Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics

Department

Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. John M. Hughes

First Committee Member

Dr. Jonathan B. Snively

Second Committee Member

Dr. Alan Lui

Abstract

Analysis of northern hemisphere stratospheric data from 1978-2011 is used to identify and classify Stratospheric Sudden Warming events. A total of 41 events are identified during this 33 year period, resulting in an average occurrence rate of 1.24 events/year. No significant variation in the rate is observed during the period analyzed. The average temperature increase during an SSW event is 12 K and the average duration is 32 days. Each identified event is classified as either a vortex displacement or split event and the ratio of displacement to split events is found to be 0.86.

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