Quasi-stationary planetary waves in late winter Antarctic stratosphere temperature as a possible indicator of spring total ozone
Abstract. Stratospheric preconditions for the annual Antarctic ozone hole are analyzed using the amplitude of quasi-stationary planetary waves in temperature as a predictor of total ozone column behaviour. It is found that the quasi-stationary wave amplitude in August is highly correlated with September–November total ozone over Antarctica with correlation coefficient (r) as high as 0.83 indicating that quasi-stationary wave effects in late winter have a persisting influence on the evolution of the ozone hole during the following three months. Correlation maxima are found in both the lower and middle stratosphere. These likely result from the influence of wave activity on ozone depletion due to chemical processes, and ozone accumulation due to large-scale ozone transport, respectively. Both correlation maxima indicate that spring total ozone tends to increase in the case of amplified activity of quasi-stationary waves in late winter. Since the stationary wave number one dominates the planetary waves that propagate into the Antarctic stratosphere in late austral winter, it is largely responsible for the stationary zonal asymmetry of the ozone hole relative to the South Pole. Processes associated with zonally asymmetric ozone and temperature which possibly contribute to differences in the persistence and location of the correlation maxima are discussed.