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Links between large-scale modes of climate variability and synoptic weather patterns in the southern Indian Ocean

Udy, DG, Vance, TR ORCID: 0000-0001-6970-8646, Kiem, AS, Holbrook, NJ ORCID: 0000-0002-3523-6254 and Curran, MAJ 2021 , 'Links between large-scale modes of climate variability and synoptic weather patterns in the southern Indian Ocean' , Journal of Climate, vol. 34, no. 3 , 883–899 , doi:

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Weather systems in the southern Indian Ocean (SIO) drive synoptic-scale precipitation variability in East Antarctica and southern Australia. Improved understanding of these dynamical linkages is beneficial to diagnose long-term climate changes from climate proxy records as well as informing regional weather and climate forecasts. Self-organising maps (SOMs) are used to group daily 500hPa geopotential height (z500; ERA-Interim) anomalies into nine regional synoptic types based on their dominant patterns over the SIO (30°-75°S, 40°-180°E) from January 1979-October 2018. The pattern anomalies represented include four meridional, three mixed meridional/zonal, one zonal and one transitional node. The frequency of the meridional nodes shows limited association with the phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), especially during SON. The zonal and mixed patterns were nevertheless strongly and significantly correlated with SAM, although the regional synoptic representation of SAM+ conditions was not zonally symmetric and was represented by three separate nodes. We recommend consideration of how different synoptic conditions vary the atmospheric representation of SAM+ in any given season in the SIO. These different types of SAM+ mean a hemispheric index fails to capture the regional variability in surface weather conditions that is primarily driven by the synoptic variability rather than the absolute polarity of the SAM.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Udy, DG and Vance, TR and Kiem, AS and Holbrook, NJ and Curran, MAJ
Keywords: Southern Indian Ocean, synoptics, atmospheric dynamics, climate variability
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Climate
Publisher: Amer Meteorological Soc
ISSN: 0894-8755
DOI / ID Number:
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