Impact of the north atlantic warming hole on sensible weather

Melissa Gervais, Jeffrey Shaman, Yochanan Kushnir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In future climate projections there is a notable lack of warming in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, known as the North Atlantic warming hole (NAWH). In a set of large-ensemble atmospheric simulations with the Community Earth System Model, the NAWH was previously shown to contribute to the projected poleward shift and eastward elongation of the North Atlantic jet. The current study investigates the impact of the warming hole on sensible weather, particularly over Europe, using the same simulations. North Atlantic jet regimes are classified within the model simulations by applying self-organizing maps analysis to winter daily wind speeds on the dynamic tropopause. The NAWH is found to increase the prevalence of jet regimes with stronger and more-poleward-shifted jets. A previously identified transient eddy-mean response to the NAWH that leads to a downstream enhancement of wind speeds is found to be dependent on the jet regime. These localized regime-specific changes vary by latitude and strength, combining to form the broad increase in seasonal-mean wind speeds over Eurasia. Impacts on surface temperature and precipitation within the various North Atlantic jet regimes are also investigated. A large decrease in surface temperature over Eurasia is found to be associated with the NAWH in regimes where air masses are advected eastward over the subpolar gyre prior to reaching Eurasia. Precipitation is found to be locally suppressed over the warming hole region and increased directly downstream. The impact of this downstream response on coastal European precipitation is dependent on the strength of the NAWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4255-4271
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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