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Title: Regional Characteristics of Variability in the Northern Hemisphere Wintertime Polar Front Jet and Subtropical Jet in Observations and CMIP6 Models

Variability in the position and strength of the subtropical jet (STJ) and polar front jet (PFJ) streams has important implications for global and regional climate. Previous studies have related the position and strength of the STJ to tropical thermodynamic processes, whereas the position and strength of the PFJ are more associated with midlatitude eddies. These conclusions have largely resulted from studies using idealized models. In this study, ERA‐Interim reanalysis and CMIP6 global climate models are used to examine month‐to‐month and interannual variability of the wintertime Northern Hemisphere (NH) STJ and PFJ. This study particularly focuses on the regional characteristics of the jet variability, extending previous studies on zonal‐mean jet streams. Consistent with idealized modeling studies, a close relationship is found between tropical outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and the STJ and between midlatitude lower tropospheric temperature gradients and the PFJ. Variations of both jets are also linked to well‐known teleconnection patterns. Variations in tropical convection over the Pacific Ocean are associated with variations of the NH STJ at most longitudes, with different phases of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) associated with the shift and strengthening of the STJ in different regions. CMIP6 models generally capture these relationships, but the models’ tropical convection is often displaced westward when compared to observations, reflecting a climatological bias in OLR in the western tropical Pacific Ocean in many models. The displaced tropical convection in models excites different paths of Rossby wave propagation, resulting in different ENSO teleconnections on the STJ over North America and Europe.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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