Articles | Volume 17, issue 18
Research article
21 Sep 2017
Research article |  | 21 Sep 2017

Comparison of large-scale dynamical variability in the extratropical stratosphere among the JRA-55 family data sets: impacts of assimilation of observational data in JRA-55 reanalysis data

Masakazu Taguchi

Abstract. This study compares large-scale dynamical variability in the extratropical stratosphere, such as major stratospheric sudden warmings (MSSWs), among the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55) family data sets. The JRA-55 family consists of three products: a standard product (STDD) of the JRA-55 reanalysis data and two sub-products of JRA-55C (CONV) and JRA-55AMIP (AMIP). CONV assimilates only conventional surface and upper-air observations without assimilation of satellite observations, whereas AMIP runs the same numerical weather prediction model without assimilation of observational data. A comparison of the occurrence of MSSWs in Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter shows that, compared to STDD, CONV delays several MSSWs by 1 to 4 days and also misses a few MSSWs. CONV also misses the Southern Hemisphere (SH) MSSW in September 2002. AMIP shows significantly fewer MSSWs in Northern Hemisphere winter and especially lacks MSSWs of the high aspect ratio of the polar vortex in which the vortex is highly stretched or split. A further examination of daily geopotential height differences between STDD and CONV reveals occasional peaks in both hemispheres that are separated from MSSWs. The delayed and missed MSSW cases have smaller height differences in magnitude than such peaks. The height differences for those MSSWs include large contributions from the zonal component, which reflects underestimations in the weakening of the zonal mean polar night jet in CONV. We also explore strong planetary wave forcings and associated polar vortex weakenings for STDD and AMIP. We find a lower frequency of strong wave forcings and weaker vortex responses to such wave forcings in AMIP, consistent with the lower MSSW frequency.

Short summary
This study explores dynamical variability of the polar vortex in the stratosphere among the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis family data. Results show that the assimilation of conventional (surface and balloon) observations increases the dynamical variability as the vortex in the model is more quiescent without the assimilation. The assimilation of satellite data in addition to the conventional data strengthens and/or advances some vortex weakening events, although the impacts appear in various ways.
Final-revised paper