Articles | Volume 5, issue 6
15 Jun 2005
15 Jun 2005

Evidence for long-lived polar vortex air in the mid-latitude summer stratosphere from in situ laser diode CH4 and H2O measurements

G. Durry and A. Hauchecorne

Abstract. A balloon borne diode laser spectrometer was launched in southern France in June 2000 to yield in situ stratospheric CH4 and H2O measurements. In the altitude region ranging from 20km to 25km, striking large spatial structures were observed in the vertical concentration profiles of both species. We suggest these patterns are due to the presence of long-lived remnants of the wintertime polar vortex in the mid-latitude summer stratosphere. To support this interpretation, a high resolution advection model for potential vorticity is used to investigate the evolution of the Arctic vortex after its breakdown phase in spring 2000.

Final-revised paper