Transient phenomena

The wave-mean flow interaction is of basic importance for the patterns of atmospheric circulation. Planetary Rossby waves govern sudden stratospheric warmings, the Brewer-Dobson circulation and other phenomena in the stratosphere, while gravity waves are important in the mesosphere. Subject of this research theme are medium-term effects of wave-mean flow interaction in the middle atmosphere and the associated spatio-temporal structure of the polar vortex.


The diagnosis of the impact of Rossby and gravity waves in simulations (for example from KMCM) is important, which implies the application and further development of tools like the Eliassen-Palm flux or simplified transport models. The joint evaluation of models with observations and analyses is undertaken to identify the relevant processes.

Recent publications

  • Gisinger, S., A. Dörnbrack, V. Matthias, J. D. Doyle, S. D. Eckermann, B. Ehard, L. Hoffmann, B. Kaifler, C. G. Kruse & M. Rapp, 2017: Atmospheric Conditions during the Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE). Mon. Wea. Rev. 145,  10: 4249-4275, doi:10.1175/mwr-d-16-0435.1.
  • Karpechko, A. Y., P. Hitchcock, D. H. W. Peters & A. Schneidereit, 2017: Predictability of downward propagation of major sudden stratospheric warmings. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 143,  704: 1459-1470, doi:10.1002/qj.3017.
  • Lübken, F.-J., R. Latteck, E. Becker, J. Höffner & D. Murphy, 2017: Using polar mesosphere summer echoes and stratospheric/mesospheric winds to explain summer mesopause jumps in Antarctica. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 162: 106-115, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2016.06.008.
  • Rüfenacht, R., G. Baumgarten, J. Hildebrand, F. Schranz, V. Matthias, G. Stober, F.-J. Lübken & N. Kämpfer, 2017: Validation of middle-atmospheric wind in observations and models. Atmos. Meas. Tech. Disccuss,: in review, doi:10.5194/amt-2017-390.
  • Stober, G., V. Matthias, C. Jacobi, S. Wilhelm, J. Höffner & J. L. Chau, 2017: Exceptionally strong summer-like zonal wind reversal in the upper mesosphere during winter 2015/16. Ann. Geopys. 35,  3: 711-720, doi:10.5194/angeo-35-711-2017.
  • Zülicke, C. & E. Becker, 2017: Relation between equatorial mesospheric wind anomalies during spring and middle atmosphere variability modes. Sci. Online Lett. Atmos. 13A: 31-35, doi:10.2151/sola.13A-006.
  • Zülicke, C., E. Becker, V. Matthias, D. H. W. Peters, H. Schmidt, H.-L. Liu, L. de la Torre Ramos & D. M. Mitchell, 2017: Coupling of stratospheric warmings with mesospheric coolings in observations and simulations. J. Climate: in press, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0047.1.


  • Christoph Zülicke
  • Erich Becker
  • Axel Gabriel
  • Mikhailo Grygalashvyly
  • Vivien Matthias
  • Dieter H.W. Peters
  • Gerd R. Sonnemann