The radar tropopause at 78°N, 16°E: Characteristics of diurnal variation


  • C. M. Hall

    Corresponding author
    1. Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
    • Corresponding author: C. M. Hall, Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, University of Tromsø, Tromsø NO-9037, Norway. (

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[1] A continuous 5 year time series of tropopause altitude made by the SOUSY VHF radar on Svalbard (78°N, 16°E) is examined for diurnal variation. The data have a nominal time resolution of 1 h, allowing for investigation of intraday timescales not normally possible using radiosonde observations. Periodicities identified in tropopause altitude are found to vary with season. Surface air temperature measurements naturally exhibit diurnal variations which depend on season: however, it is demonstrated that, using a simple scenario of constant adiabatic lapse rate in the troposphere, the tropopause altitude variation that might be anticipated from that of the surface air temperature is not in agreement with the radar observation. Of several mechanisms that could be postulated for this discrepancy, it is demonstrated that a likely candidate is intraday top-down forcing from the stratosphere.