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R. S. Lieberman, J. France, D. A. Ortland, and S. D. Eckermann

Abstract

Recent studies suggest linkages between anomalously warm temperatures in the winter stratosphere, and the high-latitude summer mesopause. The summer temperature anomaly is manifested in the decline of polar mesospheric clouds. The two-day wave is a strong-amplitude and transient summer feature that interacts with the background state so as to warm the high-latitude summer mesopause. This wave has been linked to a low-latitude phenomenon called inertial instability, that is organized by breaking planetary waves in the winter stratosphere. Hence, inertial instability has been identified as a possible nexus between the disturbed winter stratosphere, and summer mesopause warming. We investigate a sustained occurrence of inertial instability during July 19-August 8, 2014. During this period, stratospheric winter temperatures warmed by about 10 K, while a steep decline in polar mesospheric clouds was reported between July 26–August 6. We present, for the first time, wave driving associated with observed inertial instability. The effect of inertial instability is to export eastward momentum from the winter hemisphere across the equator into the summer hemisphere. Using a primitive equation model, we demonstrate that the wave stresses destabilize the stratopause summer easterly jet. The reconfigured wind profile excites the wavenumber 4 component of the two-day wave, leading to enhanced warming of the summer mesopause. This work supports previous numerical investigations that identified planetary wave-driven inertial instability as a source of the two-day wave.

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Julio T. Bacmeister, Stephen D. Eckermann, Athanasios Tsias, Kenneth S. Carslaw, and Thomas Peter

Abstract

Power spectral densities (PSDs) of mesoscale fluctuations of temperature and rate of change of temperature (heating–cooling rate) due to a spectrum of stratospheric gravity waves are derived using canonical spectral forms based on observations and linear gravity wave theory. The parameterization developed here assumes a continuous distribution of horizontal wave phase speeds, as opposed to a previous spectral parameterization in which all waves were assigned stationary ground-based phase speeds. Significantly different heating–cooling rate PSDs result in each case. The differences are largest at small horizontal scales, where the continuous phase-speed parameterization yields heating–cooling rate PSDs that are several orders of magnitude smaller than in the stationary phase-speed parameterization. A simple Monte Carlo method is used to synthesize randomly phased temperature perturbation time series within tagged air parcels using either spectral parameterization. These time series are incorporated into a nonequilibrium, microphysical trajectory-box model to assess the microphysical consequences of each parameterization. Collated results yield a “natural” geophysical scatter of instantaneous aerosol volumes within air parcels away from equilibrium conditions. The amount of scatter was much smaller when the continuous phase-speed parameterization was used.

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Stephen D. Eckermann, Andreas Dörnbrack, Harald Flentje, Simon B. Vosper, M. J. Mahoney, T. Paul Bui, and Kenneth S. Carslaw

Abstract

The results of a multimodel forecasting effort to predict mountain wave–induced polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) for airborne science during the third Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE)/Third European Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone (THESEO 2000) Arctic ozone campaign are assessed. The focus is on forecasts for five flights of NASA's instrumented DC-8 research aircraft in which PSCs observed by onboard aerosol lidars were identified as wave related. Aircraft PSC measurements over northern Scandinavia on 25–27 January 2000 were accurately forecast by the mountain wave models several days in advance, permitting coordinated quasi-Lagrangian flights that measured their composition and structure in unprecedented detail. On 23 January 2000 mountain wave ice PSCs were forecast over eastern Greenland. Thick layers of wave-induced ice PSC were measured by DC-8 aerosol lidars in regions along the flight track where the forecasts predicted enhanced stratospheric mountain wave amplitudes. The data from these flights, which were planned using this forecast guidance, have substantially improved the overall understanding of PSC microphysics within mountain waves. Observations of PSCs south of the DC-8 flight track on 30 November 1999 are consistent with forecasts of mountain wave–induced ice clouds over southern Scandinavia, and are validated locally using radiosonde data. On the remaining two flights wavelike PSCs were reported in regions where no mountain wave PSCs were forecast. For 10 December 1999, it is shown that locally generated mountain waves could not have propagated into the stratosphere where the PSCs were observed, confirming conclusions of other recent studies. For the PSC observed on 14 January 2000 over northern Greenland, recent work indicates that nonorographic gravity waves radiated from the jet stream produced this PSC, confirming the original forecast of no mountain wave influence. This forecast is validated further by comparing with a nearby ER-2 flight segment to the south of the DC-8, which intercepted and measured local stratospheric mountain waves with properties similar to those predicted. In total, the original forecast guidance proves to be consistent with PSC data acquired from all five of these DC-8 flights. The work discussed herein highlights areas where improvements can be made in future wave PSC forecasting campaigns, such as use of anelastic rather than Boussinesq linearized gridpoint models and a need to forecast stratospheric gravity waves from sources other than mountains.

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David C. Fritts, Ronald B. Smith, Michael J. Taylor, James D. Doyle, Stephen D. Eckermann, Andreas Dörnbrack, Markus Rapp, Bifford P. Williams, P.-Dominique Pautet, Katrina Bossert, Neal R. Criddle, Carolyn A. Reynolds, P. Alex Reinecke, Michael Uddstrom, Michael J. Revell, Richard Turner, Bernd Kaifler, Johannes S. Wagner, Tyler Mixa, Christopher G. Kruse, Alison D. Nugent, Campbell D. Watson, Sonja Gisinger, Steven M. Smith, Ruth S. Lieberman, Brian Laughman, James J. Moore, William O. Brown, Julie A. Haggerty, Alison Rockwell, Gregory J. Stossmeister, Steven F. Williams, Gonzalo Hernandez, Damian J. Murphy, Andrew R. Klekociuk, Iain M. Reid, and Jun Ma

Abstract

The Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE) was designed to quantify gravity wave (GW) dynamics and effects from orographic and other sources to regions of dissipation at high altitudes. The core DEEPWAVE field phase took place from May through July 2014 using a comprehensive suite of airborne and ground-based instruments providing measurements from Earth’s surface to ∼100 km. Austral winter was chosen to observe deep GW propagation to high altitudes. DEEPWAVE was based on South Island, New Zealand, to provide access to the New Zealand and Tasmanian “hotspots” of GW activity and additional GW sources over the Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea. To observe GWs up to ∼100 km, DEEPWAVE utilized three new instruments built specifically for the National Science Foundation (NSF)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Gulfstream V (GV): a Rayleigh lidar, a sodium resonance lidar, and an advanced mesosphere temperature mapper. These measurements were supplemented by in situ probes, dropsondes, and a microwave temperature profiler on the GV and by in situ probes and a Doppler lidar aboard the German DLR Falcon. Extensive ground-based instrumentation and radiosondes were deployed on South Island, Tasmania, and Southern Ocean islands. Deep orographic GWs were a primary target but multiple flights also observed deep GWs arising from deep convection, jet streams, and frontal systems. Highlights include the following: 1) strong orographic GW forcing accompanying strong cross-mountain flows, 2) strong high-altitude responses even when orographic forcing was weak, 3) large-scale GWs at high altitudes arising from jet stream sources, and 4) significant flight-level energy fluxes and often very large momentum fluxes at high altitudes.

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