Ionospheric effects of stratospheric warming, despite high solar activity



In January 2013, a strong burst of sudden stratospheric warming hit the atmosphere of the Arctic, driving altered weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere. Sudden stratospheric warming is sparked when large atmospheric Rossby waves push through the tropopause into the stratosphere. Beyond the effects felt in the polar stratosphere and at the surface, however, the January 2013 event also had a strong influence on the behavior of the low-latitude ionosphere. For the 40 days of the stratospheric warming event, Goncharenko et al. report vertical ion drift and total electron content strongly varied in the ionosphere. These changes aligned well with previous observations made during a January 2009 sudden stratospheric warming event.