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Multi-level analysis of the northern polar vortex split in April 2020 during development of the Arctic ozone hole
  • Jezabel Curbelo,
  • Gang Chen,
  • Carlos Roberto Mechoso
Jezabel Curbelo
Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya, Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya

Corresponding Author:jezabel.curbelo@upc.edu

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Gang Chen
University of California Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles
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Carlos Roberto Mechoso
University of California Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles
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Abstract

The present paper examines the northern stratosphere during April 2020, when the polar vortex split into two cyclonic vortices. We examine this split at middle as well as lower stratospheric levels, and the interactions that occurred between the resulting two vortices which determined the distribution of ozone among them. We also examine the connections among stratospheric and tropospheric events during the period. For analysis, we apply Lagrangian tools and an Eulerian diagnostic of planetary wave activity. Our findings confirm the key role for the split played by a flow configuration with a polar hyperbolic trajectory and associated manifolds. A trajectory analysis illustrates the transport of ozone between the vortices during the split. We argue that these stratospheric events were linked to strong synoptic scale disturbances in the troposphere forming a wave train from the north Pacific to North America and Eurasia.