A Diagnosis of Two Blocking Events That Occurred Simultaneously in the Midlatitude Northern Hemisphere
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Using the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres Goddard Earth Observing System-1 analyses, the horizontal distribution of atmospheric forcing processes involved in the growth, maintenance, and decay of two Northern Hemisphere midlatitude blocking anticyclones that occurred simultaneously were examined, with the goal of determining whether there was a dynamic connection between the two cases. The complete form of the Zwack- Okossi equation, which is a generalization of the Petterssen-Sutcliffe development equation, was used as the primary diagnostic tool. The basic analyses were partitioned into their planetary-scale and synoptic-scale components (noninteraction) 500-hPa height tendencies, as well as scale interaction 500-hPa height tendencies. Based on the results of this diagnosis, there was no dynamic connection between these blocking anticyclones. This result agrees with findings of other studies based on a statistical analysis of simultaneous blocking. These results also imply that blocking may be a local phenomenon. The diagnostic results from these blocking events were, in many respects, similar to those of previous studies. However, some key differences were found. For example, it was found here that for both mode 2 blocking events, temperature advection was an important mechanism in block formation. Earlier results showed vorticity advection as the primary atmospheric forcing process in block formation for a mode 1 block. Also, the scalepartitioned results show that upstream cyclones contributed to block formation and intensification in these events directly through the synoptic-scale component, often with the support of the interaction component, of the total forcing. Earlier scale-partitioned results showed that the interaction component of the total forcing was most important in the formation of a mode 1 block.
Monthly Weather Review Volume 125, Issue 8 pp.1801-1823