JP6.13 The role of the Altai-Sayan Mountains on the midwinter suppression of North Pacific storminess in a comprehensive climate model

Thursday, 11 June 2009
Stowe Room (Stoweflake Resort and Confernce Center)
Hyo Seok Park, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

We tested the effect of Altai-Sayan mountain heights on North Pacific storminess by varying the height of the mountains, from flat topography to the current heights in NCAR CCM3 (T42 resolution). The model storminess is suppressed over the North Pacific as the mountain height increases.

Increasing the height of the Altai-Sayan mountains shifts the region of stationary eddy momentum flux convergence equatorward, which shifts the stormtracks equatorward as well. The equatorward shift of the stormtracks reduces the storminess over the Altai-Sayan region, which in turn reduces the intensity and frequency of eddies entering into the North Pacific.

The equatorward shift of the stormtracks also decreases the local baroclinicity in the North Pacific, and thereby weakens the local storm development. Even though the baroclinicity in the subtropical North Pacific increases, the latitudinally constrained sharp-narrow subtropical jet seems to suppress the storm development. The high barotropic conversion rate might also be a suppression factor.

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