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Atmospheric River Lifecycle Responses to the Madden‐Julian Oscillation

Zhou, Yang and Kim, Hyemi and Waliser, Duane E. (2021) Atmospheric River Lifecycle Responses to the Madden‐Julian Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (3). Art. No. e2020GL090983. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2020gl090983.

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We investigate how the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO), the dominant mode of tropical subseasonal variability, modulates the lifecycle of cool‐season North Pacific atmospheric rivers (ARs). When the enhanced (suppressed) convection center is located over the Indian Ocean (western Pacific), more AR events originate over eastern Asia and with fewer over the subtropical northern Pacific. When the enhanced (suppressed) convection is over the western Pacific (Indian Ocean), the opposite changes occur, with more AR events originate over the subtropical northern Pacific and fewer over eastern Asia. Dynamical processes involving anomalous MJO wind and seasonal mean moisture are found to be the dominant factors impacting these variations in AR origins. The MJO‐related anomalous geopotential height patterns are also shown to modulate the propagation of the AR events. These MJO–AR lifecycle relationships are further supported by model simulations.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemERA‐Interim data ItemOLR data ItemRMM index ItemECMWF AMIP simulation
Zhou, Yang0000-0003-2835-4081
Kim, Hyemi0000-0003-4713-4658
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 27 January 2021; Version of Record online: 27 January 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 28 December 2020; Manuscript accepted: 19 December 2020; Manuscript revised: 22 November 2020; Manuscript received: 25 September 2020. The authors would like to acknowledge the two anonymous reviews for their constructive and thoughtful comments about our manuscript. Y. Zhou was supported by NSF grant AGS‐1652289 and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, Regional & Global Climate Modeling Program, under Award DE‐AC02‐05CH11231. H. Kim was supported by NSF grant AGS‐1652289 and the KMA R&D Program grant KMI2018‐03110. D.E.W.'s contribution to this study was carried out on behalf of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The authors thank Dr. Aneesh Subramanian for sharing the ECMWF AMIP simulation data. Data Availability Statement: ERA‐Interim data were obtained freely from The OLR is provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, CO, USA, from their Web site at The RMM index is obtained from the Bureau of Meteorology from Australian Government ( The ECMWF AMIP simulation is provided by Dr. Aneesh Subramanian which can be downloaded through a dedicated THREDDS Web Server hosted by CINECA (
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Korea Meteorological AdministrationKMI2018‐03110
Subject Keywords:atmospheric river; lifecycle tracking; Madden‐Julian Oscillation; moisture transport
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210202-124308311
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Zhou, Y., Kim, H., & Waliser, D. E. (2021). Atmospheric river lifecycle responses to the Madden‐Julian Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL090983.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107876
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Feb 2021 22:35
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:07

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