initial vortex perturbation. In this study we demonstrate that the subdivision of weak vortex events into vortex displacements and vortex splits has important implications for tropospheric weather patterns on weekly-monthly timescales. Using reanalysis data we find that vortex splitting events play a highly significant role on surface weather with positive temperature anomalies over eastern North-America of more than 1.5K, and negative anomalies over Eurasia of up to -3K. Associated with this is an increase in tropospheric blocking over the Pacific basin and a decrease over the Atlantic/European sector. The corresponding signals are far weaker during displacement events, although ultimately they prove to be the cause of cold-air outbreaks over North America. Owing to the predictability and importance of stratosphere-troposphere coupling for medium-range weather forecasts, our findings suggest the need for such forecasting systems to correctly identify the type of stratospheric variability, otherwise surface responses cannot be accurately reproduced.

(Bolded by me)


Edited by chionomaniac
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This next paper suggests that SSW's are more likely in ENSO event years rather than ENSO neutral years. Interestingly, this is true of both El Nino events and La Nina events.

I have extracted interesting info below about El Nino years

. During an El Niño winter, it is wellâ€

established that (1) temperatures are colder than normal in

the tropical stratosphere and warmer than normal in the

polar stratosphere; (2) ozone concentrations are anomalously low in the tropics and anomalously high at the pole,

reflecting an enhanced Brewerâ€Dobson circulation [Randel

et al., 2009; Cagnazzo et al., 2009]; and (3) the planetary

wave flux into the stratosphere is enhanced resulting in a

weakerâ€thanâ€normal stratospheric polar vortex [van Loon

and Labitzke, 1987; Garcíaâ€Herrera et al., 2006; Garfinkel

and Hartmann, 2008].


And the follow up paper suggests why El Nino and La nIna events may be matched


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A paper on the positioning of blocking highs and their relationship to the upward propagation of planetary waves.


Previous studies have suggested the importance of blocking high (BH)

development for the occurrence of stratospheric sudden warming (SSW),

while there is a recent study that failed to identify their statistical

linkage. Through composite analysis applied to high-amplitude

anticyclonic anomaly events observed around every grid point over the

extratropical Northern Hemisphere, the present study reveals distinct

geographical de- pendence of BH influence on upward propagation of

planetary waves (PWs) into the stratosphere. Tropospheric BHs that

develop over the Euro-Atlantic sector tend to en- hance upward PW

propagation, leading to the warming in the polar stratosphere and, in

some occasions, to major SSW events. In contrast, the upward PW

propagation tends to be suppressed by BHs developing over the western

Pacific and the Far East, resulting in the polar stratospheric cooling.

This dependence is found to arise mainly from the sensi- tivity of the

interference between the climatological PWs and upward-propagating

Rossby wave packets emanating from BHs to their geographical locations.

This study also reveals that whether a BH over the eastern Pacific and

Alaska can enhance or re- duce the upward PW propagation is

case-dependent. It is suggested that BHs that induce the stratospheric

cooling can weaken statistical relationship between BHs and SSWs

A video here from a workshop on SSWs from Kyoto, Japan.


I can edit out the video link if you want to keep this strictly papers though?

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I can edit out the video link if you want to keep this strictly papers though?

No all contributions like this are welcome thanks.

I haven't had a chance to go through all the Kyoto papers yet!

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From Sparc newsletter Jan 2012


Extract 1:

Within the same theme, A. Scaife addressed challenges and progress in prediction for regional spatial scales on a

wide range of timescales. The importance

of prediction for monthly to decadal timescales in conjunction with understanding

the effects of climate changes is underlined

by the incidence of large impact events

(e.g., floods, droughts, cold periods) that

are associated with seasonal to decadal

scale variability that accompanies the

more slowly varying climate signal. Predictions for months to years must rely on

both accurate measures of the initial state

and its uncertainty as well as on accurate

estimates of changes in climate forcing

mechanisms (“boundary values†such as

changes in the radiatively active components of atmospheric composition). In recent years considerable progress has been

made in understanding key processes that

influence monthly and seasonal predictability. These include improved understanding and modelling of the coupling

between tropical and extratropical intraseasonal oscillations such as the MaddenJulian Oscillation (MJO) and the North

Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the lagged

coupling between stratospheric sudden

warmings (SSWs) and tropospheric circulation anomalies, and predictability of

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

events and their effect on weather patterns

(rainfall) both in the tropics and the extratropics. There is now evidence that more

accurate initialisation improves longrange predictions, particularly in the tropics. However long range predictability

of extratropical weather events is generally poor. Some improvements have been

achieved in making skilful prediction of

the occurrence of high-impact weather

events such as the numbers of hurricanes

and the frequency of hot days. Further improvements in extended range forecasting

are expected to emerge from the results of

international activities such as the CMIP5

decadal hindcast activity

Extract 2:

B. Dong’s work was motivated by a

change in interannual NAO variability in

the late 1970s, which was characterised

by an eastward shift of the NAO centre

of action. His analysis showed a downstream extension of climate anomalies

associated with the NAO. Using Hadley

Centre model experiments, he showed

that both SST and CO2

changes independently force an eastward shift in interannual NAO variability, and found that

the effects of SST changes could be understood in terms of mean changes in the

troposphere while those due to CO2


not. The implication is that stratospheric

changes may play an important role in

the observed eastward shift in interannual NAO variability and related climate


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Have you subscribed to strat_list Chio?

I signed up for it about 2-3 years ago with the intention of improving my stratospheric knowledge, but having gotten so caught up in all the polar and sea ice stuff I just haven't been able to give it as much time as I'd like.

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Have you subscribed to strat_list Chio?

I signed up for it about 2-3 years ago with the intention of improving my stratospheric knowledge, but having gotten so caught up in all the polar and sea ice stuff I just haven't been able to give it as much time as I'd like.

I have now thanks!

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That is a good find.. Cat among the Pigeons then...

Here is the link to the Met Office's new toy GloSea4 http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034031/

What do you make of the enhanced profiling from 50km to 80km Chiono? A small step or a stage for them to factor in things talked about readily on the SSW thread, Zonal wind reversal, EP Flux?

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That is a good find.. Cat among the Pigeons then...

Here is the link to the Met Office's new toy GloSea4 http://iopscience.io...326/7/3/034031/

What do you make of the enhanced profiling from 50km to 80km Chiono? A small step or a stage for them to factor in things talked about readily on the SSW thread, Zonal wind reversal, EP Flux?

I think that it is a small but important step. Modelling the tropospheric impact of stratospheric changes is a welcome step forward and todays news regarding this is important. To hear Steve Wright on radio 2 talking about SSW's today was very surreal.
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This may be a vintage paper but it's a goodie..


I am sad enough to have the links to the whole amount of a lot of these papers, l!


I have to say that this one is very comprehensive regarding stratospheric polar vortices:


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Waugh & Polvani got me onto EP Flux.. a good work out for the brain ..estimated time frame to decipher... 2018.. !

Thanks for the link to the original above :)

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Waugh & Polvani got me onto EP Flux.. a good work out for the brain ..estimated time frame to decipher... 2018.. !

Thanks for the link to the original above Posted Image

After last year with the EP flux being very unfavourable I think I have come on leaps and bounds in that respect!

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Found last Winter archive of randomness...

Limpasuvan_etal_JClim_04 The Life Cycle of the Northern Hemisphere Sudden Stratospheric Warmings


El Niño, La Niña, and stratospheric sudden warmings:A re-evaluation in light of the observational record


Blocking precursors to stratospheric sudden warming events


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Found last Winter archive of randomness...

Limpasuvan_etal_JClim_04 The Life Cycle of the Northern Hemisphere Sudden Stratospheric Warmings


El Niño, La Niña, and stratospheric sudden warmings:A re-evaluation in light of the observational record


Blocking precursors to stratospheric sudden warming events


I'll cough on the second paper.

(if you look above you'll see why -[already posted])

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Think its worthwhile to add a bookmark for the paper linked by SM and MH over the last 24 hours.

Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation.


Relationship of ENSO to stratospheric sudden warmings - slide with useful statistics


EP Flux Re-analysis Tool -http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/epflux/ ( new toy to mess around with !)

Just spotted some EP papers, brain gave up.. !


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Worth a browse, ECMWF recently had an annual seminar, papers from which are all listed on this page.

Who says weather geeks are boring they even kick things off with a Monday night cocktail party !!


This one is excellent.


Edited by lorenzo
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Couple more from same archive, good to find them in presentation form versus having to grind through a proper academic paper..

ENSO and Europe (2010)

Scaife - Enso(1).pdf

MJO Impact on European Weather (2010) http://www.ecmwf.int...ions/Vitart.pdf

ENSO and ENSO Teleconnections (2012) http://www.ecmwf.int...tations/Kim.pdf

Model Layers and Resolution (2012) http://www.ecmwf.int...ions/Takaya.pdf

Edited by lorenzo

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    • By Paul
      With a potential cold end to winter and start to spring on the horizon, here's a thread to discuss the ins and outs of that, how the latest forecasts are looking and so on. 
      There's obviously a lot of chat in the model thread about this currently, and you can also find info about the SSW over in the strat thread. 
      Nick has also blogged about the SSW here:
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      And about the model mayhem currently being caused by it here:
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      It's fair to say that confidence in the exact weather we're going to see from mid-next week onward is currently very low, but the Met Office are confident enough in the likelihood of cold weather that they've recently put out a press release:
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    • By Paul
      Here we go then, already plenty of interest in the strat this year, and with a La Nina likely, perhaps a less hardcore strat than last year can be expected?
      @chionomaniac will be along soon to fill in his thoughts on where things may be headed this year, but in the meantime, I've copied his excellent strat guide from 2015 below. 
      For more info you can also read his full tutorial here:
      Ed's opener from 2015/16
      As ever, the first post will become both a reference thread and basic learning thread for those wanting to understand how the stratosphere may affect the winter tropospheric pattern, so forgive me for some repeat from previous years, but it is important that those new to the stratosphere have a place that they can be directed to in order to achieve a basic grasp of the subject.
      The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere situated between 10km and 50km above the earth. It is situated directly above the troposphere, the first layer of the atmosphere and the layer that is directly responsible for the weather that we receive at the surface. The boundary between the stratosphere and the troposphere is known as the tropopause. The air pressure ranges from around 100hPa at the lower levels of the stratosphere to below 1hPa at the upper levels. The middle stratosphere is often considered to be around the 10-30hPa level.

      Every winter the stratosphere cools down dramatically as less solar UV radiation is absorbed by the ozone content in the stratosphere. The increasing difference in the temperature between the North Pole and the latitudes further south creates a strong vortex – the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex. The colder the polar stratosphere in relation to that at mid latitudes, the stronger this vortex becomes. The stratospheric vortex has a strong relationship with the tropospheric vortex below. A strong stratospheric vortex will lead to a strong tropospheric vortex. This relationship is interdependent; conditions in the stratosphere will influence the troposphere whilst tropospheric atmospheric and wave conditions will influence the stratospheric state.
      At the surface the strength and position of the tropospheric vortex influences the type of weather that we are likely to experience. A strong polar vortex is more likely to herald a positive AO with the resultant jet stream track bringing warmer and wet southwesterly winds. A weaker polar vortex can contribute to a negative AO with the resultant mild wet weather tracking further south and a more blocked pattern the result. A negative AO will lead to a greater chance of colder air spreading to latitudes further south such as the UK.
       AO chart

      The stratosphere is a far more stable environment then the troposphere below it.
      However, the state of the stratosphere can be influenced by numerous factors – the current solar state, the Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO), the ozone content and distribution and transport mechanism, the snow cover and extent indices and the ENSO state to name the most significant. These factors can influence whether large tropospheric waves that can be deflected into the stratosphere can disrupt the stratospheric polar vortex to such an extent that it feeds back into the troposphere.
      Ozone Content in the stratosphere
       Ozone is important because it absorbs UV radiation in a process that warms the stratosphere. The Ozone is formed in the tropical stratosphere and transported to the polar stratosphere by a system known as the Brewer-Dobson-Circulation (the BDC). The strength of this circulation varies from year to year and can in turn be dictated by other influences. The ozone content in the polar stratosphere has been shown to be destroyed by CFC's permeating to the stratosphere from the troposphere. The overall ozone content in the polar stratosphere will help determine the underlying polar stratospheric temperature, with higher contents of ozone leading to a warmer polar stratosphere. The ozone levels can be monitored here: 
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      Diagram of the descending phases of the QBO: (with thanks from http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/index.html )

      The QBO has been shown to influence the strength of the BDC, depending upon what phase it is in. The tropical upward momentum of ozone is stronger in the eQBO , whereas in the wQBO ozone transport is stronger into the lower mid latitudes, so less ozone will enter the upper tropical stratosphere to be transported to the polar stratosphere as can be seen in the following diagram.

      However, the direction of the QBO when combined with the level of solar flux has also been shown to influence the BDC. When the QBO is in a west phase during solar maximum there are more warming events in the stratosphere, as there is also during an easterly phase QBO during solar minimum, so the strength of the BDC is also affected by this – also known as the Holton Tan effect .
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      Latest solar flux F10.7cm:

      Sudden Stratospheric Warmings:
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       This occurs a number of times during a typical winter and is more pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere due to the greater land mass area. Most wave deflections into the stratosphere do change the stratospheric vortex flow pattern - this will be greater if the stratosphere is more receptive to these wave breaks (and if they are substantial enough, then a SSW can occur). The change in the stratospheric flow pattern can then start to feedback into the troposphere - changing the zonal flow pattern into something with more undulations and perhaps ultimately to a very meridional flow pattern especially if a SSW occurs - but not always. If the wave breaking occurs in one place then we see a wave 1 type displacement of the stratospheric vortex, and if the wave breaking occurs in two places at once then we will see a wave 2 type disturbance of the vortex which could ultimately squeeze the vortex on half and split it – and if these are strong enough then we would see a displacement SSW and split SSW respectively. The SSW is defined by a reversal of mean zonal mean winds from westerly to easterly at 60ºN and 10hPa. This definition is under review as there have been suggestions that other warmings of the stratosphere that cause severe disruption to the vortex could and should be included. http://birner.atmos.colostate.edu/papers/Butleretal_BAMS2014_submit.pdf
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      The effect of warming of the Arctic ocean leading to colder continents with anomalous wave activity penetrating the stratosphere has also been postulated
      As ever, I will supply links to various stratospheric websites were forecasts and data can be retrieved and hope for another fascinating year of monitoring the stratosphere.
      GFS: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/
      ECM/Berlin Site: http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/winterdiagnostics/index.html  
      Netweather: https://www.netweather.tv/charts-and-data/stratosphere
      Instant weather maps: http://www.instantweathermaps.com/GFS-php/strat.php
       NASA Merra site: http://acdb-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/Data_services/met/ann_data.html
      Previous stratosphere monitoring threads:
      2016/17 https://www.netweather.tv/forum/topic/86485-stratosphere-temperature-watch-201617/
      2015/16 https://www.netweather.tv/forum/topic/84231-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20152016/
      2014/2015 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/81567-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20142015/
      2013/2014 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/78161-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20132014/
      2012/2013 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/74587-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20122013/
      2011/2012 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/71340-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20112012/
      2010/2012 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/64621-stratosphere-temperature-watch/?hl=%20stratosphere%20%20temperature%20%20watch
      2009/2010 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/57364-stratosphere-temperature-watch/
      2008/2009 https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/50299-stratosphere-temperature-watch/
    • By Vorticity0123
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      Satellite image of (from left to right) Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena. Courtesy: NOAA.
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      SST anomalies as of 27 August. Courtesy: NOAA.
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      An impressive event to say the least, three consecutive major hurricanes active in the Eastern and Central Pacific. Possibly we will even be facing one or two category five hurricanes in the very near future. Much more can be said about these systems, so do not hesitate to add any facts/statistics/any other things you might think of .
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      Satellite loop of the Eastern and Central Pacific. Click to activate. Courtesy: NOAA.
    • By Vorticity0123
      The goal of this thread is to create a valuable learning thread about long range forecasting. First, the concept of long range forecasting will be explained in short. Thereafter, we will have a global look at the GWO (Global wind oscillation) and how it affects our weather.
      Long range forecasting
      Long range forecasting (10+ days out) has proven to be a very difficult subject over the past several years. It is a timeframe where global models lose their deterministic value, although they can still be used as a guide for trends. It is also a timeframe where the presence or absence of tropical convection at a given place near the equator can change the complete midlatitude synoptic setting (this is showing some resemblance to the so-called butterfly effect).
      Fortunately, this is how far the bad news goes. Even though small details can change whole patterns, these details can be predicted to quite some extent and can even show a kind of cyclical pattern. This is, for example, the case for tropical convection activity anomalies (e.g. the MJO). That means that knowing how these patterns will develop makes one able to tell something about the weather at the midlatitudes, mainly through analogues of previous years which have seen a same kind of pattern.
      To make this recognition of patterns somewhat easier, teleconnections have been developed. Think of the GWO (Global Wind Oscillation, a recently developed index), MJO (Madden-Julian oscillation) and ENSO (contains and explains El Nino and La Nina) to name but a few.
      Aside from the indices listed above, a fairly new subject is stratospheric meteorology, which also has predictive value for forecasting, for example, the likehood of blocking developing at the midlatitudes. A separate thread can be found on this forum about this subject.
      The interesting, yet complicated, part comes when one tries to interpret one teleconnection separately. This is not possible, because all the teleconnections are interrelated. For example, ENSO has an effect on the convective anomalies in the tropics (which is, in very simple terms, where the MJO relies on). Therefore, if one wants to make a very good long range forecast, all factors need to be incorporated in one view. Glacier Point, an old member of this forum, is a master on this subject.
      For most of us, though, there is much that can still be learned about this. It would be nice to get as much input as possible on these teleconnections in order to make this a valuable thread in terms of long range forecasting all year round!
      One of the several interesting teleconnections is the GWO (global wind oscillation). The part below may help in grasping the concept of this.
      Basics of the concept
      The GWO is an index which tells something about the amount and latitudinal localization of AAM in the atmosphere.
      Atmospheric Angular Momentum is a conserved quantity in the atmosphere. It is defined from the Earth' axis of rotation (so from the north pole through the Earth’ core up to the South Pole). We will regard the wind speed relative to the Earth’ rotation (so the wind speed we can measure). The image below gives a good representation of how this should be visualized.

      Visualization of AAM as it could be seen from viewing the Earth. Courtesy: COMET.
      AAM is, in terms of the atmosphere, equal to the velocity of an air parcel times the distance it is away from the Earth’ axis. For example, at the Equator, the distance of an air parcel to the Earth’ axis is very large. Therefore, it has a relatively low velocity. When the air parcel is being carried away from the Equator, its distance relative to the Earth’ axis decreases. That means the velocity needs to increase in order to maintain conservation of AAM. As a result, the parcel will accelerate. This is all under the assumption that the parcel does not exchange AAM with the surface or other air parcels.
      Near the equator, the wind is from west to east relative to the Earth. This, paradoxically, means the air is still moving from east to west, but at a slower speed than the Earth rotates itself. This all results in AAM being added to the atmosphere from the surface.
      At the midlatitudes, this situation is reversed. Winds tend to flow quickly from east to west at this latitude relative to the rotation Earth. This means that the air flows from east to west even faster than the Earth rotates itself. As a result, AAM is being lost to the surface due to this imbalance.
      The above yields a surplus of AAM at the equator and a shortage of AAM at the midlatitudes. This in turn creates a “flow†of AAM from the equator to the midlatitudes. The image above illustrates this well.
      Mountains (courtesy to Tamara for contributing in this part)
      Mountains can add and reduce AAM via torques (in terms of friction). This process is quite complicated, but it is an important factor for the GWO.
      Basically, this event can be thought of some kind of weather event colliding with a large mountain range (Rockies, Himalaya etc.). This torque mechanism can add or remove AAM from the atmosphere.
      Such mountain torque events can send Rossby waves into the stratosphere in a certain part of the Northern Hemisphere. The net effect of this is to create a disturbance to the polar vortex and a jet stream amplification which feeds downstream.
      In layman’s terms a mountain torque can affect the amount of amplification that happens downstream. If, for example, the Pacific jetstream collides at the Rockies, it may via complicated mechanisms (aka the Rossby waves mentioned above) cause amplification in the flow toward Europe, causing blocking to form.
      GWO orbit explained
      The GWO has a cyclical nature. This means that the GWO undergoes a kind of repetitive pattern, which can be explained by a circle diagram. Analogous to the MJO, the GWO has been divided in 8 phases, each with its own characteristics. All these phases are basically a follow-up of the phase before. The GWO orbit can be best seen as a measure for the total amount of AAM in the atmosphere. Below is the GWO orbit diagram with a brief explanation of what happens at every phase.

      Visualization of the GWO orbit
      In phase 1, negative mountain torque removes AAM from the atmosphere. The longer the GWO stays there, the lower the amount of AAM becomes in the atmosphere. This can be thought of a Jetstream colliding at a large mountain range
      Phase 2 and 3 generally describe low AAM values in the atmosphere (which is on average also occurring according to the conceptual model described above).
      In phase 4 and 5, positive mountain torque adds AAM to the atmosphere. The longer the GWO remains in that position, the higher the amount of AAM becomes in the atmosphere.
      Finally, phase 6 and 7 indicate high levels of AAM in the atmosphere.
      Concluding remarks
      There is much more that can be told about the GWO (and many other parameters), but that is for a later time! Any help or corrections in the explanation are greatly appreciated. Also, I hope many people will be willing to contribute to this thread! Here’s hoping that this will become a fruitful thread and a learning place for many!
      Useful links
      In the end, a list of links which could help for teleconnections are given here:
      GWO forecast: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/gwo.html
      GWO composites: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/comp.html
      MJO forecasts: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjo.shtml
      MJO composites: http://www.americanwx.com/raleighwx/MJO/MJO.html
      Update on tropical weather (expert assessment on tropical convection, including the MJO, great link): http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/
      ECMWF stratosphere forecast: http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/winterdiagnostics/
      Stratosphere updates: https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/81567-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20142015/
      GWO further reading: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/clim/gwo.htm
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