Understanding the intensification of tropopause polar vortices over the Arctic

Steve Cavallo
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Tropopause polar vortices (TPVs) are commonly observed vortices based on the tropopause in polar regions. Despite their common occurrence, occasional lifetimes over one month, and wide range of horizontal scales, relatively little is understood regarding their observed tendency to intensify in certain regions of the Arctic. Using an idealized numerical modeling approach with an Ertel Potential Vorticity framework, the otherwise complicated physical interactions that would be seen from real-data or in case studies can be explored independently to gain a more simple understanding of the physical processes leading to intensification. Results reveal that the intensification is largely driven by the radiative response to water vapor anomalies in the vortex.

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