Vortex–Vortex Interactions for the Maintenance of Blocking. Part I: The Selective Absorption Mechanism and a Case Study
Abstract A new block maintenance mechanism, the selective absorption mechanism (SAM), is proposed. According to this mechanism, which is based on vortex?vortex interactions (i.e., the interactions between a blocking anticyclone and synoptic eddies with the same polarity), a blocking anticyclone actively and selectively absorbs synoptic anticyclones (strictly, air parcels with low potential vorticity). The blocking anticyclone, which is thus supplied with low potential vorticity of the synoptic anticyclones, can subsist for a prolonged period, withstanding dissipation. The SAM was verified in a case study through trajectory analysis. Ten actual cases of blocking were examined. Trajectories were calculated by tracing parcels originating from synoptic anticyclones and cyclones located upstream of the blocking. Parcels starting from anticyclones were attracted to and absorbed by the blocking anticyclone, whereas parcels from cyclones were repelled by the blocking anticyclone and attracted to the blocking cyclone, if one was present. The results show that the SAM is effective in the maintenance of observed cases of blocking. In addition, the uniqueness and distinction of the SAM from other previously proposed maintenance mechanisms are discussed.