A Numerical Sensitivity Study of the Influence of Siberian Snow on the Northern Annular Mode

Une étude de sensibilité numérique de l'influence de la neige sibérienne sur le mode annulaire de l'hémisphère nord

Peings, Yannick ; Saint-Martin, David ; Douville, Hervé

Année de publication
2012

The climate version of the general circulation model Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle (ARPEGE-Climat) is used to explore the relationship between the autumn Siberian snow and the subsequent winter northern annular mode by imposing snow anomalies over Siberia. As the model presents some biases in the representation of the polar vortex, a nudging methodology is used to obtain a more realistic but still interactive extratropical stratosphere in the model. Free and nudged sensitivity experiments are compared to discuss the dependence of the results on the northern stratosphere climatology. For each experiment, a positive snow mass anomaly imposed from October to March over Siberia leads to significant impacts on the winter atmospheric circulation in the extratropics. In line with previous studies, the model response resembles the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. The well-documented stratospheric pathway between snow and the Arctic Oscillation operates in the nudged experiment, while a more zonal propagation of the signal is found in the free experiment. Thus, the study provides two main findings: it supports the influence of Siberian snow on the winter extratropical circulation and highlights the importance of the northern stratosphere representation in the models to capture this teleconnection. These findings could have important implications for seasonal forecasting, as most of the operational models present biases similar to those of the ARPEGE-Climat model.

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