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Model studies of the interannual variability of the northern-hemisphere stratospheric winter circulation: the role of the quasi-biennial oscillation

Gray, L.J., Drysdale, E.F., Lawrence, B. N. and Dunkerton, T.J. (2001) Model studies of the interannual variability of the northern-hemisphere stratospheric winter circulation: the role of the quasi-biennial oscillation. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 127 (574). pp. 1413-1432. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.49712757416

Abstract/Summary

A series of experiments are described that examine the sensitivity of the northern-hemisphere winter evolution to the equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). The prime tool for the experiments is a stratosphere-mesosphere model. The model is integrated over many years with the modelled equatorial winds relaxed towards observed values in order to simulate a realistic QBO. In experiment A the equatorial winds are relaxed towards Singapore radiosonde observations in the height region 16-32 km. In contrast to previous modelling studies, the Holton-Tan relationship (warm/cold winters associated with easterly/westerly QBO winds in the lower stratosphere) is absent. However, in a second experiment (run B) in which the equatorial winds are relaxed towards rocketsonde data over the extended height range 16-58 km, a realistic Holton-Tan relationship is reproduced. A series of further studies are described that explore in more detail the sensitivity to various equatorial height regions and to the bottom-boundary forcing. The experiments suggest that the evolution of the northern-hemisphere winter circulation is sensitive to equatorial winds throughout the whole depth of the stratosphere and not just to the lower-stratospheric wind direction as previously assumed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:27804
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society

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