501 The Sudden Stratospheric Warming Atlas

Thursday, 14 January 2016
Amy Hawes Butler, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and J. P. Sjoberg and D. J. Seidel

Handout (9.2 MB)

Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are large and rapid temperature increases in the polar stratosphere associated with a complete reversal of the climatological westerly winds in wintertime. These events can have substantial impacts on wintertime surface climate, such as extreme cold air outbreaks over North America and Eurasia, or warming over Greenland. Here we promote our progress towards a new atlas of historical SSW events and their impacts on the surface. The SSW atlas contains a variety of metrics, time series, maps, and animations for individual SSW events, including dates of peak warming and wind reversal, rate of downward descent, strength of the Northern Annular Mode index, maps of potential vorticity, maps and metrics of extreme cold/warm days below/above the wintertime climatology, and changes in wavenumbers 1 and 2 before and after the event. The atlas will allow users to examine the structure and development of individual SSWs, or to consider impacts of SSWs during years with certain tropospheric signatures, like El Niņo or La Niņa winters.
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