A major stratospheric sudden warming event in January 2009

Yayoi Harada, Atsushi Goto, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Norihisa Fujikawa, Hiroaki Naoe, Toshihiko Hirooka

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108 Citations (Scopus)


The major stratospheric sudden warming (SSW) event of January 2009 is analyzed using the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Climate Data Assimilation System (JCDAS). This SSWevent is characterized by the extraordinary predominance of the planetary-scale wave of zonal wavenumber 2 (wave 2). The total amount of the upward Eliassen-Palm (EP) flux for wave 2 was the strongest since the winter of 1978/79. It is found that the remarkable development of the upper troposphere ridge overAlaska played important roles in the SSW in January 2009.During the first development stage, the ridge excited wave packets upward as well as eastward over aroundAlaska. The eastward-propagating packets intensified a trough over eastern Siberia, which led to the development of the planetary wave over eastern Siberia during the second development stage. The results of this study indicate that the pronounced wave-2 pattern observed in the stratosphere was brought about by accumulative effects of rather localized propagation of wave packets from the troposphere during the course of this SSW event rather than by the ubiquitous propagation of planetary-scale disturbances in the troposphere. The features of the SSW in January 2009 are quite similar to those during the major stratospheric warming event in February 1989: both SSWs are characterized by the predominance of wave 2, the remarkable development of the upper troposphere ridge over around Alaska, and positive SSTs in the eastern part of the North Pacific corresponding to a La Niña condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2052-2069
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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