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An Index Intercomparison for MJO Events and Termination


The Madden‐Julian oscillation (MJO) is a significant contributor to climate variability in the tropics. While many studies have examined the MJO, few have considered its termination. Multiple indices exist to track and forecast the MJO although the influence of each index on MJO decay has not been documented. This study presents an intercomparison of several MJO indices for a 34‐year period to examine the evolution of MJO events and comprises an index‐specific climatology for MJO termination. We present an analysis of common indices including the OLR‐based MJO index (OMI) and filtered OMI (FMO) in addition to the real‐time multivariate MJO (RMM) and velocity potential MJO (VPM) index. Normalized empirical orthogonal function comparisons reveal only minor shifts in longitude and time in the corresponding convection and circulation anomalies between indices. The daily rate‐of‐change (ROC) for each index is derived, and we find that the RMM and VPM indices experience twice as large of daily amplitude changes as the univariate indices. Results from the ROC analysis are implemented in an MJO event identification algorithm to study the sensitivity of MJO termination to changes in the temporary minimum amplitude and threshold used to define events. The corresponding counts of primary, continuing, and circumnavigating events are recorded with primary events being robust to changes in the temporary minimum amplitude. Finally, an MJO climatology is created that presents MJO termination as a function of phase for each index. Physical reasons behind differences in the termination climatology are proposed in addition to applications for future work.

Author: Justin P. Stachnik, Brett Chrisler
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres( IF:1 )   Time:2020-09-16
DOI:10.1029/2020JD032507    [Quote]
Link:     Article     PDF

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