EOS Microwave Limb Sounder observations of “frozen-in” anticyclonic air in Arctic summer

G. L. Manney, N. J. Livesey, C. J. Jimenez, H. C. Pumphrey, M. L. Santee, I. A. MacKenzie, J. W. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A previously unreported phenomenon, a “frozen-in” anticyclone (FrIAC) after the 2005 Arctic spring vortex breakup, was discovered in Earth Observing System (EOS) Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) long-lived trace gas data. A tongue of low-latitude (high-N2O, low-H2O) air was drawn into high latitudes and confined in a tight anticyclone, then advected intact in the summer easterlies through late August. A similar feature in O3 disappeared by early April as a result of chemical processes. The FrIAC was initially advected upright at nearly the same speed at all levels from ∼660 to 1300 K (∼25–45 km); increasing vertical wind shear after early June tilted the FrIAC and weakened it at higher levels. The associated feature in PV disappeared by early June; transport calculations fail to reproduce the remarkable persistence of the FrIAC, suggesting deficiencies in summer high-latitude winds. The historical PV record suggests that this phenomenon may have occurred several times before. The lack of a persistent signature in O3 or PV, along with its small size and rapid motion, make it unlikely that a FrIAC could have been reliably identified without hemispheric daily long-lived trace gas profiles such as those from EOS MLS.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL06810
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


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