Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Review article
09 Feb 2017
Review article |  | 09 Feb 2017

A sudden stratospheric warming compendium

Amy H. Butler, Jeremiah P. Sjoberg, Dian J. Seidel, and Karen H. Rosenlof

Abstract. Major, sudden midwinter stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are large and rapid temperature increases in the winter polar stratosphere are associated with a complete reversal of the climatological westerly winds (i.e., the polar vortex). These extreme events can have substantial impacts on winter surface climate, including increased frequency of cold air outbreaks over North America and Eurasia and anomalous warming over Greenland and eastern Canada. Here we present a SSW Compendium (SSWC), a new database that documents the evolution of the stratosphere, troposphere, and surface conditions 60 days prior to and after SSWs for the period 1958–2014. The SSWC comprises data from six different reanalysis products: MERRA2 (1980–2014), JRA-55 (1958–2014), ERA-interim (1979–2014), ERA-40 (1958–2002), NOAA20CRv2c (1958–2011), and NCEP-NCAR I (1958–2014). Global gridded daily anomaly fields, full fields, and derived products are provided for each SSW event. The compendium will allow users to examine the structure and evolution of individual SSWs, and the variability among events and among reanalysis products. The SSWC is archived and maintained by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI, doi:10.7289/V5NS0RWP).

Short summary
From six different reanalysis products, we created a new comprehensive database of major sudden stratospheric warming events, which are large and rapid temperature increases in the stratosphere associated with a reversal of the stratospheric winter circulation. This new database can facilitate analysis of the evolution and surface impacts of these events as well as intercomparison of reanalysis products.