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First detection of a “minor” elevated stratopause in very early winter
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  • Maya García-Comas,
  • Bernd Funke,
  • Manuel Lopez Puertas,
  • Francisco Gonzalez Galindo,
  • Michael Kiefer,
  • Michael Hoepfner
Maya García-Comas

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bernd Funke
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC
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Manuel Lopez Puertas
Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, CSIC
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Francisco Gonzalez Galindo
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC
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Michael Kiefer
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK)
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Michael Hoepfner
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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Elevated stratopauses are typically associated with prolonged disturbed conditions in the northern hemisphere polar winter. MIPAS and MLS observed a short-lived and highly zonally asymmetric stratopause at mesospheric altitudes in November 2009, the earliest in the season reported so far. The Arctic climatological winter stratopause vanished and MIPAS and MLS measured temperatures of 260K at 82\,km and 250K at 75\,km, respectively, in a region smaller than in typical mid-winter elevated stratopause events. Planetary wave activity was initially high. Zonal mean zonal winds and the poleward temperature gradient northward of 70$^\circ$N stayed reversed during 7 days. The mesosphere did not cool during that phase. Wave activity dropped until the eastward stratospheric zonal winds resumed, a strong vortex restored in the mesosphere, and the stratopause emerged at a high altitude. An enhanced downward transport followed. It took the stratopause 9 days to move down to its typical winter altitudes.