Seasonal variations of the relationship between the North Pacific storm track and the meridional shifts of the subarctic frontal zone

  • Yao Yao
  • Zhong ZhongEmail author
  • Xiu-Qun Yang
  • Xiaogang Huang
Original Paper


This study investigates the seasonally meridional shifts of the subarctic frontal zone (SAFZ) and its relationship with North Pacific storm track (NPST). It is found that the SAFZ is at its southernmost in winter but northernmost in summer, and the maximum standard deviations of the SAFZ meridional position is between 153° E and 163° E, with the maximum amplitude of about 2.5 latitudes. When the SAFZ shifts northward (southward), the NPST moves poleward (equatorward) with the distinct seasonally anomalous patterns, i.e., the NPST meridional displacement is larger in winter and autumn, followed by that in spring, and it is smallest in summer. It is also revealed that the near-surface baroclinicity and baroclinic energy conversion (BCEC) may be responsible for the seasonal variations of the relationship between the NPST and the SAFZ shifts. Accompanied by the northward (southward) shift of the SAFZ, the near-surface baroclinicity zone moves northward (southward) significantly, and more mean available potential energy converts to eddy available potential energy and further transferred to eddy kinetic energy in the northern (southern) part of the NPST, resulting in more pronounced northward (southward) movement of the NPST in winter and autumn. However, the NPST anomalous patterns are relatively weak when the near-surface baroclinicity and BCEC anomalies are small in spring and summer.


Subarctic frontal zone North Pacific storm track Near-surface baroclinicity Baroclinic energy conversion 



We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which led to the significant improvement in the manuscript. The ERA-Interim global atmospheric reanalysis were available for academic purpose at The OISST V2 data were obtained freely from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Climatic Data Center (

Funding information

This work was jointly funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 41490642, No. 41330420], and the R&D Special Fund for Public Welfare Industry (Meteorology) [GYHY201306025].


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Meteorology and OceanographyNational University of Defense TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, School of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Army Academy of Artillery and Air Defense (Nanjing Campus)NanjingChina

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