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Welcome to StratObserve

This site is intended to provide realtime plots of polar stratospheric conditions and other related products from the latest forecast data. Click a category from the menu above, and select a product from the dropdown menu.

The site is a pet-project by Zachary D. Lawrence; while it may look rather austere now, rest assured it is under active development. Please see the About page for terms of use, and more information.


As of Nov 2018, the plots hosted here are only generated from 00UT forecasts for each 12-hour interval. This is primarily to aid in comparing the GEOS-5 and GFS forecast models, since 10-day forecasts are currently only released for the 00UT run of GEOS-5. The plots should generally be updated by approximately 10AM Eastern each day, but delays are possible due to issues downloading the forecast data.


  • General: You may have noticed now that we're into spring and approaching the final warming, the elliptical diagnostics are no longer great estimations of the vortex edge and extent. This is because the height contours were chosen from zonal means for the Nov-Mar period. I have no plans to adjust the contours for calculating the elliptical diagnostics for the rest of the season.


  • Changed the max windspeed panels in the strat. winds ensemble time series plots to polar cap averaged temperatures; 20181217
  • Changed base period for calculating standardized anomalies of eddy heat fluxes from Sep - May to Oct - Apr; 20181215
  • Got rid of the "latest" designation in the date dropdown menu so there's no confusion about what forecast date the plots are based on. StratObserve rolls out plots a bit slower than other places, so I don't want "latest" being confused; 20181204
  • Added new products, including anomaly time series, and eddy heat flux longitude/pressure
    cross-sections; 20181120
  • Updated the 3D vortex plots to use a better polar projection. Also added the ability to rotate the view of the 3D vortex plots (thanks for the suggestion, Michael Ventrice!); 20181120
  • Enabled SSL and automatic redirect to https; 20181116
  • Fixed bug that prevented viewing multiple vertical levels on Chrome (possibly other browsers); 20181115
  • First online; 20181114