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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-604
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-604
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  25 Sep 2020

25 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

The Spring Transition of the North Pacific Jet and its Relation to Deep Stratosphere-to-Troposphere Mass Transport over Western North America

Melissa Leah Breeden1, Amy Hawes Butler1, John Robert Albers2, Michael Sprenger3, and Andrew O’Neil Langford1 Melissa Leah Breeden et al.
  • 1Chemical Sciences Laboratory, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories, Boulder, 80305, USA
  • 2Physical Sciences Laboratory, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories, Boulder, 80305, USA
  • 3Institute for Atmosphere and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. Stratosphere-to-troposphere mass transport to the planetary boundary layer (STT-PBL) peaks over the western United States during boreal spring, when deep stratospheric intrusions are most frequent. The tropopause-level jet structure modulates the frequency and character of intrusions, although the precise relationship between STT-PBL and jet variability has not been extensively investigated. In this study, we demonstrate how the north Pacific jet transition from winter to summer leads to the observed peak in STT-PBL. We show that the transition enhances STT-PBL through an increase in storm track activity which produces highly-amplified Rossby waves and more frequent deep stratospheric intrusions over western North America. This dynamic transition coincides with the gradually deepening planetary boundary layer, further facilitating STT-PBL in spring. We find that La Niña conditions in late winter are associated with an earlier jet transition and enhanced STT-PBL due to deeper and more frequent tropopause folds. An opposite response is found during El Niño conditions. ENSO conditions also influence STT-PBL in late spring/early summer, during which time La Niña conditions are associated with larger and more frequent tropopause folds than both El Niño and ENSO neutral conditions. These results suggest that knowledge of ENSO state and the north Pacific jet structure in late winter could be leveraged for predicting the strength of STT-PBL in the following months.

Melissa Leah Breeden et al.

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Melissa Leah Breeden et al.

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Short summary
Prior research has found a maximum in deep stratosphere-to-troposphere mass/ozone transport over the western United States in boreal spring, which can enhance surface ozone concentrations, reducing air quality. We find that the winter-to-summer evolution of the north Pacific jet increases the frequency of stratospheric intrusions that drive transport, helping explain the observed maximum. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation affects the timing of the spring jet transition and therefore transport.
Prior research has found a maximum in deep stratosphere-to-troposphere mass/ozone transport over...
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