Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae Sun, Earth, planets, and planetary systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 36, 181-192, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-181-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Regular paper
31 Jan 2018
Longitudinal structure of stationary planetary waves in the middle atmosphere – extraordinary years
Jan Lastovicka, Peter Krizan, and Michal Kozubek Institute of Atmospheric Physics ASCR, Bocni II, 14131 Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract. One important but little studied factor in the middle atmosphere meridional circulation is its longitudinal structure. Kozubek et al. (2015) disclosed the existence of the two-cell longitudinal structure in meridional wind at 10 hPa at higher latitudes in January. This two-cell structure is a consequence of the stratospheric stationary wave SPW1 in geopotential heights. Therefore here the longitudinal structure in geopotential heights and meridional wind is analysed based on MERRA data over 1979–2013 and limited NOGAPS-ALPHA data in order to find its persistence and altitudinal dependence with focus on extraordinary years. The SPW1 in geopotential heights and related two-cell structure in meridional wind covers the middle stratosphere (lower boundary  ∼  50 hPa), upper stratosphere and most of the mesosphere (almost up to about 0.01 hPa). The two-cell longitudinal structure in meridional wind is a relatively persistent feature; only 9 out of 35 winters (Januaries) display more complex structure. Morphologically the deviation of these extraordinary Januaries consists in upward propagation of the second (Euro-Atlantic) peak (i.e. SPW2 structure) to higher altitudes than usually, mostly up to the mesosphere. All these Januaries occurred under the positive phase of PNA (Pacific North American) index but there are also other Januaries under its positive phase, which behave in an ordinary way. The decisive role in the existence of extraordinary years (Januaries) appears to be played by the SPW filtering by the zonal wind pattern. In all ordinary years the mean zonal wind pattern in January allows the upward propagation of SPW1 (Aleutian peak in geopotential heights) up to the mesosphere but it does not allow the upward propagation of the Euro-Atlantic SPW2 peak to and above the 10 hPa level. On the other hand, the mean zonal wind filtering pattern in extraordinary Januaries is consistent with the observed pattern of geopotential heights at higher altitudes.

Citation: Lastovicka, J., Krizan, P., and Kozubek, M.: Longitudinal structure of stationary planetary waves in the middle atmosphere – extraordinary years, Ann. Geophys., 36, 181-192, https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-181-2018, 2018.
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Short summary
The longitudinal structure in geopotential heights and meridional wind is analysed for 1979–2013 in order to find its persistence and altitudinal dependence with focus on anomalous years. Substantial deviations from the average pattern are studied for Januaries – typically the second (Euro-Atlantic) peak extends to much higher altitudes than usual. The decisive role in the existence of anomalous years appears to be played by the stationary planetary wave filtering by the zonal wind pattern.
The longitudinal structure in geopotential heights and meridional wind is analysed for 1979–2013...
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