Diversity of the Madden-Julian Oscillation

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Science Advances  31 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaax0220
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0220


Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the dominant mode of atmospheric intraseasonal variability and the cornerstone for subseasonal prediction of extreme weather events. Climate modeling and prediction of MJO remain a big challenge, partially due to lack of understanding the MJO diversity. Here, we delineate observed MJO diversity by cluster analysis of propagation patterns of MJO events, which reveals four archetypes: standing, jumping, slow eastward propagation, and fast eastward propagation. Each type exhibits distinctive east-west asymmetric circulation and thermodynamic structures. Tight coupling between the Kelvin wave response and major convection is unique for the propagating events, while the strength and length of Kelvin wave response distinguish slow and fast propagations. The Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies can affect MJO diversity by modifying the Kelvin wave response and its coupling to MJO convection. The results shed light on the mechanisms responsible for MJO diversity and provide potential precursors for foreseeing MJO propagation.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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