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Association between the 11-Yr Solar Cycle, the QBO, and the Atmosphere. Part III: Aspects of the Association

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  • 1 Institut für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

The probable association in the northern winter between the atmosphere and the 11-yr solar cycle extends to the frequency of lows in the North American east coast trough and thus adds a synoptic aspect to the previously described atmospheric variability on the 11-yr time scale. Statistically significant correlations of sea level pressure, 700-mb height, and surface air temperature on the Northern Hemisphere in July–August with the 11-yr solar cycle are found primarily over the oceans. The few years for which data of sea level pressure at grid points are available an the Southern Hemisphere yield coherent correlation patterns in summer and winter which are especially marked in the East years of the QBO. The temperature in the lower stratosphere over the South Pole in spring is well correlated with the solar activity in the East and hardly at all in the West years of the QBO. On the Northern Hemisphere the West years in spring are as strongly correlated with the solar cycle in the stratosphere as they are in winter. The pattern of positive and negative correlations is, however, the opposite of that in winter, which we interpret as being related to the different time of occurrence of the final warming in years with or without major midwinter warmings.

Abstract

The probable association in the northern winter between the atmosphere and the 11-yr solar cycle extends to the frequency of lows in the North American east coast trough and thus adds a synoptic aspect to the previously described atmospheric variability on the 11-yr time scale. Statistically significant correlations of sea level pressure, 700-mb height, and surface air temperature on the Northern Hemisphere in July–August with the 11-yr solar cycle are found primarily over the oceans. The few years for which data of sea level pressure at grid points are available an the Southern Hemisphere yield coherent correlation patterns in summer and winter which are especially marked in the East years of the QBO. The temperature in the lower stratosphere over the South Pole in spring is well correlated with the solar activity in the East and hardly at all in the West years of the QBO. On the Northern Hemisphere the West years in spring are as strongly correlated with the solar cycle in the stratosphere as they are in winter. The pattern of positive and negative correlations is, however, the opposite of that in winter, which we interpret as being related to the different time of occurrence of the final warming in years with or without major midwinter warmings.

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