EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ascending smoke vortices in the stratosphere

Bernard Legras1, Aurélien Podglajen1, Pasquale Sellitto2, Hugo Lestrelin1, Jehanne Reboud1, Josselin Doc, and Guillaume Lapeyre
Bernard Legras et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, CNRS / PSL-ENS /Ecole polytechnique/Sorbonne Univ., Paris, France (
  • 2Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, Univ. Paris Est Créteil / CNRS, Créteil, France (

Ascending persistent smoke mesoscale anticyclonic vortices have been recently discovered in the mid-latitude stratosphere after several large wildfires. Such vortices can survive up to three months are rising to top altitudes between 20 and 36 km distributing aerosols along their way. They are also associated with a mini ozone hole.  We will survey these observations from active and passive satellite instruments and the reconstruction of vortices by assimilation of the signature left in the ozone and temperature measurements. We will show in particular how the temperature dipole associated with the vortices is retrieved from the GPS-RO occultation and reproduced by the assimilation and describe a remarkable case of superimposition during the crossing of two vortices.  

We will then describe our current understanding of the dynamics and stability of such structures where the radiative heating by solar absorption on the black carbon is the key forcing and where long wave radiative transfer provide a damping and diffusive effect. We will discuss the similarities and differences between simulations representing and full dynamics and the analysis that relies only on the  temperature information. A simplified 1D-model will be used as a tool for interpretation and sensitivity studies.

How to cite: Legras, B., Podglajen, A., Sellitto, P., Lestrelin, H., Reboud, J., Doc, J., and Lapeyre, G.: Ascending smoke vortices in the stratosphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5972,, 2022.