Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 14601-14643, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
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Planetary wave activity in the Arctic and Antarctic lower stratospheres during 2007 and 2008
S. P. Alexander1 and M. G. Shepherd2
1Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
2Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science, York University, Toronto, Canada

Abstract. Temperature data from the COSMIC GPS-RO satellite constellation are used to study planetary wave activity in both polar stratospheres from September 2006 until November 2008. One major and several minor sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) were recorded during the boreal winters of 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. Planetary wave morphology is studied using space-time spectral analysis while individual waves are extracted using a linear least squares fitting technique. Results show the planetary wave frequency and zonal wavenumber distribution varying between hemisphere and altitude. Most of the large Northern Hemisphere wave activity is associated with the winter SSWs, while the largest amplitude waves in the Southern Hemisphere occur during spring. Planetary wave activity during the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 Arctic SSWs is due largely to travelling waves with zonal wavenumbers |s|=1 and |s|=2 having periods of 12, 16 and 23 days and stationary waves with |s|=1 and |s|=2. The latitudinal variation of wave amplification during the two Northern Hemisphere winters is studied. Most planetary waves show different structure and behaviour during each winter. Abrupt changes in the latitude of maximum amplitude of some planetary waves is observed co-incident in time with some of the SSWs.

Citation: Alexander, S. P. and Shepherd, M. G.: Planetary wave activity in the Arctic and Antarctic lower stratospheres during 2007 and 2008, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 14601-14643, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-14601-2009, 2009.
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