J1.3 Stratospheric influences on tropospheric weather systems

Tuesday, 9 June 2009: 8:40 AM
Pinnacle BC (Stoweflake Resort and Confernce Center)
Stephen J. Colucci, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Four cases of tropospheric weather systems (two sea-level cyclones, one sea-level anticyclone, and one blocking mid-tropospheric anticyclone) are investigated with the goal of understanding the role of stratospheric versus tropospheric processes in their developments. The relative contributions of the stratosphere and troposphere to geopotential height tendency fields (1000 mb for the sea-level systems, 500 mb for the midtropospheric system) are quantified through vertical integration of thermodynamic processes (advective, adiabatic, and diabatic) over and following tendency centers associated with these systems. Previously known or suspected tropospheric contributions to system development are confirmed by the diagnoses. New findings include identification of the influence of stratospheric warm-air advection in the sea-level cyclogenesis cases, and of stratospheric adiabatic cooling in sea-level and midtropospheric anticyclogenesis cases. The stratospheric contribution to tropospheric development can be larger in magnitude than the tropospheric contribution, and even overwhelm an opposing tropospheric effect. It is shown that the midtropospheric anticyclogenesis associated with the blocking case critically depended on the stratospheric contribution and could not be solely explained by tropospheric processes.
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