Seasonal aspects of the quasi-biennial oscillation in MPI-ESM and ERA-40
This study investigates seasonal modulations of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) of the tropical stratosphere. For this purpose, the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM), which internally generates a realistic QBO compared to the ERA-40 dataset, is employed. The modeled QBO is forced with resolved and parametrized waves. At 5 hPa, the seasonal distribution of the onset of QBO westerly jets clusters in spring and fall due to the coupling of the QBO and the semi-annual oscillation. This seasonal clustering of the westerly jets extends throughout the stratosphere, shifting to later months with increasing pressure. QBO westerly jets starting in the upper stratosphere in fall propagate to the middle stratosphere more slowly than westerly jets starting in spring. This is attributed to seasonal modulations of the QBO forcing and enhanced wave filtering by the QBO westerly jet in the lower stratosphere in fall and winter compared to spring and summer. The observed stalling of the QBO easterly jet in the lower stratosphere and the accompanied prolonged persistence of the QBO westerly jet in the vicinity of the tropopause are attributed equally to seasonal variations of the resolved and parametrized wave forcing and the advective forcing.