Identification and Climatology of Southern Hemisphere Mobile Fronts in a Modern Reanalysis
AuthorSimmonds, I; Keay, K; Bye, JAT
Source TitleJournal of Climate
PublisherAMER METEOROLOGICAL SOC
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSimmonds, I., Keay, K. & Bye, J. A. T. (2012). Identification and Climatology of Southern Hemisphere Mobile Fronts in a Modern Reanalysis. JOURNAL OF CLIMATE, 25 (6), pp.1945-1962. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00100.1.
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C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
Abstract Presented here is an objective approach to identify, characterize, and track Southern Hemisphere mobile fronts in hemispheric analyses of relatively modest resolution, such as reanalyses. Among the principles in its design were that it should be based on broadscale synoptic considerations and be as simple and easily understood as possible. The resulting Eulerian scheme has been applied to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA)–Interim and a climatology of frontal characteristics, at both the 10-m and 850-hPa levels, derived for the period 1 January 1989–28 February 2009. The knowledge of the character of these features is central to understanding weather and climate over the hemisphere. In both summer and winter the latitude belt 40°–60°S hosts the highest frequency of frontal points, but there are significant zonal asymmetries within this band. The climatology reveals that the longest fronts are in the Indian Ocean where mean lengths exceed 2000 km. The mean frontal intensity over the hemisphere tends to be greater at 850 hPa than at 10 m, and greater in winter than in summer. The frontal intensity also shows its maximum in the Indian Ocean. In the mean, the meridional tilt of these fronts is northwest–southeast over much of the midlatitudes and subtropics, and increases with latitude toward the equator. The tilts are of overwhelmingly opposite sign in the coastal Antarctic and subantarctic regions. Broadly speaking, the number of fronts and their mean length and mean intensity exhibit maxima in winter in the midlatitudes (30°–50°S), but show a sizeable semiannual variation (maxima in fall and spring) during the year at higher latitudes.
KeywordsClimate Change Processes; Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
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