The intraseasonal and interannual variability of arctic temperature and specific humidity inversions

Lejiang Yu, Qinghua Yang, Mingyu Zhou, Xubin Zeng, Donald H. Lenschow, Xianqiao Wang, Bo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Temperature and humidity inversions are common in the Arctic's lower troposphere, and are a crucial component of the Arctic's climate system. In this study, we quantify the intraseasonal oscillation of Arctic temperature and specific humidity inversions and investigate its interannual variability using data from the Surface Heat Balance of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment from October 1997 to September 1998 and the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) Reanalysis (ERA)-interim for the 1979-2017 period. In January 1998, there were two noticeable elevated inversions and one surface inversion. The transitions between elevated and surface-based inversions were associated with the intraseasonal variability of the temperature and humidity differences between 850 and 950 hPa. The self-organizing map (SOM) technique is utilized to obtain the main modes of surface and elevated temperature and humidity inversions on intraseasonal time scales. Low (high) pressure and more (less) cloud cover are related to elevated (surface) temperature and humidity inversions. The frequency of strong (weak) elevated inversions over the eastern hemisphere has decreased (increased) in the past three decades. The wintertime Arctic Oscillation (AO) and Arctic Dipole (AD) during their positive phases have a significant effect on the occurrence of surface and elevated inversions for two Nodes only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Arctic
  • Arctic Dipole (AD)
  • Arctic Oscillation (AO)
  • Elevated inversions
  • Intraseasonal variability
  • Surface inversions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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