Composite Synoptic-Scale Environments Conducive to North American Polar–Subtropical Jet Superposition Events
A polar–subtropical jet superposition represents a dynamical and thermodynamic environment conducive to the production of high-impact weather. Prior work indicates that the synoptic-scale environments that support the development of North American jet superpositions vary depending on the case under consideration. This variability motivates an analysis of the range of synoptic–dynamic mechanisms that operate within a double-jet environment to produce North American jet superpositions. This study identifies North American jet superposition events during November–March 1979–2010 and subsequently classifies those events into three characteristic event types. “Polar dominant” events are those during which only the polar jet is characterized by a substantial excursion from its climatological latitude band, “subtropical dominant” events are those during which only the subtropical jet is characterized by a substantial excursion from its climatological latitude band, and “hybrid” events are those characterized by a mutual excursion of both jets from their respective climatological latitude bands. The analysis indicates that North American jet superposition events occur most often during November and December, and subtropical dominant events are the most frequent event type for all months considered. Composite analyses constructed for each event type reveal the consistent role that descent plays in restructuring the tropopause beneath the jet-entrance region prior to jet superposition. The composite analyses further show that surface cyclogenesis and widespread precipitation lead the development of subtropical dominant events and contribute to jet superposition via their associated divergent circulations and diabatic heating, whereas surface cyclogenesis and widespread precipitation tend to peak at the time of superposition and well downstream of polar dominant events.
Keyser, Daniel; Bosart, Lance F.; Winters, Andrew C.; and Martin, Jonathan E., "Composite Synoptic-Scale Environments Conducive to North American Polar–Subtropical Jet Superposition Events" (2020). Atmospheric and Environmental Science Faculty Scholarship. 15.