Articles | Volume 22, issue 23
Research article
12 Dec 2022
Research article |  | 12 Dec 2022

Vertical structure of the lower-stratospheric moist bias in the ERA5 reanalysis and its connection to mixing processes

Konstantin Krüger, Andreas Schäfler, Martin Wirth, Martin Weissmann, and George C. Craig

Related authors

Influence of radiosonde observations on the sharpness and altitude of the midlatitude tropopause in the ECMWF IFS
Konstantin Krüger, Andreas Schäfler, Martin Weissmann, and George C. Craig
Weather Clim. Dynam., 5, 491–509,,, 2024
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Dynamics | Research Activity: Remote Sensing | Altitude Range: Stratosphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
Aeolus wind lidar observations of the 2019/2020 quasi-biennial oscillation disruption with comparison to radiosondes and reanalysis
Timothy P. Banyard, Corwin J. Wright, Scott M. Osprey, Neil P. Hindley, Gemma Halloran, Lawrence Coy, Paul A. Newman, Neal Butchart, Martina Bramberger, and M. Joan Alexander
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 2465–2490,,, 2024
Short summary
Convective gravity wave events during summer near 54° N, present in both AIRS and Rayleigh–Mie–Raman (RMR) lidar observations
Eframir Franco-Diaz, Michael Gerding, Laura Holt, Irina Strelnikova, Robin Wing, Gerd Baumgarten, and Franz-Josef Lübken
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 1543–1558,,, 2024
Short summary
Observational perspective on SSWs and blocking from EP fluxes
Kamilya Yessimbet, Andrea K. Steiner, Florian Ladstädter, and Albert C. Ossó
EGUsphere,,, 2024
Short summary
Signatures of the Madden–Julian oscillation in middle-atmosphere zonal mean temperature: triggering the interhemispheric coupling pattern
Christoph G. Hoffmann, Lena G. Buth, and Christian von Savigny
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 12781–12799,,, 2023
Short summary
The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and global-scale tropical waves in Aeolus wind observations, radiosonde data, and reanalyses
Manfred Ern, Mohamadou A. Diallo, Dina Khordakova, Isabell Krisch, Peter Preusse, Oliver Reitebuch, Jörn Ungermann, and Martin Riese
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 9549–9583,,, 2023
Short summary

Cited articles

Bhawar, R., Di Girolamo, P., Summa, D., Flamant, C., Althausen, D., Behrendt, A., Kiemle, C., Bosser, P., Cacciani, M., Champollion, C., Di Iorio, T., Engelmann, R., Herold, C., Müller, D., Pal, S., Wirth, M., and Wulfmeyer, V.: The water vapour intercomparison effort in the framework of the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study: airborne-to-ground-based and airborne-to-airborne lidar systems, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 325–348,, 2011. 
Birner, T. and Bönisch, H.: Residual circulation trajectories and transit times into the extratropical lowermost stratosphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 817–827,, 2011. 
Birner, T., Dörnbrack, A., and Schumann, U.: How sharp is the tropopause at midlatitudes?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, 45-1–45-4,, 2002. 
Bland, J., Gray, S., Methven, J., and Forbes, R.: Characterizing extratropical near-tropopause analysis humidity biases and their radiative effects on temperature forecasts, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 3878–3898,, 2021. 
Brewer, A. W.: Evidence for a world circulation provided by the measurements of helium and water vapor distribution in the stratosphere, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 75, 351–363,, 1949. 
Short summary
A comprehensive data set of airborne lidar water vapour profiles is compared with ERA5 reanalyses for a robust characterization of the vertical structure of the mid-latitude lower-stratospheric moist bias. We confirm a moist bias of up to 55 % at 1.3 km altitude above the tropopause and uncover a decreasing bias beyond. Collocated O3 and H2O observations reveal a particularly strong bias in the mixing layer, indicating insufficiently modelled transport processes fostering the bias.
Final-revised paper