Enhanced tropospheric wave forcing of two anticyclones in the prephase of the january 2009 major stratospheric sudden warming event

Andrea Schneidereit, Dieter H.W. Peters, Christian M. Grams, Julian F. Quinting, Julia H. Keller, Gabriel Wolf, Franziska Teubler, Michael Riemer, Olivia Martius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Tropospheric forcing of planetary wavenumber 2 is examined in the prephase of the major stratospheric sudden warming event in January 2009 (MSSW 2009). Because of a huge increase in Eliassen-Palm fluxes induced mainly by wavenumber 2, easterly angular momentum is transported into the Arctic stratosphere, deposited, and then decelerates the polar night jet. In agreement with earlier studies, the results reveal that the strongest eddy heat fluxes, associated with wavenumber 2, occur at 100 hPa during the prephase of MSSW 2009 in ERA-Interim. In addition, moderate conditions of the cold phase of ENSO (La Niña) contribute to the eddy heat flux anomaly. It is shown that enhanced tropospheric wave forcing over Alaska and Scandinavia is caused by tropical processes in two ways. First, in a climatological sense, La Niña contributes to an enhanced anticyclonic flow over both regions. Second, the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) has an indirect influence on the Alaskan ridge by enhancing eddy activity over the North Pacific. This is manifested in an increase in cyclone frequency and associated warm conveyor belt outflow, which contribute to the maintenance and amplification of the Alaskan anticyclone. The Scandinavian ridge is maintained by wave trains emanating from the Alaskan ridge propagating eastward, including an enhanced transport of eddy kinetic energy. The MSSW 2009 is an extraordinary case of how a beneficial phasing of La Niña and MJO conditions together with multiscale interactions enhances tropospheric forcing for wavenumber 2-induced zonal mean eddy heat flux in the lower stratosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1815
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Atmosphere-ocean interaction
  • La Nina
  • Stratospheric circulation

Cite this