Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 3–4, pp 1277–1286 | Cite as

Lagrangian study of the final warming in the southern stratosphere during 2002: Part II. 3D structure

  • Jezabel CurbeloEmail author
  • Carlos R. Mechoso
  • Ana M. Mancho
  • Stephen Wiggins


This two-part paper aims to provide a Lagrangian perspective of the final southern warming in spring of 2002, during which the stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) experienced a unique splitting. We approach the subject from a dynamical systems viewpoint and search for Lagrangian coherent structures using a Lagrangian descriptor that is applied to reanalysis data. Part I presents our methodology and focuses by means of a kinematic model, on the understanding of fundamental processes for filamentation and ultimately for vortex splitting on an isentropic surface in the middle stratosphere. The present Part II discusses the three dimensional evolution of the flow during the selected event. For this, we apply the definition of vortex boundary developed in Part I for guidance in the selection of trajectories to illuminate the evolving flow structures, and invoke a criterion that allows to justify why at an isentropic level a pinched vortex will split in later times. Lagrangian structures identified include surfaces that are several kilometers deep, and which a particle trajectory analysis confirms as barriers to the flow. The role of Lagrangian structures in determining the fate of particles during the SPV splitting is discussed.


Stratospheric warming Lagrangian transport structures Normally hyperbolic invariant manifold (NHIM) Filamentation Vortex split Links between troposphere and stratosphere 



J. Curbelo and A. M. Mancho were supported by MINECO grant MTM2014-56392-R. J. Curbelo and A. M. Mancho are supported by ONR Grant no. N00014-17-1-3003. C. R. Mechoso was supported by the U.S. NSF Grant AGS-1245069. The research of S. Wiggins is supported by ONR Grant No. N00014-01-1-0769. Additional support was provided by the U.S. NSF Grant AGS-1832842.

Supplementary material

382_2019_4833_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 3834 KB)


  1. Butler AH, Sjoberg JP, Seidel DJ, Rosenlof KH (2017) A sudden stratospheric warming compendium. Earth Syst Sci Data 9(1):63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Charlton AJ, O’Neill A, Lahoz WA, Berrisford P (2005) The splitting of the stratospheric polar vortex in the southern hemisphere, september 2002: Dynamical evolution. J Atmos Sci 66:590–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Curbelo J, García-Garrido VJ, Mechoso CR, Mancho AM, Wiggins S, Niang C (2017) Insights into the three-dimensional lagrangian geometry of the antarctic polar vortex. Nonlinear Process Geophys 24(3):379–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. García-Garrido VJ, Curbelo J, Mancho AM, Wiggins S, Mechoso CR (2018) The application of lagrangian descriptors to 3D vector fields. Regul Chaotic Dyn 23:551–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Manney GL, Farrara JD, Mechoso CR (1991) The behavior of wave 2 in the southern hemisphere stratosphere during late winter and early spring. J Atmos Sci 48:976–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Manney GL, Farrara JD, Mechoso CR (1994) Simulations of the february 1979 stratospheric sudden warming: model comparisons and three-dimensional evolution. Mon Weather Rev 122(6):1115–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Matthewman NJ, Esler JG, Charlton-Perez AJ, Polvani LM (2009) A new look at stratospheric sudden warmings. Part III: Polar vortex evolution and vertical structure. J Clim 22(6):1566–1585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mechoso CR, O’Neill A, Pope VD, Farrara JD (1988) A study of the stratospheric final warming of 1982 in the southern hemisphere. Q J R Meteorol Soc 114:1365–1384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mezić I, Wiggins S (1994) On the integrability and perturbation of three-dimensional fluid flows with symmetry. J Nonlinear Sci 4(1):157–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nishii K, Nakamura H (2004) Tropospheric influence on the diminished antarctic ozone hole in September 2002. Geophys Res Lett 31(L16):103Google Scholar
  11. O’Neill A, Oatley CL, Charlton-Perez AJ, Mitchell DM, Jung T (2017) Vortex splitting on a planetary scale in the stratosphere by cyclogenesis on a subplanetary scale in the troposphere. Q J R Meteorol Soc 143(703):691–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Peters D, Waugh DW (2003) Rossby wave breaking in the southern hemisphere wintertime upper troposphere. Mon Weather Rev 131(11):2623–2634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Quintanar AI, Mechoso CR (1995) Quasi-stationary waves in the southern hemisphere. Part I: observational data. J Clim 4:2659–2672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Schoeberl MR, Newman PA (1995) A multiple-level trajectory analysis of vortex filaments. J Geophys Res Atmos 100(D12):25,801–25,815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Simmons A, Uppala S, Dee D, Kobayashi S (2007) ERA-interim: new ECMWF reanalysis products from 1989 onwards. ECMWF Newsl 110:25–35Google Scholar
  16. Wiggins S (1994) Normally hyperbolic invariant manifolds in dynamical systems. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jezabel Curbelo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carlos R. Mechoso
    • 3
  • Ana M. Mancho
    • 2
  • Stephen Wiggins
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Matemáticas, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias MatemáticasCSIC-UAM-UC3M-UCMMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.School of MathematicsUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations