The Hiccup: a dynamical coupling process during the autumn transition in the Northern Hemisphere – similarities and differences to sudden stratospheric warmings
- 1Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Rostock, Kühlungsborn, Germany
- 2Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, Reading, UK
- 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
- 4Meteorologisches Institut München, Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München, Munich, Germany
Abstract. Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are the most prominent vertical coupling process in the middle atmosphere, which occur during winter and are caused by the interaction of planetary waves (PWs) with the zonal mean flow. Vertical coupling has also been identified during the equinox transitions, and is similarly associated with PWs. We argue that there is a characteristic aspect of the autumn transition in northern high latitudes, which we call the "hiccup", and which acts like a "mini SSW", i.e. like a small minor warming. We study the average characteristics of the hiccup based on a superimposed epoch analysis using a nudged version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model, representing 30 years of historical data. Hiccups can be identified in about half the years studied. The mesospheric zonal wind results are compared to radar observations over Andenes (69° N, 16° E) for the years 2000–2013. A comparison of the average characteristics of hiccups and SSWs shows both similarities and differences between the two vertical coupling processes.