The Study of Sudden Stratospheric Warmings Using Infrasound

Pieter Smets, Jelle Assink, Läslo Evers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Infrasound has a long history of monitoring sudden stratospheric warmings. Several pioneering studies have focused on the various effects of a major warming on the propagation of infrasound. A clear transition has been made from observing anomalous signatures towards the use of these signals to study anomalies in upper atmospheric conditions. Typically, the infrasonic signature of a major warming corresponds to summer-like infrasound characteristics observed in midwinter. More subtile changes occur during a minor warming, recognisable by the presence of a bidirectional stratospheric duct or propagation through a warm stratosphere leading to small shadow zones. A combined analysis of all signal characteristics unravels the general stratospheric structure throughout the life cycle of the warming. A new methodology to evaluate the state of the atmosphere as represented by various weather and climate models is demonstrated. A case study comparing regional volcano infrasound with simulations using various forecast steps indicates significant differences in stratospheric forecast skill, associated with a data assimilation issue during the warming.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInfrasound Monitoring for Atmospheric Studies
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges in Middle Atmosphere Dynamics and Societal Benefits: Second Edition
EditorsA. Le Pichon, E. Blanc, A. Hauchecorne
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-75140-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-75138-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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