Hannachi, A., T. Woollings, and K. Fraedrich, 2012: “The North Atlantic jet stream: a look at preferred positions, paths and transitions.” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, v. 138, pp. 862–877, doi: 10.1002/qj.959.
Preferred jet stream positions and their link to regional circulation patterns over the winter North Atlantic/European sector are investigated to corroborate findings of multimodal behavior of the jet positions and to analyze patterns of preferred paths and transition probabilities between jet regimes using ERA-40 data. Besides the multivariate Gaussian mixture model, hierarchical clustering and data image techniques are used for this purpose. The different approaches all yield circulation patterns that correspond to the preferred jet regimes, namely the southern, central and the northern positions associated respectively with the Greenland anticyclone or blocking, and two opposite phases of an East Atlantic-like flow pattern. Growth and decay patterns as well as preferred paths of the system trajectory are studied using the mixture model within the delay space. The analysis shows that the most preferred paths are associated with central to north and north to south jet stream transitions with a typical time-scale of about 5 days, and with life cycles of 1–2 weeks. The transition paths are found to be consistent with transition probabilities. The analysis also shows that wave breaking seems to be the dominant mechanism behind Greenland blocking.