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Title: The South America Low-Level Jet: form, variability and large-scale forcings

Northerly low-level jets (LLJ) along the eastern Andes are important conduits of moisture transport and play central roles in modulating precipitation in South America. This study further investigates the variability of the LLJ during extended austral summers. A new method characterizes the spatial extent of the LLJ and finds four distinct types: Central, Northern, Andes and Peru. We show the existence of specific evolutions such that the LLJ may initiate in the central region, expands along the Andes and terminates in the northern region. Conversely, the LLJ may propagate from north-to-south. The spatiotemporal evolution of the LLJ is remotely forced by Rossby wave trains propagating from the Pacific Ocean towards South America, and the different phases of the wave trains favor the occurrences of Central, Northern or Andes types. Occurrences of Central and Northern types are more frequent in El Niño and La Niña years, respectively. The persistence of precipitation is shown to be directly related to the persistence of the LLJ. Lastly, the Madden-Julian Oscillation plays an important role in generating wave trains modulating the frequency of LLJ, especially the Central type.

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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
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Journal Name:
npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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