Matt Patterson

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Matt Patterson

Graduate Student

split_jet_U300_JAS_1984.pngZonal wind at 200hPa during austral winter in 1984

I study the dynamics of the south pacific split jet stream and am supervised by Tim Woollings at Oxford and Tom Bracegirdle at the British Antarctic Survey.

In austral winter (JJA), the jet stream over the south pacific splits into two branches - a zonally orientated subtropical jet and a polar front jet directed south-eastwards. Both of these jets act as waveguides, steering storm systems eastwards towards South America or polewards towards Antarctica.

Although this feature is characteristic of austral Winter, there is considerable variability from year-to-year and during the course of a season. I'm attempting to understand the sources of this variability and the impacts that it has on the surrounding regions. In particular I'm currently studying the influence of high frequency eddies and tropical sea surface temperature anomalies on upper level circulation in the south pacific using reanalysis data.

I'm a tutor for the course 'C5: physics of the atmosphere and oceans' which is a major course for fourth year physics students.