12th Conference on Middle Atmosphere

Thursday, 7 November 2002: 9:50 AM
Influence of the Tibetan High on the south polar vortex: mechanistic modeling and observations
Marek J. Rogal, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and M. H. Hitchman
Previous studies of planetary wave structures in the southern stratosphere in winter and spring have largely emphasized wave-mean flow interaction theory, implicitly assuming that the southern hemisphere continentality is too weak to force quasi-stationary features. Yet the distribution of column ozone generally exhibits a minimum near the longitude of South America and is often referred to as a "croissant" pattern. There is also a zonal asymmetry in the occurrence of polar stratospheric clouds. At the same time (during boreal summer and fall) southwestward outflow from the Tibetan High near the tropopause across the Indian Ocean deforms the base of the south polar vortex. This outflow occurs in pulses on quasi-weekly time scales. We employ the mechanistic Stratosphere Mesosphere Model (SMM) developed at the UK Meteorological Office, together with global meteorological and satellite data, to investigate the possibility that the Tibetan High exerts a significant influence on the long-wave structure and constituent distributions near the southern polar vortex. The SMM has been modified to extend into the troposphere. Experiments have been done with zonally symmetric initial states by forcing a longitudinally-varying meridional flow as a lateral boundary condition on the southern hemisphere and by growing an ellipsoidal heating distribution to approximate the Tibetan High. The SMM can also be forced with observed 100 hPa height fields. A case study during August - October 2000 is chosen for comparison of SMM results with the evolution of geopotential heights, ozone, and aerosol detected by the POAM satellite.

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