Tracer filamentation generated by small-scale Rossby wave breaking in the lower stratosphere

N. G. Bradshaw, G. Vaughan, R. Busen, S. Garcelon, R. Jones, T. Gardiner, J. Hacker

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    14 Citations (Scopus)
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    An airborne monitoring system has been used to observe fine-scale filamentation in the ozone field between 370 and 390 K isentropic levels. The Australian long-range, high-altitude research aircraft, the Egrett, was used to record multiple atmospheric properties with a high spatial resolution. Toward the end of 5 June 2000, an intrusion of low-ozone air was recorded over Aberystwyth, between 360 and 390 K. On the same day, a Rossby wave was observed to be breaking over western Europe with both poleward and equatorward components. We suggest that the low ozone at ̃380 K was caused by the poleward component of the breaking Rossby wave, stretching from southwestern Ireland to Iceland. On the eastern flank of the subtropical intrusion the in situ ozone measurements observed by the Egrett showed distinctive step and trough structures that were not expected from conventional model analyses. Using Reverse Domain-Filled (RDF) trajectory analyses to produce a fine-scale view of potential vorticity, we show how breaking of small-scale Rossby waves along the flank of the main wave over the northeastern United States, followed by a strong zonal compression, produced fine-scale filaments responsible for the structures observed in the Egrett ozone measurements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4689
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
    Issue numberD23
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2002


    • 3362 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Stratosphere/ troposphere interactions
    • 3364 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Synoptic-scale meteorology
    • 3384 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Waves and tides
    • Egrett
    • Filamentation
    • NRossby
    • Ozone


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