ABSTRACT: Diagnostics of finite-amplitude local wave activity (LWA) are applied to the 500-hPa geopotential height field to diagnose persistent synoptic weather events of anomalously large wave activity in the Northern Hemisphere. By considering the cyclonic and anticyclonic components of LWA separately, persistent weather systems associated with large-amplitude troughs and ridges are detected.While anticyclonic wave events are predominantly found over Europe and Alaska, cyclonic wave events usually occur over East Asia and northeastern Canada. Those preferred regions correspond to the location of planetary-scale ridges and troughs, which contribute, together with transient anomalies, to the formation of wave events. Although wave events are not blocking events per definition, they are typically associated with increased blocking in their vicinity. Their spatial relationship to blocking, however, varies depending on their cyclonic or anticyclonic nature and the type of wave-breaking signatures. Wave events are also shown to be accompanied by warm or cold temperature extremes, whose spatial pattern depends on the type of events, cyclonic or anticyclonic, and the sector affected. Trends in the frequency of wave events indicate that cyclonic wave events and the associated cold extremes affecting East Asia have become more frequent in recent decades and could be linked to recent trends toward La Niña–like conditions in the Pacific and trends toward the negative phase of Arctic Oscillation.
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