Variations in the Tropopause

The general temperature of prevailing at a place determines the height of the tropopause. As a general rule, the colder the troposphere, the lower the tropopause. Conversely, in warmer temperatures the tropopause is found at a higher altitude.

We had seen the extremes of this over the poles and the equator. Over the poles where the air is cold, the height of tropopause is 8 KM. At the Equator, due to warm weather, the height of tropopause is at 16 KM.

Since temperature determines the height of tropopause, the height of tropopause is lower in winters and higher in summers even in the same latitude. In addition, the tropopause height is also affected by the surface over which it is found, for example it could be land or sea surface.

In weather terms, synoptic situation includes a lot of factors like a combination of pressure pattern, fronts, wind direction and speed. Synoptic situation prevailing at a place also affects the height of Tropopause.

We are aware that above the tropopause, you would find the stratosphere where the temperature increases with height. That means, above 16 KM near the equator and above 8 KM above poles, the temperature starts increasing with height. This also means that the density of air would also reverse beyond the tropopause.