Observational evidence against mountain-wave generation of ice nuclei as a...

Pagan, K. L., A. Tabazadeh, K. Drdla, M. E. Hervig, S. Eckermann, E. Browell, M. Legg, and P. G. Foschi (2004), Observational evidence against mountain-wave generation of ice nuclei as a prerequisite for the formation of three solid nitric acid polar stratospheric clouds observed in the Arctic in early December 1999, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D04312, doi:10.1029/2003JD003846.

A number of recently published papers suggest that mountain-wave activity in the stratosphere, producing ice particles when temperatures drop below the ice frost point, may be the primary source of large NAT particles. In this paper we use measurements from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instruments on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites to map out regions of ice clouds produced by stratospheric mountain-wave activity inside the Arctic vortex. Lidar observations from three DC-8 flights in early December 1999 show the presence of solid nitric acid (Type Ia or NAT) polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). By using back trajectories and superimposing the position maps on the AVHRR cloud imagery products, we show that these observed NAT clouds could not have originated at locations of high-amplitude mountain-wave activity. We also show that mountain-wave PSC climatology data and Mountain Wave Forecast Model 2.0 (MWFM-2) raw hemispheric ray and grid box averaged hemispheric wave temperature amplitude hindcast data from the same time period are in agreement with the AVHRR data. Our results show that ice cloud formation in mountain waves cannot explain how at least three largescale NAT clouds were formed in the stratosphere in early December 1999.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)