Interannual Modulation of Northern Hemisphere Winter Storm Tracks by the QBO

Jiabao Wang, Hye Mi Kim, Edmund K.M. Chang

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34 Scopus citations


Storm tracks, defined as the preferred regions of extratropical synoptic-scale disturbances, have remarkable impacts on global weather and climate systems. Causes of interannual storm track variation have been investigated mostly from a troposphere perspective. As shown in this study, Northern Hemisphere winter storm tracks are significantly modulated by the tropical stratosphere through the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). The North Pacific storm track shifts poleward during the easterly QBO winters associated with a dipole change in the eddy refraction and baroclinicity. The North Atlantic storm track varies vertically with a downward shrinking (upward expansion) in easterly (westerly) QBO winters associated with the change of the tropopause height. These results not only fill the knowledge gap of QBO-storm track relationship but also suggest a potential route to improve the seasonal prediction of extratropical storm activities owing to the high predictability of the QBO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2786-2794
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2018

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©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • Northern Hemisphere winter
  • QBO
  • storm track


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