The Asian Subtropical Westerly Jet Stream in CRA-40, ERA5, and CFSR Reanalysis Data: Comparative Assessment


  • The Asian subtropical westerly jet (AWJ) exerts crucial influences on Eurasian continent weather and climate. This paper analyzes the advantages and limitations of CRA-40, which is China’s first generation 40-yr (1979–2018) glo-bal atmosphere and land reanalysis product, in describing the characteristics of AWJ, compared with the ECMWF Reanalysis version 5 (ERA5) and NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR). The results show a close agreement across the three reanalyses on the whole. (1) In terms of climatology, overall differences of 200-hPa zonal wind across the three reanalyses are within ± 0.5 m s−1 (i.e., ± 2%). Large differences with maxima of ± 2 m s−1 (± 5%) appear over the Iranian Plateau and south of the Tibetan Plateau in the mid–upper troposphere in winter. (2) For seasonal cycle, the position and intensity of the AWJ centers in the three reanalyses are highly consistent, with correlation coefficient over 0.98. But there are some discrepancies in the zonal shift of the western AWJ center during the transition season. (3) On the interannual timescale, intensity of all AWJ centers varies consistently among the three reanalyses, while larger differences appear in their meridional displacement, especially in the eastern AWJ center. (4) For long-term variations, the three reanalyses all present a significant northward movement of the westerly jet axis in winter, and a southward displacement over central Asia (40°–80°E) and a northward migration over East Asia (80°–110°E) in summer. Thus, this study has provided confidence that CRA-40 has comparable performance with ERA5 and CFSR in depicting the characteristics of AWJ.
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