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Karin Labitzke

Abstract

The interannual variability of the stratosphere in the northern winter is discussed, mainly on the basis of zonal harmonic wave analyses of the daily height and temperature fields in the middle stratosphere. Comparing 12 winters, common and distinctive characteristics of the midwinter disturbances have been evaluated and three types of midwinter warmings have been identified.

It is shown that the main difference between disturbed and undisturbed winter months in the middle stratosphere lies in the different development of zonal harmonic wave 2, and that the development and vertical extent of this wave depend on the vertical structure of the cold trough over Canada.

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Karin Labitzke

Abstract

The development in time and space of the planetary-scale height waves 1 and 2 and of the mean zonal flow is described for the winter 1978/79. It is concluded that this winter supports earlier observational results: the anomalous amplification of height wave 1 in the stratosphere concurrent with a distinct minimum of height wave 2 is a characteristic precondition for the development of a major warming. If, later, the breakdown itself concurs with the development of height wave 2, the amplification of height wave 1 before is needed insofar as it changes the zonal flow, i.e., displaces the stratospheric jet poleward, to favor propagation of height wave 2.

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Harry van Loon, Karin Labitzke, and Roy L. Jenne

Abstract

This note deals with the standard deviations of 24-hr changes in 10-mb temperatures and heights. The standard deviations are differently distributed in disturbed and in quiet winter months. In the disturbed months their largest values form a coherent area at high latitudes; in the quiet months they surround the polar region as a ring with its center on the Atlantic side.

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