Tropospheric intrusions associated with the secondary tropopause

Ting, L. L., W. Randel, J. Gille, W. D. Hall, B. Nardi, S. Massie, V. Yudin, R. Khosravi, P. Konopka, and D. Tarasick (2009), Tropospheric intrusions associated with the secondary tropopause, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D10302, doi:10.1029/2008JD011374.

Deep intrusions of tropospheric air into the lower stratosphere above the subtropical jet are investigated using new observations and meteorological analyses. These intrusions are characterized by low ozone concentration and low static stability. The low-ozone layer is consistently observed from ozonesonde profiles and satellite remote sensing data from Aura/HIRDLS. The intruding layer occurs along and under the poleward extending tropical tropopause, which becomes the secondary tropopause in middle to high latitudes. The association of the ozone and the thermal structure provides evidence for the physical significance of the subtropical tropopause break and the secondary tropopause. The core of the intruding layer is typically between 370 and 400 K potential temperature (~15 km), but the vertical extent of the intrusion can impact ozone above 400 K, the lower boundary of the overworld. Two intrusion events over the continental United States in the spring of 2007 are analyzed to show the spatial extent and the temporal evolution of the intruding air mass. These examples demonstrate the effectiveness of potential temperature lapse rate, i.e., static stability, as a diagnostic for the intrusion event. Comparison with the potential vorticity field is made to show the complementarity of the two dynamical fields. The static stability diagnostic provides a tool to map out the horizontal extent of the intruding layer and to investigate its evolution. Furthermore, the diagnostic makes it possible to forecast the intrusion event for field studies.

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