, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1119-1128
Date: 12 Aug 2012

On the differences and climate impacts of early and late stratospheric polar vortex breakup

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The stratospheric polar vortex breakup (SPVB) is an important phenomenon closely related to the seasonal transition of stratospheric circulation. In this paper, 62-year NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data were employed to investigate the distinction between early and late SPVB. The results showed that the anomalous circulation signals extending from the stratosphere to the troposphere were reversed before and after early SPVB, while the stratospheric signals were consistent before and after the onset of late SPVB. Arctic Oscillation (AO) evolution during the life cycle of SPVB also demonstrated that the negative AO signal can propagate downward after early SPVB. Such downward AO signals could be identified in both geopotential height and temperature anomalies. After the AO signal reached the lower troposphere, it influenced the Aleutian Low and Siberian High in the troposphere, leading to a weak winter monsoon and large-scale warming at mid latitudes in Asia. Compared to early SPVB, downward propagation was not evident in late SPVB. The high-latitude tropospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere was affected by early SPVB, causing it to enter a summer circulation pattern earlier than in late SPVB years.