Lidar measurements of gravity wave activity have been conducted at Eureka in the High Arctic since 1993. The waves are detected by the fluctuations they induce in temperature. It has been found that the amount of wave energy in the upper stratosphere is related to the position of the stratospheric polar vortex. In each of the four winters reported here, the wave activity was a maximum within the westerly jet at the edge of the vortex, a minimum inside the vortex near its centre and intermediate outside the vortex. The spectra of wave induced fluctuations show that it is at the longest resolved vertical wavelengths (8 to 15 km) that wave energy is being influenced by the background meteorological conditions. These findings are interpreted in terms of the Doppler shifting and critical level filtering that is imposed by the background wind profile.