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Yayoi Harada
Atsushi Goto
Hiroshi Hasegawa
Norihisa Fujikawa
Hiroaki Naoe
, and
Toshihiko Hirooka


The major stratospheric sudden warming (SSW) event of January 2009 is analyzed using the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Climate Data Assimilation System (JCDAS). This SSW event is characterized by the extraordinary predominance of the planetary-scale wave of zonal wavenumber 2 (wave 2). The total amount of the upward Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux for wave 2 was the strongest since the winter of 1978/79.

It is found that the remarkable development of the upper troposphere ridge over Alaska played important roles in the SSW in January 2009. During the first development stage, the ridge excited wave packets upward as well as eastward over around Alaska. The eastward-propagating packets intensified a trough over eastern Siberia, which led to the development of the planetary wave over eastern Siberia during the second development stage. The results of this study indicate that the pronounced wave-2 pattern observed in the stratosphere was brought about by accumulative effects of rather localized propagation of wave packets from the troposphere during the course of this SSW event rather than by the ubiquitous propagation of planetary-scale disturbances in the troposphere.

The features of the SSW in January 2009 are quite similar to those during the major stratospheric warming event in February 1989: both SSWs are characterized by the predominance of wave 2, the remarkable development of the upper troposphere ridge over around Alaska, and positive SSTs in the eastern part of the North Pacific corresponding to a La Niña condition.

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