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jdallen

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Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« on: November 17, 2016, 06:25:37 PM »
Greetings;  Started this as a placeholder to start capturing posts on this topic which have ended up in unlikely locations.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 10:00:51 AM by Neven »
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jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 06:28:20 PM »
Seeding the topic for discussion with a post from elsewhere:

Some models are showing a Sudden Stratographic Warming in the next week or so. This can be quite disruptive to N. Hemisphere weather patterns but then can have very little impact? As I understand it the Strat is forced to warm and those changes then propagate down into the troposphere. I'm sure others will give you a fuller explanation that I can't!

But Sudden Stratographic Warming centred over 65N
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be cause

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW discussion
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 06:38:10 PM »
Stratographic ?
could that be stratospheric or should I take my geology hammer to the weather ?
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jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW discussion
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 08:20:50 PM »
Stratographic ?
could that be stratospheric or should I take my geology hammer to the weather ?
<Guffaws>  I'm sure he meant "stratospheric" and both of us should keep our hammers in their holsters.
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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 04:53:43 PM »
Thank you for linking to this post. I recall reading it when it was first posted and was struck by how the topography of the northern hemisphere in fact affects not only SSW but all of the NH climate and weather.

Gray-Wolf

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 06:09:51 PM »
And this is why I'm interested by the notion that the low sea ice allows Siberia to gain a lot of 'Lake Effect' snow' , early in refreeze as the basin bleeds out its summer's heat?

This years constant barrage of Lows allowed 5 months of snow to fall over parts of Siberia through October and this , in its turn has allowed a 'Cold Pole' to form there (and now crowned with a 1065mb High!).

Will this capture the PV for the season and, if so,  what will that mean for any SSW that tries to form?

Will a warming Arctic have robbed us of such interesting interactions or does the positioning of the PV over Siberia mean we will see even more drama?

The other thing that I seemingly can't stop coming back to is this Feb's QBO flip? Are we seeing changes to the workings of our Stratosphere along with the changes ongoing in our Troposphere?

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Okono

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2016, 06:57:50 PM »
Some of the enlarged graphics in the original post on the ASIB appear to no longer be available to the public, such as:

http://featherfiles.aviary.com/2013-04-22/f77694d11/dece02097cec489c87d66d6f59f51d37_hires.png

which gives me an XML-formatted error.

Anyone have better success accessing those graphics or saved copies?
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Gray-Wolf

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2016, 09:16:46 PM »




Currently both polar vortices are collapsing??? I do not think this is a 'normal event'?
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Archimid

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2016, 05:02:52 PM »

http://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2015/why-quasi-biennial-oscillation-matters

Why the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation matters?

FTA
Quote
Why is the QBO important? It is certainly relevant for seasonal prediction, where the state of stratospheric winds affects interactions between the tropics and the mid-latitudes, and may also affect the tropical troposphere directly and possibly how the solar cycle interacts with the atmosphere. For those groups working on climate, the QBO has a role in modulating transport out of the tropical stratosphere to higher altitudes, thus influencing the concentration of gases in the stratosphere, which in turn might lead to further climate feedbacks.

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charles_oil

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2016, 08:09:50 PM »
Just noticed this NASA post (from Nov 14th) when looking at the Icebridge reort - hadn't seen it linked on the Forum:

A large cyclone that crossed the Arctic in December 2015 brought so much heat and humidity to this otherwise frigid and dry environment that it thinned and shrunk the sea ice cover during a time of the year when the ice should have been growing thicker and stronger, a NASA study found.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/extremely-warm-2015-16-winter-cyclone-weakened-arctic-sea-ice-pack

Feel free to shift if there is a better place/thread.

Ice Shieldz

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2016, 08:30:38 PM »
From http://epawaweather.com/2016/11/02/epawa-2016-2017-winter-outlook/:
Quote
During a negative QBO, it is easier for the polar vortex to split or be displaced. In a positive QBO, the gradient is strong and results in a stronger polar vortex. However, values of the QBO that fall between +10 and -10 are weak, and don’t have the same effects as a moderate or strongly positive QBO.
<snip>
Latest values are shown to be positive and still increasing at a slow rate. However, in 1995 we saw a big drop towards neutral which supported a cold winter with blocking, which as you’ll see later in the outlook, is our top analog for this Winter. The combination of increased snow cover and weak westerly +QBO, and low solar activity supports the PV becoming displaced or split more easily.
From http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/unprecedented-disruption-atmospheres-pacemaker-foretells-wet-winter-europe:
Quote
The QBO is thought to be driven by tropical waves—generated by warm, circulating air—that propagate up from the troposphere into the stratosphere. But when Osprey's team plugged the anomalous QBO data into a climate model, the disruption appeared to originate outside of the tropics. One possible culprit (for QBO not flipping easterly) is this past winter's strong El Niño, which not only brought unusually warm waters to the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, but also shook up atmospheric waves and weather patterns well beyond the tropics. A "blob" of warm water that has been growing in the northern Pacific Ocean since 2013 is another possible cause, as is a sudden stratospheric warming event that occurred this past winter in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
Not so certain that the north pacific warm blob is that much of a forcing mechanism as the atmosphere tends to force the ocean at mid latitudes.  However as one gets closer to the tropics the ocean has more of an effect on the atmosphere.  With this in mind, consider how extraordinarily warm so much of the ocean was this winter-spring-summer in the PDO region and the area south of it to the tropics.  If you want a forcing anomaly, this could definitely constitute one.  Perhaps these SSTAs also contributed to the expanding Hadley cell, etc. (4/21/2016 SSTAs shown below)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 09:04:32 PM by Ice Shieldz »

jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2016, 08:50:45 PM »
This is all new territory for me, and I'm playing catch up trying to understand it.  I think its key to understanding how the system is changing in the Arctic and overall.
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magnamentis

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2016, 09:45:49 PM »
This is all new territory for me, and I'm playing catch up trying to understand it.  I think its key to understanding how the system is changing in the Arctic and overall.

important to mention the "overall" the rest of the globe will follow suit and on scales that are possibly well above what's currently discussed. for me personally the 2C blabla.. is maculature
for many years and will never be a value that we can keep. i thinks something around +5C is more likely mid term while long term i have no clue.

FishOutofWater

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2016, 04:02:26 AM »
The blob is gone, obliterated by intense storms and the flow of cold air out of Siberia.

The QBO was disrupted last NH winter by 3 MJO events of unprecedented strength.

The Madden Julian Oscillation - a coherent moving wave of tropical convection near the equator that moves from the Indian Ocean to Indonesia to the west Pacific - affects sudden stratospheric warmings and it even affected the QBO last winter.

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~sbf1/papers/Chaim_strat_paper.pdf

Ice Shieldz

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2016, 07:14:54 AM »
The QBO was disrupted last NH winter by 3 MJO events of unprecedented strength.

Do you have data in support of the claim that there were 3 MJO events of unprecedented strength?

The blob is diminished, but by no means gone.  It still exists off coast of alaska, canada, and west coast US.  The cooling you're referring to *mostly* occurred at south and west of blob region due to a resurgence of the Aleutian Low with associated cool air transport from Eurasia and ocean upwelling.  Actually the presence of the Aleutian Low is the primary driver of a +PDO which supports the blob - a negative PDO would tend to obliterate it.  There also seems to be some subsurface warmth under that general region. 

Anyway, the blob is over-rated imho and it's most likely just a response to persistent atmospheric patterns (perhaps related to North Pacific Mode, changing jets streams, etc) At best the blob might help a bit in supporting the continuance of that pattern.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 09:44:25 AM by Ice Shieldz »

FishOutofWater

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2016, 04:02:41 AM »
The three most intense MJO events were last NH summer, but the winter events went all the way from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific in 3 continuous strong cycles. Here's the figure from NOAA's CPC:

Ice Shieldz

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2016, 09:24:21 PM »
The three most intense MJO events were last NH summer, but the winter events went all the way from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific in 3 continuous strong cycles. Here's the figure from NOAA's CPC:
I think we can both agree. This is highly complicated. Indeed, it's so complicated that even climate scientists, who know way more than us, have an awful lot more to learn. With so much at stake (i.e. potentially catastrophic changes to our spaceship's life-support systems) we better start learning fast and diverting significantly more resources and personnel to the task.

In regards to MJO: The two big 2015 April & July spikes are statistically inline with spring-summer spikes that occur at the onset of strong ninos. They're connected to the westerly wind bursts in the west pacific that drive anomalously warm oceanic kelvin waves east and build up the intensity of the nino. Keep in mind, that the MJO is not by any means the main driver here.  It's more of a catalyst that helps release all the excess heat build up in the western pacific ocean, which results in a massive shift and amplification to the Walker Cell.

The problem with your hypothesis is that you are not showing a clear causal chain supported by solid data. Even the paper you refer to leans more toward correlation than clear causality.  In fact, it may in part have ignored or reversed the causal relationship between MJO & QBO – as suggested by the following more recent 2016 paper:  "Modulation of the boreal wintertime Madden-Julian oscillation by the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation"
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL067762/full
Quote
This result suggests a new potential route from the stratosphere that regulates the organized tropical convection, helping to improve the prediction skill of the boreal winter MJO.
In other words, the stratospheric winds of the QBO propagate downward to modulate the tropospheric MJO.  With all this said, of course the MJO contributes to powerful circulatory changes that inevitably connect to downstream SSWs. However, there appears to be no clear data or causal relationship that links the MJO to our recent disruption of the QBO.  Please know that i am open to being wrong and that's half the fun.  Heck, i may even be wrong about the north pacific warm blob as it does contribute to the weakening of equatorial to polar temp gradient which is the dominant forcing mechanism that drives our planet's circulatory system.



Ice Shieldz

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2017, 03:07:55 AM »
Statistically a strongly positive (westerly) QBO leads to a strong PV. However it looks like other teleconnections or forcings are to large degree canceling and even reversing the effects that a very strong QBO has had on the PV.  For the last three months (Nov, Dec, Jan) the QBO at 30hpa set records higher than any other Nov, Dec, or Jan dating all the way back to 1979.

jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2017, 03:22:32 AM »
Statistically a strongly positive (westerly) QBO leads to a strong PV. However it looks like other teleconnections or forcings are to large degree canceling and even reversing the effects that a very strong QBO has had on the PV.  For the last three months (Nov, Dec, Jan) the QBO at 30hpa set records higher than any other Nov, Dec, or Jan dating all the way back to 1979.
So, If I'm hearing you correctly, the QBO should have forced the set up of a very strong PV, and resulting conditions that would be very conducive to rebuilding the pack.

However, it appears to have been overwhelmed by other forcings changing circulation across the mid-latitudes. 

The implication to me is, *all* of our various cyclical phenomena may have been disrupted, and as a result, may have lost the predictive power we previously relied on to understand changes in climate.
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DrTskoul

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2017, 03:27:45 AM »
Right..Uncharted waters


Ice Shieldz

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2017, 03:45:24 AM »
@jdallen Well I think the SSWs have something to do with it. We seem to have been having an anomalous number/intensity of SSWs over the last couple years?

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2017, 10:20:47 AM »
It appears we just got to grips with the sphere of influence of the QBO just in time for it all to change?

In the pre low ice world the easterly QBO had a weak PV associated with it and so a wavy jet and the chance of 'lift off' from the Tibetan plateau so forcing a SSW

Since low ice became the norm, each melt season end, the Polar Jet has been pushed ultra wavy so allowing for 'novel' SSW formation/PV disruption over winter.

Has the outpouring of heat from the Arctic Ocean, come melt season's end, lead to disruption of the strat above so pushing 'waves' around the strat and so leading to other impacts as the energy bounces around this atmospheric layer?

I worry that this is the start of a rather rapid reorganisation of the N. Hemisphere atmosphere with a 'mixing out' of the Polar Cell and the expansion of the temperate zone to replace it.

As we are today have we seen the end of the PV's influence this winter with the current split not able to recover before we see the final warming? Will that make it easier for high Pressure to establish over the central Arctic?

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Ninebelowzero

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2017, 11:25:32 AM »
The vertical component of the jetstream and it's impact is by no means fully understood. Current image at 250hPa shows it originating below the equator and maintaining two large looping systems that were previously partially preformed by the polar jet over the Pacific end and the Barents sea.

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2017, 09:03:17 PM »
I#d better just bump this seeing as I appear to have derailed the freezing season thread with my questions!

Thanks again to aslan for your patience and knowledge!
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Tigertown

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2017, 09:41:24 PM »
Very important info from aslan. I am still trying to understand some of it, but will be curious to see how it plays out in the next few days and weeks.
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jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2017, 10:12:27 PM »
Cross posting Aslan's work to a better discussion area.
Antarctica also saw an early final warming at the end of its winter season? I imagine the Strat is far less complex in its operations than the Trop below and ,as such, I think it can be viewed as a single unit unlike the trop which is broken down into hemisphere and cells?

Nein Pamina. Early SFWs, of a dynamic kind, are specific to NH due to the wave activity, caused by the mountains in the flow. In NH winter, Rossby waves (wavenumber up to 8 - 9) are an important factor. I will search to retrieve a resource about this subject, I will post when I find it on Internet :p

The Rockies and Tibetan plateau disrupt the flow, and to a lesser extent Apalachians and Ural. In NH, there is two kind of SFW. One, early (March - April), and dynamically forced. This kind of SFW often brings an AO- pattern to simplify during the Spring (but it is really to simplify with an axe). On the other hand, there is a radiatively forced SFW. When the Sun rises, the ozone-rich, polar, region sucks in energy until the PV disappears. This king of SFW is often associated with an AO+ pattern during Spring (still, to simplify with an axe :D ). In SH, there is no such thing as wave activity. Flow around 40°S - 50°S  is away from any landmasses and can flow regularly. There is one occurrence of a dynamical SFW in the SH, in 2002, but this extremely rare. Often, it is a radiative SFW occurring around November - December -so very very lately-.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JAS3979.1

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3907.1

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JAS3981.1

ftp://acd-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/papers/newman/o3_sh_02/2002_o3_hole.pdf

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outreach/proceedings/cdw29_proceedings/black.ppt

You can search for this scientists, Baldwin, McDaniel, Black. There is other names, but this three are often involved.


Quote
Should we see an unusual impact hitting the strat then I tend toward thinking it would reverberate around the whole of the strat impacting both regions? Only in Autumn can we see both polar vortex and this year the collapse of the polar vortex was occurring as the final warming was occurring in the southern hemisphere . Coincidence or more evidence for the Strat behaving oddly over recent years?

I don't know. QBO was probably disrupted in part due to the unusual behavior of the polar vortex in NH last year, but here you are at the borders of the knowledge (and of the madness I want to say).
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jdallen

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2017, 10:13:21 PM »
More from aslan:
This years uptick in sightings of folk of polar Stratospheric clouds also has me wondering. you need a really cold strat for them to form but you also need moisture up in the strat?

PSC's are also important in the destruction of Ozone and so , just as the hole over Antarctica appears to be mending?

The ozone hole over the UK , this time last year, is an example of what increased moisture/cooler upper strat will mean to the hemisphere?

To me it appears that the extra energy that increases in GHG's have placed into the climate system is impacting all layers of the atmosphere?

I am pretty confident we are totally off-topic xD but here we go.

There is a circulation of ozone in stratosphere, called the Brewer-Dobson circulation (Dobson like the Dobson Unit, a DU, it is the same guy). I don't know everything about this subject so I will try to stick with what I am sure. Ozone is mainly produced in tropical stratosphere, due to UVs radiations. It is also UVs radiations which destroy naturally the ozone. The Brewer-Dobson circulation mixes this ozone. In the tropics, in the stratosphere, there is upwelling. And near the poles, especially in winter hemisphere, there is downwelling. Ozone concentration is thus lowered in tropics, and raised in extratropics. This is the reason for the annual cycle of ozone in the stratosphere of the Northern Hemisphere :

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra/ozone/toms_capn_2016_omi+merra.pdf

Brewer-Dobson circulation transport ozone from tropics to poles, but especially in winter, and the ozone being not destroyed due to the low sun, ozone accumulates.

But in the same time, the polar vortex isolated cold air of the stratosphere, away from the sun rays.

This is even more true for the Southern Hemisphere, where there is no planetary waves to disrupt the PV. So the polar stratosphere is isolated and cool down a lot. Molecules like CFC etc... responsible of the ozone depletion accumulate in the vortex, destroying the ozone. The very cool stratosphere in SH, with stratospheric polar clouds, explain why ozone depletion is mainly occuring in SH. We can thus this a broken seasonal cycle, with a first minimum in boreal summer (Feb.) then the start of a rise, and after a big crash when PV builb up:

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra/ozone/toms_mins_2016_omi+merra.pdf

There is a feedback loop in this. Stratosphere is warm by the Sun energy sucked up by the ozone. So if there is less ozone, the PV is colder during the Spring, so the PV is stronger and last longer (some SFW in Southern Hemisphere lately occurred even in boreal summer...), so the ozone depletion is reinforced, etc...

Ozone depletion is also observed in NH when the polar vortex is strong. The biggest hole was reached during the winter 2011 I think:

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/Scripts/big_image.php?date=2011-03-15&hem=N





But polar vortex being weaker and warmer in Northern Hemisphere, ozone depletion is weaker and is not producing a big hole like in SH.
There is at least one positive point with the polar vortex being shaken, it avoid us to be irradiated and burnt  :D

With global warming in troposphere, stratosphere is cooling -and it is a big fingerprint of greenhouses being at work-. This year, despite the disturbed PV, it was cold in stratosphere, and sometimes even record cold:



http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/

In theory, stratosphere should moistens a bit also, with a greater input from the tropical convection (Cbs overshoot reaching the lower stratosphre). But here is uncertainity regarding what is really going on with the stratospheric water vapor :

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD021712/full

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD021712/full

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/45/18087.full

www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1182488

It exists some theories about a feedback from polar clouds, in equable climates especially, but also in a not so distance future. For example :

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v357/n6376/abs/357320a0.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/98GL02492/pdf

http://climate.fas.harvard.edu/files/climate/files/huber_cpd-7-241-2011-print.pdf (there is a list of papers about PSCs at the beginning)

Stratospheric clouds are perhaps set to become more frequent, but observations are really not conclusive for now.

Quote
To me it appears that the extra energy that increases in GHG's have placed into the climate system is impacting all layers of the atmosphere?

Yeah, no doubt, we are totally messing with the whole atmosphere and not only troposphere.

P.S: If you are british, in the end of March 2011 it was even worst actually...


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aslan

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2017, 10:23:11 PM »
Very important info from aslan. I am still trying to understand some of it, but will be curious to see how it plays out in the next few days and weeks.

Yeah, in the end there is only one thing true, what happens in the real world. Thanks jdallen ;)

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2017, 10:35:07 PM »
Thanks jd!

with my initial interest being weather teleconnections have always been important for me in trying to understand the longer reach forecasts and they always appear to rely upon 'stratospheric influences'  So changes to the Polar Stratosphere and in the equatorial Stratosphere really interest me as they potentially mess with the weather we feel below?

From atmospheric rivers to heat domes, somewhere the Stratosphere played a part!
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P-maker

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2017, 01:08:45 AM »
Hey Gray-Wolf & Aslan

Are you guys trying to tie some knots together (through the kind assistance of Jdallen)?

The way I read your string of thoughts, you seem to suggest that tropical turbulence – approaching the NH spring equinox - has now fired up the Jetstream. This stream of moist air has led to the atmospheric river now threatening the stability of the Oroville Dam. The subsequent upslope erosion (see  https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2017/02/how-did-the-oroville-dam-get-so-bad/516429/ ) could spoil not only the spring in California, but also put Trump in a dire position to choose between more roads or better dams.

Whilst Northern people are looking forward to spring and at the same time watch the magnificent Polar Stratospheric Clouds as an indicator of increasing moisture levels in the Earth’s atmosphere, they also start to ponder about the future equable climates related to a 20 K temperature increase in the Arctic. I here assume that the 20 K temperature increase is primarily caused by the disappearing sea ice.

It is my impression that the spring warming of the NH is driven from the Equator and the autumn (lack of) cooling is driven from the North Pole. At some stage these two processes must converge. The problem related to this narrowing time window is that the Polar Vortex has not had time to reform this winter. Thus sea ice has not formed to the extent seen earlier and the Final Spring Warming this year may come extremely early, which will basically eliminate the severe part of the winter season in the Arctic. What the implications for the summer season will be, remains to be seen, but judging from cloudy and windy summers lately, we should not expect to see a total sea ice clearance this year.

However, your attempts to put it all into a coherent picture is highly appreciated. Neven (and many of the regulars here) all have a tendency to compartmentalize everything into atoms. I sometimes miss a thread where everything comes together like in this one. Please keep up the good work!

Tigertown

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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2017, 06:07:29 AM »
The Arctic seems to be dominated with systems at the present that have High MSLP's. That will start to change again in about a week, very closely correlated to the 10 hpa Polar Vortex changes.
I tried the forecast for MSLP in GIF form but it was too large. Anyway, about the 25th or so the PV begins to have a clear split, and you can see what happens after that with the MSLP.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 06:21:20 AM by Tigertown »
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Re: 2016 (and historic) Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2017, 08:43:32 AM »
Quote
The way I read your string of thoughts, you seem to suggest that tropical turbulence – approaching the NH spring equinox - has now fired up the Jetstream. This stream of moist air has led to the atmospheric river now threatening the stability of the Oroville Dam. The subsequent upslope erosion (see  https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2017/02/how-did-the-oroville-dam-get-so-bad/516429/ ) could spoil not only the spring in California, but also put Trump in a dire position to choose between more roads or better dams.

Yeah, it is true also that MJO is a player in this act also. The reccent PNA+ pattern with a jet-stream is forced by the strong convective activity in the Eastern Pacific.

Quote
The Arctic seems to be dominated with systems at the present that have High MSLP's. That will start to change again in about a week, very closely correlated to the 10 hpa Polar Vortex changes.

Usually the effects of a SSW / SFW take a week or two to reach the troposphere. In a very long range GFS is showing things in this range of idea :



Or things in this range of idea :



Common point being the warm high pressure over Arctic and cold pool being displaced to Canada. To speak like smart people, it is an attractor for a chaotic system. Which, by the way is probably the consequence of the SSW. Forecasts in the long range could be possible if we were paying more attention to the stable states emerging from the day to day apparent chaos of the maps. But for now we are for many factors in situation without precedent, so it is a bit of a terra incognita, lowering confidence in the forecast.

Neven

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2017, 10:01:47 AM »
Changed the title. Thanks for finding and kicking up this thread, jdallen.
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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2017, 02:41:57 PM »
I think the uncertainties of the PV ( and the stubbornly westerly QBO) have made forecast pretty dire over winter with 3 days out being as far as one dare peep some days?

The models always seem to veer off to where they 'think' current conditions should be at and so the errors build as you run longer in the forecast?

I do not think the Vortex will recover from the next attentions of the trop and so will serve as the 'final warming' for the strat this year?
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aslan

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2017, 05:35:23 PM »
Quote
with 3 days out being as far as one dare peep some days?

Perhaps a bit exaggerated  :D but yes. This is not usual so you are not sure how things can unfold. For example, about the coming SSW, yeah it could be the SFW, but it opens some questions. The Sun has not yet rise over the Arctic, so how the stratosphere will stay warm until the end of March? Will waves activity continue during March to sustain the warming of the Stratosphere until the Sun rises and brings energy to the polar stratosphere? This is what happened last years, wave 1 after wave1, a continuous pile of wave 1 bringing again warmth to the polar stratosphere until the rise of the Sun. Of course, a dynamical breakdown of PV is forced by wave activity, but usually SFW occurs not too far away from the equinox, even if dynamically forced. But there is one big wave which comes, destroy everything with some lasting effects during 2 - 3 weeks, and then comes the Sun. And there is no need to pile up wave 1 over wave 1 to make the junction. For the 2016 SFW, I count at least four (4 !) waves 1 -perhaps even 5, I didn't try to count rigorously- during the end of February and the month of March. Speak of a fury...

And for this March, GFS is showing again the VP being almost perpetually assault by waves 1. So this leads to be more confident that, yes, what is coming is the SFW. But this is only a rationale by analogy (is this plain English?). For the moment, at least for me, I don't have a satisfactory explanation of the mechanisms of such extra early SFW, or if there is a reason why we are potentially seeing such an event two conservatives years.

I don't see also how the PV could get back in the saddle. But it is not again really satisfactory to say "I don't see". And for my brain, this is really frustrating because the rationale is not closed. If the train of wave 1 don't occur, the PV could in theory reestablish itself. But yes I don't see how in the middle of March such a mess could strengthen again. So I need to invoke the wave 1 activity and bet that GFS is true, without having any beginning of explanation of how it is possible to have such a fury of wave activity. And indirectly it implies that once the train of wave 1 is en route, it needs to continues at least until the end of March to make the ends meet. But there is nothing, to my knowledge, saying something like, if wave 1 starts to destroy the PV at the end February then the wave 1activity must continue until the end March. Actually it even sounds quite absurd xD Perhaps the PV is "feedbacking" itself trough the troposphere - stratosphere interaction, but is quite weak as an argument. And where is the wave 2 and eventually wave 3? GFS is not always showing something like a canonical wave 1. So, is it that an extra early SFW depends upon wave 1 activity? Or can wave 2 activity plays a role? This opens a lot more of questions. And there is also the vertical propagation of the wave, baroclinic, barotropic, how also this thins play together last year and perhaps -probably?- this year. Bref, actually, I am like a dog trying to bite its tail  :D

So yes it is really difficult to forecast what could happen... And I am not a weather model (not yet xD ) but I think that sometimes they can be quite lost yes. They were build upon assumptions and equations from the 20th century, and the way models are build is probably impeding their forecasts ability.

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2017, 06:07:50 PM »
"The Sun has not yet rise over the Arctic, so how the stratosphere will stay warm until the end of March? Will waves activity continue during March to sustain the warming of the Stratosphere until the Sun rises and brings energy to the polar stratosphere? "

Thanks for your interesting posts, aslan.

The sunrise is much earlier in the stratosphere than on ground. Without attempting the calculation, I'd guess that the stratospheric polar night has already ended by the current date, mid-February.

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2017, 07:42:36 PM »
Yeah sorry, my bad, I was not enough explict. Yeah, the sun rises earlier over the stratosphere, due to the altitude ;) But Sun is not high enough still to warm sufficiently the stratosphere, despite the ozone to suck up the UVs. To put in perspective, a radiative SFW (so one which is only achieve with the "strength" of the Sun and is its small arm muscles) only occurs around April -  May.

Tigertown

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2017, 08:13:28 PM »
Here is 21st to the 23rd per Earth NS.
For 10 hpa
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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2017, 01:59:23 AM »
From Zack Labe on Twitter:  Uncertainty in identifying Siberian snow teleconnection via modeling experiments - new work from members in my group:

Snow-(N)AO teleconnection and its modulation by the Quasi-Biennal Oscillation - http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0041.1

Another related tweet from Sam Lillo @splillo
"The reason for record hurricane activity you haven't heard yet!"
QBO-induced temp anomalies in lower strat raises tropopause over tropics.

The winds of the QBO - 'the stratosphere’s Old Faithful' - failed to oscillate directions in early 2016. This, as providence would have it, seems to be one more factor that stacked up to deliver a hurricane season that's preforming at the highest-end of both long-range and short-range forecasts.

Extreme and unusual weather events can happen when patterns shift. Nowhere is the pattern shift more abrupt than in our planet's atmospheric circulation - particularly changes in the jet stream and above. James Hansen recently talked about ongoing research that might help us contextualize how our weakened/altered jet supported a persistent high-pressure heat dome over western US, which caused Hurricane Harvey to stall out and yield a 25,000 year flood.

I'm also curious about changes in the altitude and latitude of the Hadley cell. Some estimate that 'the zones of tropical weather have expanded 140 to 330 miles north and southward on each side of the equator.' Is there a concurrent increase in the altitude of the Hadley cell? If so, then even a suppressive QBO would not yield a lower convective capacity of the tropospheric air column - as compared to historical average.

The Hadley cell (and by direct connection the QBO) of course are highly important to the arctic. It vents moisture and heat off the planet's warp core (spaceship earth equatorial oceans). Unfortunately, some of that moisture and heat vents into the arctic, and more weather weirding ensues.

PS: I couldn't find a thread title that contains QBO. But since this is the thread where we've been talking about it, perhaps we can amend its title to include QBO?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 02:05:31 AM by Ice Shieldz »

Ice Shieldz

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2017, 04:07:26 AM »
Also for more background see:  Does the Holton–Tan Mechanism Explain How the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation Modulates the Arctic Polar Vortex?  http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAS-D-11-0209.1

That article was published in 2012 and states at the end of its abstract: "Overall, an easterly QBO wind anomaly in the lower stratosphere leads to a weakened stratospheric polar vortex, in agreement with previous studies . . ." 

Not in full support of these findings is the fact that we had a strong westerly QBO during last freezing season while having a weak stratospheric polar vortex in the 1st half of the season.  It will be interesting to see if the more easterly trending 50mb QBO to weaker PV teleconnection holds true this season, because we seem to be heading in that direction.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 04:29:45 AM by Ice Shieldz »

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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2018, 03:21:29 AM »
The stratospheric pathway for Arctic impacts on midlatitude climate

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL068330/full

Quote
Recent evidence from both observations and model simulations suggests that an Arctic sea ice reduction tends to cause a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) phase with severe winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere, which is often preceded by weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex. Although this evidence hints at a stratospheric involvement in the Arctic-midlatitude climate linkage, the exact role of the stratosphere remains elusive. Here we show that tropospheric AO response to the Arctic sea ice reduction largely disappears when suppressing the stratospheric wave mean flow interactions in numerical experiments. The results confirm a crucial role of the stratosphere in the sea ice impacts on the midlatitudes by coupling between the stratospheric polar vortex and planetary-scale waves. Those results and consistency with observation-based evidence suggest that a recent Arctic sea ice loss is linked to midlatitudes extreme weather events associated with the negative AO phase.
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Re: Polar Vortex/SSW effects on Ice
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2018, 07:06:33 PM »
Comment offered in response to material posted in 2017 that I missed:

Wave activity in the southern hemisphere is less dynamic than it is in the NH, but it can cause a SSW in the spring months when the stratospheric polar vortex is weakening. If there is a SSW in the SH its effects can persist for up to 3 months.

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234e/5a92eb59425b87d4c1764d91047f52e28093.pdf

I also note that there is one major obstacle in the southern hemisphere to the flow of the jet stream - the Andes mountains. The Andes have a major effect on southern hemispheric weather.

As for today's weather in the NH, the snowstorm hitting New England, the third intense noreaster in the past 2 weeks, has links to the February SSW. The SSW triggered a strong increase in the momentum of the NH jet stream, increasing storminess in the temperate north Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans.