Predictability of the early winter Arctic oscillation from autumn Eurasian snowcover in subseasonal forecast models

Chaim I. Garfinkel, Chen Schwartz, Ian P. White, Jian Rao
2020 Climate Dynamics  
The response of the early winter Northern Hemisphere stratospheric polar vortex and tropospheric Arctic Oscillation to anomalous autumn snow cover in Eurasia is evaluated in four operational subseasonal forecasting models. Of these four models, the two with finer stratospheric resolution simulate a weakened vortex for hindcasts initialized with more extensive snow as compared to those with less extensive snow, consistent with the observed effect, though the modeled effect is significantly
more » ... significantly weaker than that observed. The other two models fail to capture the local Western Eurasian ridge in response to enhanced snow, and hence their failure to simulate a stratospheric response may be due to biases in representing surface-atmosphere coupling rather than their coarser stratospheric resolution per se. There is no evidence of a tropospheric Arctic Oscillation response in early winter in any of these models, which may be related to the weakness of the stratospheric response or (in one model) to too-weak coupling from the stratosphere down to the surface. Overall, the possible contribution of autumn snowcover over Eurasia to improved predictability of the winter Arctic Oscillation in subseasonal forecast models has not yet been realized even in a probabilistic sense.
doi:10.1007/s00382-020-05305-3 fatcat:nmqapo2glrd7jih3wkfmqrqy4u