Article ID: 2018-057
We investigate the effects of the stratospheric equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) on the extratropical circulation in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) from SH winter to early summer. The Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55) dataset is used for 1960–2010. The factors important for the variation of zonal wind of the SH polar vortex are identified via multiple linear regression, using Equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine (EESC), middle- and lower-stratospheric QBO, solar cycle, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and volcanic aerosol terms as explanatory variables. The results show that the contributions to the SH polar vortex variability of ENSO are important in SH early winter (June) to mid-winter (July), while that of middle-stratospheric QBO is important from spring (September to November) to early summer (December).
Analyses of the regression coefficients associated with both middle- and lower-stratospheric QBO suggest an influence on the SH polar vortex from SH winter through early summer in the seasonal evolution. One possible pathway is that the middle-stratospheric QBO results in the SH low-latitudes stratospheric response through the QBO-induced mean meridional circulation, leading to a high-latitude response. This favours delayed downward evolution of the polar-night jet (PNJ) at high latitudes (around 60°S) from late winter (August) to spring (September–November) during the westerly phase of the QBO, consequently tending to strengthen westerly winds from stratosphere to troposphere in SH spring. The other possible pathway involves the response to lower-stratospheric QBO that induces the SH late winter increase in upward propagation of planetary waves from the extratropical troposphere to stratosphere, which is consistent with weakening of the PNJ.