Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 1835-1889, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Jet characterization in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS): applications to climatology and transport studies
G. L. Manney1,2, M. I. Hegglin3, W. H. Daffer1, M. L. Santee1, E. A. Ray4,5, S. Pawson6, M. J. Schwartz1, C. D. Boone7, L. Froidevaux1, N. J. Livesey1, W. G. Read1, and K. A. Walker3,7
1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
2New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, USA
3University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
5Earth Systems Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
6NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
7University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Abstract. A method of classifying the upper tropospheric/lower stratospheric (UTLS) jets has been developed that allows satellite and aircraft trace gas data and meteorological fields to be efficiently mapped in a jet coordinate view. A detailed characterization of multiple tropopauses accompanies the jet characterization. Jet climatologies show the well-known high altitude subtropical and lower altitude polar jets in the upper troposphere, as well as a pattern of concentric polar and subtropical jets in the Southern Hemisphere, and shifts of the primary jet to high latitudes associated with blocking ridges in Northern Hemisphere winter. The jet-coordinate view segregates air masses differently than the commonly-used equivalent latitude (EqL) coordinate throughout the lowermost stratosphere and in the upper troposphere. Mapping O3 data from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) satellite and the Winter Storms aircraft datasets in jet coordinates highlights important advantages in comparison to an EqL-coordinate view: strong PV, tropopause height and trace gas gradients across the subtropical jet are washed out in the latter and clearly highlighted in the former. The jet coordinate view emphasizes the presence of stratospheric ozone well below the tropopause, especially poleward of and below the jet core, and highlights other transport features associated with the upper tropospheric jets. MLS and Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment-Fourier Transform Spectrometer trace gas fields for spring 2008 in jet coordinates show very strong, closely correlated, PV, tropopause height and trace gas gradients across the jet, and evidence of intrusions of stratospheric air below the tropopause below and poleward of the subtropical jet; these features are consistent between instruments and among multiple trace gases. Our characterization of the jets is facilitating studies that will improve our understanding of upper tropospheric trace gas evolution.

Citation: Manney, G. L., Hegglin, M. I., Daffer, W. H., Santee, M. L., Ray, E. A., Pawson, S., Schwartz, M. J., Boone, C. D., Froidevaux, L., Livesey, N. J., Read, W. G., and Walker, K. A.: Jet characterization in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS): applications to climatology and transport studies, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 1835-1889, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-1835-2011, 2011.
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