2.5 Modeling the Interaction of the Madden–Julian Oscillation and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:30 AM
Salon K (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Zane K Martin, Columbia Univ., New York, NY; and S. Wang, J. Nie, and A. H. Sobel

Handout (4.3 MB)

The stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and the intra-seasonal Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) are two hallmark features of the tropical atmosphere. Recent observational results have demonstrated a strong correlation between the MJO and the QBO, particularly in boreal winter, with enhanced MJO activity and increased predictability during the easterly phase of the QBO. Despite the robustness of the observational result, the physical processes through which the MJO and QBO interact are unknown and largely unstudied. We demonstrate that the MJO can be simulated in the WRF cloud-resolving model with large-scale forcing taken from the DYNAMO field campaign, during a period when two MJO events were observed and the QBO was in a neutral phase. We look at the effect of forcing the model MJO with idealized temperature anomalies around the tropopause, representative of the easterly and westerly QBO phases. While the model demonstrates some robust relationships between the MJO and QBO – including an increase in the vertical velocity and cloud fraction, and a decrease in OLR during the easterly QBO phase – other variables, such as precipitation, depend on the QBO phase and the particular MJO event in a more complicated manner. We conclude with some preliminary results towards understanding the mechanisms driving the MJO-QBO relationship through examining the effects of cloud-radiative feedback and horizontal moisture advection on the model results.
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