The lower stratospheric polar temperature averaged from 70°N to 90°N for the month of March for the past 50 years is investigated on the basis of National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) and European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-40 reanalysis data in relation to the strength of the lower stratospheric eddy heat flux. The decadal component of the polar temperature in March shows a large cold anomaly during the 1990s. This decadal temperature variation in March is found to be well correlated with the transient component of the eddy heat flux, although the magnitude of the transient eddy heat flux is smaller than that of the stationary eddy heat flux. It is also found that the year-to-year time variation of the polar temperature is correlated with the stationary component of the eddy heat flux. Copyright © 2006 Royal Meteorological Society.