Lower-Stratospheric radiative damping and polar-night jet oscillation events

Peter Hitchcock, Theodore G. Shepherd, Masakazu Taguchi, Shigeo Yoden, Shunsuke Noguchi

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of stratospheric radiative damping time scales on stratospheric variability and on stratosphere-troposphere coupling is investigated in a simplified global circulation model by modifying the vertical profile of radiative damping in the stratosphere while holding it fixed in the troposphere. Perpetual-January conditions are imposed, with sinusoidal topography of zonal wavenumber 1 or 2. The depth and duration of the simulated sudden stratospheric warmings closely track the lower-stratospheric radiative time scales. Simulations with the most realistic profiles of radiative damping exhibit extended timescale recoveries analogous to polar-night jet oscillation (PJO) events, which are observed to follow sufficiently deep stratospheric warmings. These events are characterized by weak lower-stratospheric winds and enhanced stability near the tropopause, which persist for up to 3 months following the initial warming. They are obtained with both wave-1 and wave-2 topography. Planetary-scale Eliassen-Palm (EP) fluxes entering the vortex are also suppressed, which is in agreement with observed PJO events. Consistent with previous studies, the tropospheric jets shift equatorward in response to the warmings. The duration of the shift is closely correlated with the period of enhanced stability. The magnitude of the shift in these runs, however, is sensitive only to the zonalwavenumber of the topography.Although the shift is sustained primarily by synoptic-scale eddies, the net effect of the topographic form drag and the planetary-scale fluxes is not negligible; they damp the surface wind response but enhance the vertical shear. The tropospheric response may also reduce the generation of planetary waves, further extending the stratospheric dynamical time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1408
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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