Convective injection into stratospheric intrusions

Cameron R. Homeyer, Kenneth P. Bowman, Laura L. Pan, Mark Andrew Zondlo, James F. Bresch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Stratospheric intrusions (tropopause folds) are known to be major contributors to stratosphere-troposphere exchange. The specific mixing processes that lead to irreversible exchange between stratospheric intrusions and the surrounding troposphere, however, are not entirely understood. This study presents direct observations of moist convection penetrating into stratospheric intrusions. The characteristics of convective injection are shown by using in situ aircraft measurements, radar reflectivities, and model analyses. Convective injection is observed at altitudes up to 5 km above the bottom of a stratospheric intrusion. Aircraft measurements from the Stratosphere-Troposphere Analyses of Regional Transport 2008 (START08) experiment show that convective injection in stratospheric intrusions can be uniquely identified by coincident observations of water vapor greater than about 100 ppmv and ozone greater than about 125 ppbv. Trajectory analyses show that convective injection can impact transport in both directions: from troposphere to stratosphere and from stratosphere to troposphere. We present a conceptual model of the synoptic meteorological conditions conducive to convective injection in stratospheric intrusions. In particular, convective injection is found to be associated with a "split front" where the upper-level frontal boundary outruns the surface cold front.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD23304
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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