Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-749
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-749

  17 Sep 2021

17 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

A case study on the impact of severe convective storms on the water vapor mixing ratio in the lower mid-latitude stratosphere observed in 2019 over Europe

Dina Khordakova1, Christian Rolf1, Jens-Uwe Grooß1, Rolf Müller1, Paul Konopka1, Andreas Wieser2, Martina Krämer1, and Martin Riese1 Dina Khordakova et al.
  • 1Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-7), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 2Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Department Troposphere Research (IMK-TRO) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Extreme convective events in the troposphere not only have immediate impacts on the surface, they can also influence the dynamics and composition of the lower stratosphere (LS). One major impact is the moistening of the LS by overshooting convection. This effect plays a crucial role in climate feedback as small changes of water vapor in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) have a large impact on the radiation budget of the atmosphere. In this case study, we investigate water vapor injections into the LS by two consecutive convective events in the European mid-latitudes within the framework of the MOSES (Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems) measurement campaign during the early summer of 2019. Using balloon-borne instruments, rare measurements of the convective water vapor injection into the stratosphere were performed. The magnitude of the water vapor reached up to 12.1 ppmv with an estimated background value of 5 ppmv. Hence it is in the same order of magnitude as earlier reports of water vapor injection by convective overshooting above North America. However the overshooting took place in the extra-tropical stratosphere and has an impact on long-term water vapor mixing ratios in the stratosphere compared to the Monsoon-influenced region in North America. At the altitude of the measured injection, a sharp drop in a local ozone enhancement peak makes the observed composition of air very unique with high ozone up to 696 ppbv and high water vapor up to 12.1 ppmv. While ERA-Interim data does not show any signal of the convective overshoot, the measured values in the LS are underestimated by MLS satellite data and overestimated by ERA5 reanalysis data. Backward trajectories of the measured injected air masses reveal that the moistening of the LS took place several hours before the balloon launch. This is in good agreement with reanalyses and satellite data showing a strong change in the structure of isotherms, and a sudden and short-lived increase in potential vorticity at the altitude of the trajectory, as well as low cloud top brightness temperatures during the overshooting event.

Dina Khordakova et al.

Status: open (until 29 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-749', Zhipeng Qu, 09 Oct 2021 reply

Dina Khordakova et al.

Dina Khordakova et al.

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Short summary
Extreme storms transport humidity from the troposphere to the stratophere. Here it has a strong impact on the climate. With ongoing global worming we expect more storms and hence an enhancement of this effect. A case study was performed in order to measure the impact of the direct injection of water vapor into the lower stratosphere. The measurements displayed a significant transport of water vapor into the lower stratosohere and this was supported by satellite and reanalysis data.
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