Dynamics of Extreme Stratospheric Negative Heat Flux Events in an Idealized Model

Etienne Dunn-Sigouin Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

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Tiffany Shaw Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

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Abstract

Recent work has shown that extreme stratospheric wave-1 negative heat flux events couple with the troposphere via an anomalous wave-1 signal. Here, a dry dynamical core model is used to investigate the dynamical mechanisms underlying the events. Ensemble spectral nudging experiments are used to isolate the role of specific dynamical components: 1) the wave-1 precursor, 2) the stratospheric zonal-mean flow, and 3) the higher-order wavenumbers. The negative events are partially reproduced when nudging the wave-1 precursor and the zonal-mean flow whereas they are not reproduced when nudging either separately. Nudging the wave-1 precursor and the higher-order wavenumbers reproduces the events, including the evolution of the stratospheric zonal-mean flow. Mechanism denial experiments, whereby one component is fixed to the climatology and others are nudged to the event evolution, suggest higher-order wavenumbers play a role by modifying the zonal-mean flow and through stratospheric wave–wave interaction. Nudging all tropospheric wave precursors (wave-1 and higher-order wavenumbers) confirms they are the source of the stratospheric waves. Nudging all stratospheric waves reproduces the tropospheric wave-1 signal. Taken together, the experiments suggest the events are consistent with downward wave propagation from the stratosphere to the troposphere and highlight the key role of higher-order wavenumbers.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Etienne Dunn-Sigouin, etienne.dunn-sigouin@uib.no

Abstract

Recent work has shown that extreme stratospheric wave-1 negative heat flux events couple with the troposphere via an anomalous wave-1 signal. Here, a dry dynamical core model is used to investigate the dynamical mechanisms underlying the events. Ensemble spectral nudging experiments are used to isolate the role of specific dynamical components: 1) the wave-1 precursor, 2) the stratospheric zonal-mean flow, and 3) the higher-order wavenumbers. The negative events are partially reproduced when nudging the wave-1 precursor and the zonal-mean flow whereas they are not reproduced when nudging either separately. Nudging the wave-1 precursor and the higher-order wavenumbers reproduces the events, including the evolution of the stratospheric zonal-mean flow. Mechanism denial experiments, whereby one component is fixed to the climatology and others are nudged to the event evolution, suggest higher-order wavenumbers play a role by modifying the zonal-mean flow and through stratospheric wave–wave interaction. Nudging all tropospheric wave precursors (wave-1 and higher-order wavenumbers) confirms they are the source of the stratospheric waves. Nudging all stratospheric waves reproduces the tropospheric wave-1 signal. Taken together, the experiments suggest the events are consistent with downward wave propagation from the stratosphere to the troposphere and highlight the key role of higher-order wavenumbers.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Etienne Dunn-Sigouin, etienne.dunn-sigouin@uib.no
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