Arctic Ozone Loss in March 2020 and its Seasonal Prediction in CFSv2: A Comparative Study With the 1997 and 2011 Cases

Jian Rao*, Chaim I. Garfinkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Using reanalysis data, observations, and seasonal forecasts, the March Arctic ozone loss events in 1997, 2011, and 2020 and their predictability are compared. All of the three ozone loss events were accompanied by an extremely strong and cold polar vortex, with the shape and centroid of the ozone loss controlled by the polar vortex. The high autocorrelation of the March Arctic ozone at a lead/lag time of 1–2 months from observations might suggest that a reasonable prediction can be obtained if one initializes 1–2 months in advance. Based on the chemical scheme assessment in CFSv2 and several empirical models using the forecasted metric(s) of the stratospheric polar vortex as predictor(s), the predictability of the 2011 ozone loss event is shown to be longer (1–2 months) than the other two (~1 month), possibly due to a moderate La Niña and quasi-biennial oscillation westerly winds favorable for the formation of a strong polar vortex. However, the overall predictive skills of ozone from empirical models (using a forecasted substitute index to forecast the Arctic ozone) during 1982–2020 are lower than the chemical module assessment in the forecast system, though empirical models have some skill. Contrary to the ozone predictions, the lower tropospheric temperature pattern in March 2011 is less reasonable than in 1997 and 2020. Similar conclusions are also true in other years (2005 versus 2016). Those findings might indicate a weak relationship between the Arctic ozone and the surface climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2020JD033524
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number21
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2020. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • Arctic ozone loss
  • predictability
  • stratospheric polar vortex


Dive into the research topics of 'Arctic Ozone Loss in March 2020 and its Seasonal Prediction in CFSv2: A Comparative Study With the 1997 and 2011 Cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this