• Ambaum, M. H. P., , and B. J. Hoskins, 2002: The NAO troposphere–stratosphere connection. J. Climate, 15 , 19691978.

  • Andrews, D. G., , and M. E. McIntyre, 1978: Generalized Eliassen–Palm and Charney–Drazin theorems for waves on axisymmetric flows in compressible atmospheres. J. Atmos. Sci., 35 , 175185.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Andrews, D. G., , J. R. Holton, , and C. B. Leovy, 1987: Middle Atmosphere Dynamics. Academic Press, 489 pp.

  • Baldwin, M. P., , and T. J. Dunkerton, 1999: Downward propagation of the Arctic Oscillation from the stratosphere to the troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 104 , 3093730946.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baldwin, M. P., , and T. J. Dunkerton, 2001: Stratospheric harbingers of anomalous weather regimes. Science, 294 , 581584.

  • Charney, J. G., , and P. G. Drazin, 1961: Propagation of planetary-scale disturbances from the lower into the upper atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 66 , 83109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dritschel, D. G., 1988: Nonlinear stability bounds for inviscid, two-dimensional, parallel or circular flows with monotonic vorticity, and the analogous three-dimensional quasi-geostrophic flows. J. Fluid Mech., 191 , 575582.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dritschel, D. G., , and R. Saravanan, 1994: Three-dimensional quasi-geostrophic contour dynamics, with an application to stratospheric vortex dynamics. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 120 , 12671297.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dritschel, D. G., , and M. H. P. Ambaum, 1997: A contour–advective semi-Lagrangian numerical algorithm for simulating fine-scale conservative dynamical fields. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 123 , 10971130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunkerton, T. J., , and D. P. Delisi, 1985: The subtropical mesospheric jet observed by the Nimbus 7 limb infrared monitor of the stratosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 90D , 1068110692.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunkerton, T. J., , C-P. F. Hsu, , and M. E. McIntyre, 1981: Some Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostics for a model stratospheric warming. J. Atmos. Sci., 38 , 819843.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harnik, N., , and R. S. Lindzen, 2001: The effect of reflecting surfaces on the vertical structure and variability of stratospheric planetary waves. J. Atmos. Sci., 58 , 28722894.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holton, J. R., , P. H. Haynes, , M. E. McIntyre, , A. R. Douglass, , R. B. Rood, , and L. Pfister, 1995: Stratosphere–troposphere exchange. Rev. Geophys., 33 , 403439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Macaskill, C., , W. E. P. Padden, , and D. G. Dritschel, 2003: The CASL algorithm for quasi-geostrophic flow in a cylinder. J. Comput. Phys., 188 , 232251.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntyre, M. E., 1990: Middle atmospheric dynamics and transport: Some current challenges to our understanding. Dynamics, Transport and Photochemistry in the Middle Atmosphere of the Southern Hemisphere: San Francisco NATO Workshop, A. O’Neill, Ed., Kluwer, 1–18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntyre, M. E., , and T. N. Palmer, 1983: Breaking planetary waves in the stratosphere. Nature, 305 , 593600.

  • Newman, P. A., , and E. R. Nash, 2005: The unusual Southern Hemisphere stratosphere winter of 2002. J. Atmos. Sci., 62 , 614628.

  • Pedlosky, J., 1987: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. 2d ed. Springer-Verlag, 710 pp.

  • Perlwitz, J., , and N. Harnik, 2003: Observational evidence of a stratospheric influence on the troposphere by planetary wave reflection. J. Climate, 16 , 30113026.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plumb, R. A., and Coauthors, 1994: Intrusions into the lower stratospheric Arctic vortex during the winter of 1991–92. J. Geophys. Res., 99 , 10891105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Polvani, L. M., , and R. Saravanan, 2000: The three-dimensional structure of breaking Rossby waves in the polar wintertime stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 57 , 36633685.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scott, R. K., , and D. G. Dritschel, 2005: Quasi-geostrophic vortices in compressible atmospheres. J. Fluid Mech., 530 , 305325.

  • Scott, R. K., , D. G. Dritschel, , L. M. Polvani, , and D. W. Waugh, 2004: Enhancement of Rossby wave breaking by steep potential vorticity gradients in the winter stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 61 , 904918.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, D. W. J., , and J. M. Wallace, 1998: The Arctic Oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25 , 12971300.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, D. W. J., , M. P. Baldwin, , and J. M. Wallace, 2002: Stratospheric connection to Northern Hemisphere wintertime weather: Implications for prediction. J. Climate, 15 , 14211428.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waugh, D. W., , and D. G. Dritschel, 1999: The dependence of Rossby wave breaking on the vertical structure of the polar vortex. J. Atmos. Sci., 56 , 23592375.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waugh, D. W., and Coauthors, 1994: Transport of material out of the stratospheric Arctic vortex by Rossby wave breaking. J. Geophys. Res., 99 , 10711088.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 7 7 3
PDF Downloads 8 8 2

Downward Wave Propagation on the Polar Vortex

View More View Less
  • 1 School of Mathematics, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom
© Get Permissions
Restricted access

Abstract

This paper considers the propagation of waves on the edge of a stratospheric polar vortex, represented by a three-dimensional patch of uniform potential vorticity in a compressible quasigeostrophic system. Waves are initialized by perturbing the vortex from axisymmetry in the center of the vortex, and their subsequent upward and downward propagation is measured in terms of a nonlinear, pseudomomentum-based wave activity. Under conditions typical of the winter stratosphere, the dominant direction of wave propagation is downward, and wave activity accumulates in the lower vortex levels. The reason for the preferred downward propagation arises from a recent result of Scott and Dritschel, which showed that the three-dimensional Green’s function in the compressible system contains an anisotropy that causes a general differential rotation in a finite volume vortex. The sense of the differential rotation is to stabilize the upper vortex and destabilize the lower vortex. This mechanism is particularly interesting in view of recent interest in the downward influence of the stratosphere on the troposphere and also provides a possible conservative, balanced explanation of the formation of the robust dome plus annulus potential vorticity structure observed in the upper stratosphere.

* Current affiliation: NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington

Corresponding author address: R. K. Scott, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 3027, Bellevue, WA 98009-3027. Email: scott@nwra.com

Abstract

This paper considers the propagation of waves on the edge of a stratospheric polar vortex, represented by a three-dimensional patch of uniform potential vorticity in a compressible quasigeostrophic system. Waves are initialized by perturbing the vortex from axisymmetry in the center of the vortex, and their subsequent upward and downward propagation is measured in terms of a nonlinear, pseudomomentum-based wave activity. Under conditions typical of the winter stratosphere, the dominant direction of wave propagation is downward, and wave activity accumulates in the lower vortex levels. The reason for the preferred downward propagation arises from a recent result of Scott and Dritschel, which showed that the three-dimensional Green’s function in the compressible system contains an anisotropy that causes a general differential rotation in a finite volume vortex. The sense of the differential rotation is to stabilize the upper vortex and destabilize the lower vortex. This mechanism is particularly interesting in view of recent interest in the downward influence of the stratosphere on the troposphere and also provides a possible conservative, balanced explanation of the formation of the robust dome plus annulus potential vorticity structure observed in the upper stratosphere.

* Current affiliation: NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington

Corresponding author address: R. K. Scott, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 3027, Bellevue, WA 98009-3027. Email: scott@nwra.com

Save