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Westerly wind bursts simulated in CAM4 and CCSM4

Lian, Tao, Tang, Youmin, Zhou, Lei, Islam, SirajUl, Zhang, Chan, Li, Xiaojing, Ling, Zheng
Climate dynamics 2018 v.50 no.3-4 pp. 1353-1371
El Nino, Madden-Julian Oscillation, climate, climate models, convection, longitude, model validation, prediction, spring, surface temperature, wind direction
The equatorial westerly wind bursts (WWBs) play an important role in modulating and predicting the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In this study, the ability of the Community Atmospheric Model version 4 (CAM4) and the Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) in simulating WWBs is systematically evaluated. Many characteristics of WWBs, including their longitude distributions, durations, zonal extensions, variabilities at seasonal, intraseasonal, and interannual timescales, as well as their relations with the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) and ENSO, are discussed. Generally speaking, these characteristics of WWBs can be successfully reproduced by CAM4, owning to the improvement of the deep convection in the model. In CCSM4, significant bias such as the lack of the equatorial Pacific WWBs in boreal spring season and the weak modulation by a strong MJO are found. Our findings confirm the fact that the WWBs are greatly modulated by the surface temperature. It’s also suggested that improving the air-sea coupling in CCSM4 may improve model performance in simulating WWBs, and may further improve the predictability of ENSO in the coupled model.