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Weather and Climate Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2019-7
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2019-7
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 24 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 24 Sep 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Weather and Climate Dynamics (WCD).

The Role of Eddy-Eddy Interactions in Sudden Stratospheric Warming Formation

Erik Anders Lindgren and Aditi Sheshadri Erik Anders Lindgren and Aditi Sheshadri
  • Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Abstract. The effects of eddy-eddy interactions on sudden stratospheric warming formation are investigated using an idealized atmospheric general circulation model, in which tropospheric heating perturbations of zonal wave numbers 1 and 2 are used to produce planetary scale wave activity. Eddy-eddy interactions are removed at different vertical extents of the atmosphere in order to examine the sensitivity of stratospheric circulation to local changes in eddy-eddy interactions. We show that the effects of eddy-eddy interactions on sudden warming formation, including sudden warming frequencies, are strongly dependent on the wave number of the tropospheric forcing and the vertical levels where eddy-eddy interactions are removed. Significant changes in sudden warming frequencies are evident when eddy-eddy interactions are removed even when the lower stratospheric wave forcing does not change, highlighting the fact that the upper stratosphere is not a passive recipient of wave forcing from below. We find that while eddy-eddy interactions are required in the troposphere and lower stratosphere to produce displacements when wave number 2 heating is used, both splits and displacements can be produced without eddy-eddy interactions in the troposphere and lower stratosphere when the model is forced by wave number 1 heating. We suggest that the relative strengths of wave numbers 1 and 2 vertical wave flux entering the stratosphere largely determine the split and displacement ratios when wave number 2 forcing is used, but not wave number 1.

Erik Anders Lindgren and Aditi Sheshadri
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Erik Anders Lindgren and Aditi Sheshadri
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Data for "The Role of Eddy-Eddy Interactions in Sudden Stratospheric Warming Formation" E. A. Lindgren and A. Sheshadri https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/PR63B

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Supplemental movies for "The Role of Eddy-Eddy Interactions in Sudden Stratospheric Warming Formation" E. A. Lindgren and A. Sheshadri https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/3VRME

Erik Anders Lindgren and Aditi Sheshadri
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Latest update: 09 Dec 2019
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Short summary
Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are extreme events that influence surface weather up to two months after onset. We remove EEIs in vertical sections of a general circulation model to investigate the role of eddy-eddy interactions (EEIs) in SSW formation. We show that the effects of EEIs depend strongly on the pressure levels where they occur and the zonal structure of the wave forcing in the troposphere. Our results highlight the importance of upper level processes in stratospheric dynamics.
Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are extreme events that influence surface weather up to two...
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