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Comparison of Mesospheric Winds From a High-Altitude Meteorological Analysis System and Meteor Radar Observations During the Boreal Winters of 2009-2010 and 2012-2013We present a study of horizontal winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) during the boreal winters of 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 produced with a new high-altitude numerical weather prediction (NWP) system. This system is based on a modified version of the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) with an extended vertical domain up to approximately 116 km altitude coupled with a hybrid four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) data assimilation system that assimilates both standard operational meteorological observations in the troposphere and satellite-based observations of temperature, ozone and water vapor in the stratosphere and mesosphere. NAVGEM-based MLT analyzed winds are validated using independent meteor radar wind observations from nine different sites ranging from 69 deg N-67 deg S latitude. Time-averaged NAVGEM zonal and meridional wind profiles between 75 and 95 km altitude show good qualitative and quantitative agreement with corresponding meteor radar wind profiles. Wavelet analysis finds that the 3-hourly NAVGEM and 1-hourly radar winds both exhibit semi-diurnal, diurnal, and quasi-diurnal variations whose vertical profiles of amplitude and phase are also in good agreement. Wavelet analysis also reveals common time-frequency behavior in both NAVGEM and radar winds throughout the Northern extra tropics around the times of major stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs) in January 2010 and January 2013, with a reduction in semi-diurnal amplitudes beginning around the time of a mesospheric wind reversal at 60 deg N that precedes the SSW, followed by an amplification of semi-diurnal amplitudes that peaks 10-14 days following the onset of the mesospheric wind reversal. The initial results presented in this study demonstrate that the wind analyses produced by the high altitude NAVGEM system accurately capture key features in the observed MLT winds during these two boreal winter periods.
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Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
McCormack, J. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Hoppel, K. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Kuhl, D. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
de Wit, R. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Stober, G. (Rostock Univ. Germany)
Espy, P. (Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway)
Baker, N. (Naval Research Lab. Monterey, CA, United States)
Brown, P. (University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, Canada)
Fritts, D. (GATS, Inc, (Global Atmospheric Technologies and Sciences Boulder, CO, United States)
Jacobi, C. (Leipzig Univ. Germany)
Janches, D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
April 6, 2017
Publication Date
December 24, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Volume: 154
ISSN: 1364-6826
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
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