Structure and formation mechanisms of the northern hemisphere summertime subtropical highs

  • Miyasaka T
  • Nakamura H
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Abstract Three-dimensional structure and dynamics of the climatological-mean summertime subtropical highs over the North Pacific and Atlantic (i.e., the Azores high) are investigated. Each of the observed surface highs is accompanied by a meridional vorticity dipole aloft, exhibiting barotropic and baroclinic structures in its northern and southern portions, respectively, in a manner dynamically consistent with the observed midtropospheric subsidence. Each of the highs develops over the relatively cool eastern ocean, where a pronounced near-surface thermal contrast exists with a heated landmass to the east. The authors demonstrate through numerical experiments that those highs can be reproduced in response to a local shallow cooling–heating couplet associated with this thermal contrast, although the upper-level response is somewhat underestimated. The model experiments suggest that the near-surface thermal contrasts associated with those surface subtropical highs over the Pacific and Atlantic can act as s...

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