Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 309–318 | Cite as

Impact of planetary wave reflection on tropospheric blocking over the Urals–Siberia region in January 2008

  • Debashis Nath
  • Wen ChenEmail author


Planetary wave reflection from the stratosphere played a significant role in changing the tropospheric circulation pattern over Eurasia in mid-January 2008. We studied the 2008 event and compared with composite analysis (winters of 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012), when the downward coupling was stronger, by employing time-lagged singular value decomposition analysis on the geopotential height field. In the Northern Hemisphere, the geopotential fields were decomposed into zonal mean and wave components to compare the relative covariance patterns. It was found that the wavenumber 1 (WN1) component was dominant compared with the wavenumber 2 (WN2) component and zonal mean process. For the WN1 field, the covariance was much higher (lower) for the negative (positive) lag, with a prominent peak around +15 days when the leading stratosphere coupled strongly with the troposphere. It contributed to the downward coupling due to reflection, when the stratosphere exhibited a partially reflective background state. We also analyzed the evolution of the WN1 anomaly and heat flux anomaly, both in the troposphere and stratosphere, during January–March 2008. The amplitude of the tropospheric WN1 pattern reached a maximum and was consistent with a downward wave coupling event influenced by the stratospheric WN1 anomaly at 10 hPa. This was consistent with the reflection of the WN1 component over Eurasia, which triggered an anomalous blocking high in the Urals–Siberia region. We further clarified the impact of reflection on the tropospheric WN1 field and hence the tropospheric circulation pattern by changing the propagation direction during and after the event.

Key words

planetary wave reflection singular value decomposition (SVD) Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux blocking circulation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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