Stratospheric Harbingers of Anomalous Weather Regimes

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Science  19 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5542, pp. 581-584
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063315

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Observations show that large variations in the strength of the stratospheric circulation, appearing first above ∼50 kilometers, descend to the lowermost stratosphere and are followed by anomalous tropospheric weather regimes. During the 60 days after the onset of these events, average surface pressure maps resemble closely the Arctic Oscillation pattern. These stratospheric events also precede shifts in the probability distributions of extreme values of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations, the location of storm tracks, and the local likelihood of mid-latitude storms. Our observations suggest that these stratospheric harbingers may be used as a predictor of tropospheric weather regimes.

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