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Weather and Climate Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2020-11
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2020-11
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  05 May 2020

05 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Stratospheric influence on marine cold air outbreaks in the Barents Sea

Hilla Afargan-Gerstman1, Iuliia Polkova2, Lukas Papritz1, Paolo Ruggieri3,4, Martin P. King5, Panos J. Athanasiadis4, Johanna Baehr2, and Daniela I. V. Domeisen1 Hilla Afargan-Gerstman et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Oceanography, Universität Hamburg, CEN, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Italy
  • 4Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Bologna, Italy
  • 5NORCE Climate, and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Marine cold air outbreaks (MCAOs) in the Arctic are associated with a range of severe weather phenomena, such as polar lows, strong surface winds and intense cooling of the ocean surface. While MCAO frequency has been linked to the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex, a connection to the occurrence of extreme stratospheric events, known as sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs), has dominantly been investigated with respect to cold extremes over land. Here, the influence of SSW events on MCAOs in the Barents Sea is studied using observational and reanalysis datasets. Overall, more than a half of SSW events lead to more frequent MCAOs in the Barents Sea. SSW events with an enhanced MCAO response in the Barents Sea are associated with a ridge over Greenland and a trough over Scandinavia, leading to an anomalous dipole pattern of 500-hPa geopotential height and strong northerly flow over the Norwegian Sea. As SSW events tend to have a long-term influence on surface weather, these results can shed light on the predictability of MCAOs in the Arctic for winters with SSW events.

Hilla Afargan-Gerstman et al.

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Hilla Afargan-Gerstman et al.

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Short summary
We investigate the stratospheric influence on marine cold air outbreaks (MCAOs) using ERA-Interim reanalysis data. MCAOs are associated with severe Arctic weather, such as polar lows and strong surface winds. We find that the key ingredients of MCAO formation in the Barents Sea are linked to the surface impact of Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events. As SSWs have a long-term surface influence, this study sheds light on the predictability of MCAOs in the Arctic for winters with SSW events.
We investigate the stratospheric influence on marine cold air outbreaks (MCAOs) using...
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