Sensitivity of tropospheric forecasts to stratospheric initial conditions
Charlton, A. J., Oneill, A., Lahoz, W.A. and Massacand, A.C. (2004) Sensitivity of tropospheric forecasts to stratospheric initial conditions. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 130 (600). pp. 1771-1792. ISSN 1477-870X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1256/qj.03.167
A number of recent papers in the atmospheric science literature have suggested that a dynamical link exists between the stratosphere and troposphere. Numerical modelling studies have shown that the troposphere has a time-mean response to changes to the stratospheric climatological state. In this study the response of the troposphere to an imposed transient stratospheric change is examined. The study uses a high horizontal and vertical resolution numerical weather-prediction model. Experiments compare the tropospheric forecasts of two medium-range forecast ensembles which have identical tropospheric initial conditions and different stratospheric initial conditions. In three case studies described here, stratospheric initial conditions have a statistically significant impact on the tropospheric flow. The mechanism for this change involves, in its most basic step, a change to tropospheric synoptic-scale systems. A consistent change to the tropospheric synoptic-scale systems occurs in response to the stratospheric initial conditions. The aggregated impact of changes to individual synoptic systems maps strongly onto the structure of the Arctic Oscillation, particularly over the North Atlantic storm track. The relationship between the stratosphere and troposphere, while apparent in Arctic Oscillation diagnostics, does not occur on coherent, hemispheric scales.