The frequency and size of ozone "mini-hole" events at northern midlatitudes in February

John P. McCormack, Lon L. Hood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Ozone "mini-holes" represent regions of low total ozone (<300 D U) that persist for several days over extratropical latitudes in winter. These events are usually associated with breaking Rossby waves in the upper troposphere that allow poleward injections of ozone-poor, low potential yorticity (PV) tropospheric air into the lower stratosphere. Using daily TOMS total ozone data together with daily PV maps derived from reanalyzed NCEP data, the interannual variability of ozone mini-hole events in the northern hemisphere is investigated for one winter month (February) during the 1979 - 1993 period. For this purpose, the total area of anomalously low total ozone and PV between 40°N and 50°N and between 90°W and 90°E is computed for February of each year. The low-ozone and low-PV areas both peak during February of 1988, 1989, and 1990, coincident with the lowest monthly zonal mean total ozone values observed at northern midlatitudes prior to the Pinatubo eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97GL02642
Pages (from-to)2647-2650
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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