Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 615–625, 2017
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 615–625, 2017

Research article 12 Jan 2017

Research article | 12 Jan 2017

Stratospheric tropical warming event and its impact on the polar and tropical troposphere

Kunihiko Kodera1, Nawo Eguchi2, Hitoshi Mukougawa3, Tomoe Nasuno4, and Toshihiko Hirooka5 Kunihiko Kodera et al.
  • 1Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 2Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Japan
  • 3Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
  • 4Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract. Stratosphere–troposphere coupling is investigated in relation to middle atmospheric subtropical jet (MASTJ) variations in boreal winter. An exceptional strengthening of the MASTJ occurred in association with a sudden equatorward shift of the stratospheric polar night jet (PNJ) in early December 2011. This abrupt transformation of the MASTJ and PNJ had no apparent relation to the upward propagation of planetary waves from the troposphere. The impact of this stratospheric event penetrated into the troposphere in two regions: in the northern polar region and the tropics. Due to the strong MASTJ, planetary waves at higher latitudes were deflected and trapped in the northern polar region. Trapping of the planetary waves resulted in amplification of zonal wave number 1 component, which appeared in the troposphere as the development of a trough over the Atlantic sector and a ridge over the Eurasian sector. A strong MASTJ also suppressed the equatorward propagation of planetary waves, which resulted in weaker tropical stratospheric upwelling and produced anomalous warming in the tropical stratosphere. In the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), however, sublimation of ice clouds kept the temperature change minor. In the troposphere, an abrupt termination of a Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) event occurred following the static stability increase in the TTL. This termination suggests that the stratospheric event affected the convective episode in the troposphere.

Short summary
An exceptional strengthening of the middle atmospheric subtropical jet occurred without an apparent relationship with the tropospheric circulation. The analysis of this event demonstrated downward penetration of stratospheric influence to the troposphere: in the north polar region amplification of planetary wave occurred due to a deflection by the strong middle atmospheric subtropical jet, whereas in the tropics, increased tropopause temperature suppressed equatorial convective activity.
Final-revised paper