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Features of Stratospheric Polar Vortex Weakening Prior to Breakdown

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We consider the features of the weakening of a stratospheric polar vortex, which precedes its breakdown. To analyze the abnormal dynamics of polar vortices, we used the method for estimating the main vortex parameters by delineating its edges using the geopotential values determined from the maximal temperature gradient and maximal wind speed according to the ERA5 reanalysis data. As a result, we show the criteria for the abnormal weakening of the polar vortex preceding its breakdown: a decrease in the vortex area to less than 10 million km2 and a subsequent decrease in the mean wind speed along the vortex edge below 30 and 45 m/s in the lower and middle stratosphere, respectively. In this case, the polar vortex becomes a small cyclone (characterized by high temperatures and the absence of a dynamic barrier) and collapses within three weeks.

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The study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (theme no. 121031300156-5).

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Correspondence to V. V. Zuev, E. S. Savelieva or A. V. Pavlinsky.

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Zuev, V.V., Savelieva, E.S. & Pavlinsky, A.V. Features of Stratospheric Polar Vortex Weakening Prior to Breakdown. Atmos Ocean Opt 35, 183–186 (2022).

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