The title might seem rather obvious – or a surprising statement coming from me! But what I seek to achieve in this short blog post is provide a simple reminder that historically cold weather has indeed happened without a sudden stratospheric warming (or significant stratospheric polar vortex disruption). The role of the stratosphere can sometimes… Read More There’s more to the UK winter than the stratosphere
The stratospheric Polar Vortex is currently at record-strong levels, based on the metrics of 10 hPa 60°N zonal-mean zonal-wind and 60-90°N average temperature. This is likely to be due to a combination of the timing and duration of the major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) in January: the duration of easterlies (most of January) shielded the… Read More Final Stratospheric Warmings
This blog was originally published on 24 January 2019, and updated on 24 January 2020. January 24th, 2009. This was the ‘central date’ (defined as the day on which the 10 hPa 60N zonal-mean zonal wind reverses from westerly to easterly) of a remarkable, record-breaking major Sudden Stratospheric Warming event, and there are several reasons… Read More The January 2009 SSW
Non-downward propagating SSWs? Major stratospheric sudden warming events (SSWs) attract widespread attention because they are now known to have significant impacts on the tropospheric circulation (e.g. Baldwin and Dunkerton 2001, hereafter BD01). Anomalies in the stratospheric circulation (often expressed as the Northern Annual Mode (NAM) index, or polar cap geopotential height anomalies) propagate downwards through… Read More Not all SSWs were created equal
I study the stratosphere, the layer of atmosphere that extends above the troposphere from about 10-50 km. Friends and colleagues of mine often joke (I hope…) that “nobody cares about the stratosphere” *, primarily because it contains no real ‘weather’ – such as what happens in the troposphere. With little to no water vapour, it… Read More The Stratosphere – why do we care?