QBO research

QBO ( Quasi biennial oscillation)…

(I will add to the list as l come across them)

Click on the title to load all further entries at the base of this page


QBO time series

QBO time series
“30 hpa zonal winds on the equator up in the stratosphere ( upper atmosphere layer)
A stratospheric wind band along the equatorial latitude .
Changes direction periodically. Either easterly or westerly direction zonally across the stratospheric equatorial line of latitude”


The QBO was discovered in the 1950s

by researchers at the UK Meteorological Office (Graystone 1959)”

QBO period/frequency

“Zonally symmetric easterly and westerly wind regimes alternate regularly with periods varying from about 24 to 30 months(Holton,1992)


The fastest observed oscillation had a period close to 20 months(1959-1961) and the slowest was 36 months(1984-1987),

the mean period was 28.2 months(Pawson et al 1993b);about 5 cycles in 12 years(Maruyama,1997)”.


Can irregularities of solar proxies help understand quasi-biennial solar variations?

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 797-813, 2014
A. Shapoval1,3,4, J. L. Le Mouël2, M. Shnirman1,2, and V. Courtillot2
“We propose that the HSV( half schwabe) behavior of the irregularity index of ISSN Iinternational sunspot number)may be linked to the presence of strong QBO before 1915–1930, a transition and their disappearance around 1975, corresponding to a change in regime of solar activity.”

Discussed here

By weathercycles Posted in QBO

5 comments on “QBO research

  1. KREN et al 2014

    Examining the stratospheric response to the solar cycle in a coupled
    WACCM simulation with an internally generated QBO

    ““This result is inagreement with Fischer and Tung (2008), who analyzed anequatorial zonal wind data set (1953–2007) and found that

    while the QBO period was anticorrelated with the solar cycle during the first three solar cycles, it became positively corre-lated in the latter three cycles.”

  2. The influence of solar variability and the quasi-biennial oscillation
    on lower atmospheric temperatures and sea level pressure

    I. Roy and J. D. Haigh
    Published: 22 November 2011

    quote from intro
    “1 Introduction
    There is an established body of literature (see Gray et
    al. (2010) for a review), initiated by the pioneering work of
    Labitzke (1987), which has identified the influence on winter
    temperatures in the polar lower stratosphere of the quasibiennial
    oscillation (QBO) in tropical lower stratospheric
    winds, and of solar activity (measured by sunspot number
    or some other indicator such as 10.7 cm radio flux). What
    these studies found was that by segregating the meteorological
    data by the phase of the QBO a clear signal of the 11-yr
    solar cycle was revealed. More specifically, that the January–
    February temperature at 30 hPa over the North Pole tends to
    be warmer during the west phase of the QBO at high solar
    activity (HW) and also during the east phase at low solar
    activity (LE). Consistently, cold polar temperatures occur
    during LW and HE (Labitzke and van Loon, 1987, 1992;
    henceforth LvL), although the latter signal is weaker (Labitzke
    et al., 2006; henceforth LKB06) and its statistical robustness
    has been challenged (Camp and Tung, 2007; henceforth
    ” Holton Tan effect (Holton and Tan, 1980, 1982), in which polar temperatures
    are colder during wQBO than eQBO, is only effective
    when the Sun is less active.”

    “. EOF analysis
    reveals that the QBO around 40–50 hPa is, on average,
    temporally out of phase with that at 20–30 hPa so that the
    use of these two levels by e.g. Labitzke and van Loon (1992)
    and Camp and Tung (2007), respectively, means that they
    are not seeing the same aspect of any physical signal. ”
    We have also analysed zonal mean temperatures throughout
    the lower stratosphere and troposphere to investigate the
    existence more widely of any coupled solar and QBO influence.
    We find, while it exhibits strongly in the lower stratosphere,
    that in the troposphere any influence of the QBO,
    either on its own or coupled to solar effects is much smaller
    than the pure solar signal. A possible exception is manifest at
    very high latitudes with warmer temperatures corresponding
    to the LE and HW states (and colder to LW and HE).
    Seeking to investigate further the solar and QBO influences
    at the surface we also carried out a multiple regression
    analysis of SLP data. First we accomplished this, using
    established QBO time series 1953–2004. By themselves
    the solar and QBO signals were rather weak, although the
    solar pattern is consistent with previous studies suggesting
    a slight expansion of the Hadley cells when the Sun is
    more active (Haigh, 1996; Haigh et al., 2005). The compound
    solar*QBO signal shows significant increase in SLP
    at very high latitudes, consistent with LW and HE produce a
    strengthening (and LE and HW a weakening) in the annular

    “We conclude that a signal of solar variability, modulated
    by the phase of the QBO, is detectable in sea level pressure
    at high latitudes and thus that a knowledge of the state of the
    Sun and of the QBO might be useful in predicting tendencies
    in polar surface climate on timescales of a few years.

  3. I posted on Tallbloke in comment to blog post

    “From the QBO frequency graph.. The ratio of east to west is not symmetrical with a ratio of -20 east and + 12 west.

    20/12 = 1.66


    Wondering if the shorter west phase of QBO is linked to the shorter solar cycle phase?

    some stats

    Ratio of max thresholds for QBO vs Solar cycle length

    shortest ratio = 20 yr QBO / 9 yr solar cycle length = 2.22

    longest ratio =-36 month QBO / 14 yr cycle length = 2.57

    mean ratio = 28.2 yr QBO / 10.8 yr solar cycle = 2.61

    Random pair within the threshold boundaries abstract scenario

    1988 La Nina . Long neg easterly phase 36 months and 1988 -1989 was a descending phase of the the schwabe cycle 12 ( 11.3 yr schwabe)and heralded the commencement of the descending phase of the AMO. Tge global cooling phase

    36 / 11.3 yr = 3.18


    I have done these calculations to illustrate threshold boundaries and the potential range of parameter ratios. Possibly a useless exercise but maybe not.


    I found in my studies of ENSO a few years ago that an extended/ anomalous neg easterly phase of the QBO yielded a moderate/strong La Nina year


    QBO Model

    “As a subtly obvious mechanism, the reinforcement of the lunar cycle with the seasonal solar cycle can if fact produce a factor exceedingly close to the 28 month period of the QBO. Mechanically this happens via a multiplying reinforcement of the 27.212 day Draconic or nodal lunar cycle with the yearly or seasonal/biennial solar signal. The math behind this is straightforwardly described here, and results in a strong signal aliased at 2.366 years = 28.4 months. Since this is a result of aliasing, other signals should be found at frequency multiples of 2 ππ leading to aliased harmonics at 0.703 and 0.413 years.”

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