Statistical analysis of the relationship between Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and Southern Annular Mode

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Fernanda Cerqueira Vasconcellos
Maria Lívia Lins Mattos-Gava
Clovis Angeli Sansigolo


The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is an extratropical pattern that influences the climate of all Southern Hemisphere. However, the variability of this mode is an active area of research. The influence of lower frequency modes on SAM is a path to better knowledge about this pattern. The relationship between Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) and SAM’s counterpart in the Northern Hemisphere (Northern Annular Mode) has been addressed by previous work. Still, few studies focus on the association between QBO and SAM. The goal of this work was to evaluate the possible QBO-SAM relationship through statistical analyses. This association was investigated by comparing QBO and SAM indices, the latter on different levels of the troposphere and stratosphere, for the 1981-2010 period. The wavelet analysis showed that the SAM indices for troposphere and stratosphere presented variability in many scales, including a two-year band. Cross-wavelets techniques between QBO and SAM ratified that this relation has a complex interaction. There was a significant common high power around the two-year band, with lags varying over the analyzed period, including no lag. Further analysis without lag confirmed previous studies, indicating that the negative (positive) SAM phase is more frequent for easterly (westerly) QBO. However, this was not valid for all months. Some additional analysis suggested that the upward wave propagation to the stratosphere for each QBO phase changes the stratospheric jet and, consequently, the SAM phase.


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