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Rank: F5 Superstorm
26 years old
Millersville, PA
Born Mar-21-1991
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Local Time: Dec 16 2017, 02:20 AM
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My Content
25 Sep 2017
So lets see where this goes this year opening from last season:

I have seen from other forums about opening up a Stratospheric discussion thread where anybody can post questions, have daily discussions on the development of the Polar Vortex (PV), and have an area that people can find decent information on where to find PV data and the basics.

So lets begin what exactly is described as the Stratosphere. The Stratosphere is a portion of the atmosphere directly beyond the Troposhperic, where we live, layer.

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The Stratosphere ranges from about 10 to 50km above the surface with pressure values in the range from 100 hPa at the lower levels to just under 1 hPa at the upper levels. They consider the middle portion of the stratosphere to be from ~10-30 hPa.

As we approach the Autumnal Equinox (September 20-22nd) each year in the northern hemisphere the PV begins its strengthening, as this region experiences less solar radiation that hits the ozone located in the Stratosphere allowing the PV to cool and strengthen. The PV will continue to strengthen as we head deeper into the season because of temperature differences between polar and mid latitude regions. The Stratospheric PV has a strong interdependence with the Tropospheric PV as one can effect the other. Strengthening of the Stratospheric PV will usually allow for a connection to allow the Tropospheric vortex to strengthen while the Tropospheric vortex can also influence the Stratospheric vortex strength, but this is not always true.

As we head down toward the surface the strength of the PV dictates what values we look at for the Arctic Oscillation (AO). A strong PV during the winter will set up a positive AO which will tend to retreat the polar jet stream and bottling up the cold in the Arctic regions. While a negative AO translates into a weaker Stratospheric PV and will tend to allow the cold air bottled up in the Arctic to be released into the mid latitude regions around the Northern Hemisphere (NH), now just because we have a negative AO does not necessarily mean every region will experience the same result this also applies to a positive AO.

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The stratospheric PV can be influenced by different factors such as QBO, state of ENSO, solar influence, ozone distribution and levels, and snow cover and extent.


The ozone layer is collocated in the middle portion of the Stratosphere and is warmed by the incoming UV radiation. The main circulation is the Brewer-Dobson Circulation (BDC) ozone is formed in the tropical stratosphere and transported to the polar stratosphere. This circulation changes from year to year and can be influenced from time to time by many different factors. The ozone content can dictate stratosphere polar temperatures with collecting of ozone allowing for warming to occur in the polar stratosphere.

Ozone Basics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_layer
Ozone Tracking: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stra...2to/index.shtml

ENSO state:

The ENSO and the state that we see in the tropical Pacific region play a huge role in tropical regions but also the mid latitudes. During these events the effects on the Stratosphere change, when we experience El Nino (warming of Eastern Portion of the Pacific) the atmospheric upward propagating waves become more centered over the Pacific then the Indian Ocean and vice versa occurs.



Where these waves occur dictate the "attacks" on the PV as well as the weather that we experience from these changes.

Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO):

The QBO is a wind pattern of alternating (easterly and westerly), descending winds that occur in the Tropical Stratosphere over a period of 26-32 months, with an average of around 28 months at about 30hPa is the main region to measure QBO but stretches over an area from 10-50hPa. The easterly (negative) phase is thought to contribute to a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex, whilst a westerly (positive) phase is thought to increase the strength of the stratospheric vortex. These changes and how quickly or not these winds descend can have substantial implications in the NH winter PV.

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As mentioned before about the Ozone and the BDC, the QBO seems to play a role in distribution from the Tropical Stratosphere. The tropical upward momentum of ozone is stronger in the eQBO , whereas in the wQBO ozone transport is stronger into the lower mid latitudes, so less ozone will enter the upper tropical stratosphere to be transported to the polar stratosphere.

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When the QBO is in a west phase during solar maximum there are more warming events in the stratosphere, as there is also during an easterly phase QBO during solar minimum, so the strength of the BDC is also affected by this also known as the Holton Tan effect .

Sunspots and QBO


Solar Cycle also plays a role in conjunction with other factors as stated above here is the solar indices as we head into what looks to be a solar minimum.
So far we have gone over the ideas of QBO, ENSO, sunspots and Ozone on the startosphere and how they can influence the progression of the Stratosphere. We now turn to Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSW).


There is another name for these types of warmings called Major Midwinter Warming (MMW), does not necessarily mean this takes place in the middle of winter. SSWs can be caused by large-scale planetary tropospheric (Rossby) waves being deflected up into the stratosphere and towards the North Pole, often after a strong mountain torque event. This can lead to warmer then normal temperatures from the mid latitude to rise into the polar stratosphere and cause a drop in winds associated with the PV, and even allow a reversal of winds. To start these type of events we usually have to look into the Troposphere for activity that could spawn a change into the Stratosphere. We can look at tropical flare-ups in convection as a way to see a start of an atmospheric Rossby wave. The positioning and strength of the tropical activity is very important and can be seen from the Madden-Jullian Oscillation (MJO) and the surrounding ENSO state. As the rossby wave forms from such convection processes it can moved and deflected by various mountainous regions across the globe which can be monitored by changes in the Global Wind Oscillations (GWO).

MJO monitoring:

ENSO monitoring:


When we do happen to get a Rossby wave to form from this process of tropical convection there is the possibility of this Rossby wave, after being deflected, to break. If the Stratosphere is more responsive to wave breaks then as time goes on we can see the development of a SSW or MMW. When a Rossby Wave break occurs in one place we see a wave 1 disturbance occur, usually involving a displacement of the PV. If we see two wave breaks, a wave 2 disturbance, we can see a squeeze on the PV occur and allow for a split.

Rossby Wave Break (RWB) Diagram:
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Currently the SSW is defined by a reversal of mean zonal mean winds from westerly to easterly at 60ÂșN and 10hPa, but this is being reviewed as to whether this definition will hold. If we do manage to see an SSW form this can lead to high latitude blocking (HLB) to occur, now this is not always the case but SSW's provide a better chance of this occurring where colder air is able to be transported to lower latitudes. The lag associated with an SSW to seeing tropospheric conditions seems to be around 6 weeks but there have been times where this is not quite the case.


One last thing is how snowcover could influence changes in the Stratosphere by ways of creating a SSW from such occurrence. Below we see what Dr. Cohen postulates for what could happen do to snowcover as many know this is not an exact science and the correlations are there but again I warn this does not always follow a linear path with so many other influences that can change this outcome.

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Various Websites:

ECM/ Berlin Site
Instant Weather Maps
NASA Merra Site
NASA seasonal Evolution
* Various sites at the bottom of site
Current and previous seasons Temp and Wind

Please Please try to keep this thread on track with not posting single storm impacts unless it pertains to the evolution of the PV. Also if there is any information that anyone would like to add as far as websites, pictures, or any information feel free to add as needed. If you would like to help expand on this 1st post just shoot me a PM and I will add as see fit.

Have fun with discussion!
26 Jun 2017
Hey folks I am wondering if anyone can help me out here. I have very little in the way of knowledge on how to speak spanish, I have mustered up a few words and phrases from fellow colleagues but would like to actually understand it and speak it while it may not be fluently i can eventually achieve this. So I am looking for a good textbook that starts me off with the basics and builds upon itself such as if I was going to school but be the one doing the teaching/learning as I do not have the time or hundreds of dollars I would want to spend right now to take courses at say a community college.

Anything would help and I wanna try to stay away from spanish for dummies if possible. I have also heard rosetta stone but this can get rather expensive.

Thanks all
28 Apr 2017
Not sure if the title is correct but you get the point. There is a stalled front draped across the region that should later go into a warm front lifting north for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a tricky forecast for areas just north of the PA/MD border if we manage to clear out the rains and convection that looks like it may come through a little later we stand a decent chance of making it into the mid 80's, im really curious to see what happens with this as it will decide whether or not a complex will be able to form and hit us tomorrow afternoon according to HRRR.

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25 Apr 2017
This happened on Sunday around 3:45pm a magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale occurred in the millersville/Conestoga region many reported a loud bang as if there was a small explosion that took place, no damage was reported but this is actually kind of surprising one would occur around here given our weather lately has been fairly tranquil and from 2011 with the copious amounts of rain that year it was able to disrupt the forces underground to cause an earthquake but many regions around here are under slight to moderate drought status.
23 Apr 2017
Hey all now this is just as stated a discussion thread for each individual threat we will open up a thread for said tropical system. Until this occurs though this can be a thread to post information leading up into the season as well as thoughts on the impending season across the Atlantic and GOM region, can include Caribbean as well.

Hurricane season normally will not start until June 1st but there have been occurrences over the past decade where we have gone ahead of schedule from this date. This does not necessarily mean this will invoke an active season.

Here is a site to monitor the SAL (saharan air layer):

My concern for this year as has been the case over the last couple is the positioning of the ridging across the western Atlantic. We have seen quite the ridging episode occur across much of the eastern seaboard for the past 2 years. Normally during an el nino event, such as last year and we will see about this year, the Atlantic tends to have lower numbers for hurricanes, storms, and landfalling chances due to increased shear not allowing for a stable growth region. Well we are currently warmer than average across much of the Atlantic except in a region around the bahamas stretching out into the central Atlantic not sure how this will play out in say 2 months when things may start to heat up but surely will play a role, but there have been occurrences where we start off cold to warm up rather nicely across this region. The GOM has been warm since last year with relatively untapped waters across that region last year this may be a hot bed for storms to really intensify.

At this point all speculation but something to look forward to as we enter the season.
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