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Title: First Lidar Observations of Quasi‐Biennial Oscillation‐Induced Interannual Variations of Gravity Wave Potential Energy Density at McMurdo via a Modulation of the Antarctic Polar Vortex

This work presents the first lidar observations of a Quasi‐Biennial Oscillation (QBO) in the interannual variations of stratospheric gravity wave potential energy density (Epmin 30–50 km) at McMurdo (77.84°S, 166.67°E), Antarctica. This paper also reports the first identification of QBO signals in the distance between McMurdo and the polar vortex edge. Midwinter stratospheric gravity wave activity is stronger during the QBO easterly phase when the June polar vortex expands and the polar night jet shifts equatorward. During the QBO westerly phase, gravity wave activity is weaker when the polar vortex contracts and the polar night jet moves poleward. Nine years of lidar data (2011–2019) exhibit the meanEpmwinter maxima being ~43% higher during QBO easterly than westerly. The June polar vortex edge at 45 km altitude moves equatorward/poleward during QBO easterly/westerly phases with ~8° latitude differences (39.7°S vs. 47.7°S) as revealed in 21 years of MERRA‐2 data (1999–2019). We hypothesize that an equatorward shifted polar vortex corresponds to less critical level filtering of gravity waves and thus higherEpmat McMurdo. The critical level filtering is characterized by wind rotation angle (WRA), and we find a linear correlation between the WRA andEpminterannual variations. The results suggest that the QBO is likely controlling the interannual variations of theEpmwinter maxima over McMurdo via the critical level filtering. This observationally based study lays the groundwork for a rigorous numerical study that will provide robust statistics to better understand the mechanisms that link the tropical QBO to extratropical waves.

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Award ID(s):
1753214 1443726 1246405 0839091
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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