Climatology of the Equatorial Lower Stratosphere

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  • 1 Physicd Dynamics, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98009
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Abstract

Twenty years of radiosonde data have been analyzed in an attempt to develop a latitudinal structure climatology of winds, temperature and geopotential at 30 and 50 mb in the equatorial stratosphere. The fine latitudinal resolution provided by the WMO station network reveals several interesting features in the latitudinal structure of the annual and quasi-biennial cycles which dominate this region. For example, the westerly and easterly acceleration phases of the quasi-biennial oscillation are markedly different. Westerly accelerations appear first at the equator, spreading outward with time to higher latitude and an more intense, on average, than the easterly accelerations. The easterly accelerations are more uniform in latitude, but leer uniform in time, sometimes occurring in two stages.

The quasi-biennial wind and temperature oscillations are symmetric about the equator, while the annual harmonic in zonal wind is antisymmetric about the equator, but is not proportional to the Coriolis parameter. Monthly mean zonal wind and temperature appear to be in thermal wind balance at the equator.

Some brief remarks are also made concerning variability of the quasi-biennial oscillation and the effects of El Chichón.

Abstract

Twenty years of radiosonde data have been analyzed in an attempt to develop a latitudinal structure climatology of winds, temperature and geopotential at 30 and 50 mb in the equatorial stratosphere. The fine latitudinal resolution provided by the WMO station network reveals several interesting features in the latitudinal structure of the annual and quasi-biennial cycles which dominate this region. For example, the westerly and easterly acceleration phases of the quasi-biennial oscillation are markedly different. Westerly accelerations appear first at the equator, spreading outward with time to higher latitude and an more intense, on average, than the easterly accelerations. The easterly accelerations are more uniform in latitude, but leer uniform in time, sometimes occurring in two stages.

The quasi-biennial wind and temperature oscillations are symmetric about the equator, while the annual harmonic in zonal wind is antisymmetric about the equator, but is not proportional to the Coriolis parameter. Monthly mean zonal wind and temperature appear to be in thermal wind balance at the equator.

Some brief remarks are also made concerning variability of the quasi-biennial oscillation and the effects of El Chichón.

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