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An assessment of ozone mini-hole representation in reanalyses over the Northern...

Millán, L. F., and G. Manney (2017), An assessment of ozone mini-hole representation in reanalyses over the Northern Hemisphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 9277-9289, doi:10.5194/acp-17-9277-2017.

An ozone mini-hole is a synoptic-scale region with strongly decreased total column ozone resulting from dynamical processes. Using total column measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument and ozone profile measurements from the Microwave Limb Sounder, we evaluate the accuracy of mini-hole representation in five reanalyses. This study provides a metric of the reanalyses’ ability to capture dynamically driven ozone variability. The reanalyses and the measurements show similar seasonal variability and geographical distributions of mini-holes; however, all of the reanalyses underestimate the number of mini-holes and their area, and in many reanalyses their location displays an eastward bias. The reanalyses’ underestimation of mini-hole number ranges from about 34 to about 83 %. The mini-hole vertical representation in the reanalyses agrees well with that in the MLS measurements and, furthermore, is consistent with previously reported mechanisms for mini-hole formation. The skill of the reanalyses is not closely tied to the ozone fields assimilated, suggesting that the dynamics of the reanalysis models are more important than the assimilated ozone fields to reproducing ozone mini-holes.

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