Articles | Volume 31, issue 4
Regular paper
04 Apr 2013
Regular paper |  | 04 Apr 2013

Tropopause fold occurrence rates over the Antarctic station Troll (72° S, 2.5° E)

M. Mihalikova and S. Kirkwood

Abstract. One of the important mechanisms of stratosphere–troposphere exchange, which brings ozone-rich stratospheric air to low altitudes in extratropical regions, is transport related to tropopause folds. The climatology of folds has been studied at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere with the help of radars and global models. Global models supply information about fold occurrence rates at high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere as well, but so far comparisons with direct measurements are rare. The Moveable Atmospheric Radar for Antarctica (MARA), a 54.5 MHz wind-profiler radar, has been operated at the Norwegian year-round station Troll, Antarctica (72° S, 2.5° E) since December 2011. Frequent tropopause fold signatures have been observed. In this study, based on MARA observations, an occurrence rate statistics of tropopause folds from December 2011 until November 2012 has been made, and radar data have been compared with the analysis from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF). The fold occurrence rates exhibit an annual cycle with winter maximum and summer minimum and suggest significantly higher occurrence rates for the given location than those obtained previously by global model studies.