Synoptic scale study of the Arctic polar vortex's influence on the middle atmosphere, 1, observations

Andrew J. Gerrard, Timothy Joseph Kane, Jeffrey P. Thayer, Thomas J. Duck, James A. Whiteway, Jens Fiedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present nightly Rayleigh lidar temperature measurements of the high-latitude middle atmosphere taken at three Arctic sites over similar time periods in midwinter. The four reported case studies depict changes in the thermal structure of the stratosphere and lower mesosphere over a period of days to weeks that can be attributed to movement and interaction of the polar vortex, the Aleutian High, and planetary waves as evidenced from the National Center for Environmental Prediction tropospheric and stratospheric analyses. In cases where substantial (i.e., large horizontal scale) movement of the vortex is observed, it is noted that regional middle atmospheric Arctic temperatures can change by tens of degrees. In other cases, we show that even very subtle (i.e., small horizontal scale) movement of the vortex system over similar timescales can result in notable temperature changes in the regional middle atmosphere. It appears that the observed events are dependant on the location, strength, and structure of the polar vortex and Aleutian High. All of these synoptic scale measurements indicate a change in the local dynamical structure of the middle atmosphere and are discussed in regards to this issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume107
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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middle atmosphere
polar vortex
Arctic region
Vortex flow
vortices
Upper atmosphere
vortex
lidar
temperature
planetary wave
thermal structure
mesosphere
stratosphere
Optical radar
planetary waves
optical radar
Temperature measurement
polar regions
case studies
timescale

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Gerrard, Andrew J. ; Kane, Timothy Joseph ; Thayer, Jeffrey P. ; Duck, Thomas J. ; Whiteway, James A. ; Fiedler, Jens. / Synoptic scale study of the Arctic polar vortex's influence on the middle atmosphere, 1, observations. In: Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres. 2002 ; Vol. 107, No. 16.
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Synoptic scale study of the Arctic polar vortex's influence on the middle atmosphere, 1, observations. / Gerrard, Andrew J.; Kane, Timothy Joseph; Thayer, Jeffrey P.; Duck, Thomas J.; Whiteway, James A.; Fiedler, Jens.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, Vol. 107, No. 16, 01.01.2002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Fiedler, Jens

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N2 - We present nightly Rayleigh lidar temperature measurements of the high-latitude middle atmosphere taken at three Arctic sites over similar time periods in midwinter. The four reported case studies depict changes in the thermal structure of the stratosphere and lower mesosphere over a period of days to weeks that can be attributed to movement and interaction of the polar vortex, the Aleutian High, and planetary waves as evidenced from the National Center for Environmental Prediction tropospheric and stratospheric analyses. In cases where substantial (i.e., large horizontal scale) movement of the vortex is observed, it is noted that regional middle atmospheric Arctic temperatures can change by tens of degrees. In other cases, we show that even very subtle (i.e., small horizontal scale) movement of the vortex system over similar timescales can result in notable temperature changes in the regional middle atmosphere. It appears that the observed events are dependant on the location, strength, and structure of the polar vortex and Aleutian High. All of these synoptic scale measurements indicate a change in the local dynamical structure of the middle atmosphere and are discussed in regards to this issue.

AB - We present nightly Rayleigh lidar temperature measurements of the high-latitude middle atmosphere taken at three Arctic sites over similar time periods in midwinter. The four reported case studies depict changes in the thermal structure of the stratosphere and lower mesosphere over a period of days to weeks that can be attributed to movement and interaction of the polar vortex, the Aleutian High, and planetary waves as evidenced from the National Center for Environmental Prediction tropospheric and stratospheric analyses. In cases where substantial (i.e., large horizontal scale) movement of the vortex is observed, it is noted that regional middle atmospheric Arctic temperatures can change by tens of degrees. In other cases, we show that even very subtle (i.e., small horizontal scale) movement of the vortex system over similar timescales can result in notable temperature changes in the regional middle atmosphere. It appears that the observed events are dependant on the location, strength, and structure of the polar vortex and Aleutian High. All of these synoptic scale measurements indicate a change in the local dynamical structure of the middle atmosphere and are discussed in regards to this issue.

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